[using those relationships and friends i know & those I’ve been with as case studies. keep in mind, though, that just because it sounds like you, doesn’t mean it’s you – it just means your situation is common/cliché]
It’s winter. The time of year when the need for a warm body laying next to us far outweighs our need for sanity, health and sometimes friendship. I say that to say this: quite a few of my friends have either gone completely dumb, or I was always the Helen Keller clone, not seeing them for who they really are when it comes to relationships, intimacy, and the like.
Case number one:
I have a brilliant friend. She’s drop dead gorgeous with a million goals, perfect smile, natural hair, and just enough sense of humor. She’s now dating a guy who, it seems to me, does nothing to complement who she is. She’s an 80’s baby, growing up in the 90’s. He’s a 90’s baby, spending his tree climbing, cartoon watching, days in the 2000’s. Before I go further, don’t think I’m saying that the young man, older woman relationship doesn’t work. It does, I’ve done it. What I am saying, however, is that THIS one will not work. And here’s why: The only reason I’ve been given for their coming together is “he makes me happy.” And while that means the world to plenty, there must be more. Happiness can be gathered from a good book and a cup of grapefruit juice. I need laughs, common ground, adult conversation. Do I sound crazy, here? “He makes me happy” is what you say when you have nothing else to lean on. And I hold firm to the believe that when one is 24+, a relationship with anyone younger will not work. (Yes, there are exceptions).
Case number two:
I recently realized the amount of a friend’s insecurity. Insecurity in relationships has always been a problem of other people; the people we laugh at in group settings and say “they must love being unhappy.” It’s never been this close to home. She’s with a man who’s recognized her insecurity in self and preys on it. Months ago I was informed there were hours now set after which I wouldn’t be able to communicate with her because it bothered him, and though that bothered me, I brushed it off, not wanting to be one to break up a not-so-happy, but comfortable home. Time passed, and instead of simply complying to those rules she and he set, I just took communication to the bare minimum, contacting her only when I felt I had to. But now, there is more: My name was thrown into a lie he told her: I’ve been telling others that she and I were together. Aside from being too grown to be involved in such foolishness, this is utterly ridiculous. So I said what I had to say to her about the situation, not too moved to defend myself because I know how these things often play out:
1. the boyfriend lies.
2. the girlfriend confronts the person involved in the lie. (usually the person the boyfriend doesn’t like – ME in this case)
3. the 3rd party (ME) has no idea what’s going on, then proves the boyfriend lied.
4. the boyfriend and girlfriend stay together, and she opens herself up to more foolishness because the boyfriend now knows he can push her a little further.
5. the 3rd party (ME) realizes how stupid the whole thing is, and decides to not be involved in anymore foolishness as far as the couple is concerned.
We need to be careful when befriending those who are not capable of forming lasting, healthy relationships of any sort. (side note: this is why it’s hard to trust women who say “I don’t hang with females, they are____________[fill in the blank].)
Is it the winter? Spring will tell. But insecurities don’t come with seasons. It comes with childhood, adolescents and adult hood. What is it about US that makes us want to be with someone who limits our growth and happiness; those who spend the relationship seeing how far they are able to push us, instead of how far we’d be willing to go with them. When I want to travel, I travel. When I want to pick up the phone and call a friend, I will do so. The person who limits you is not doing it for you – they are doing it for them, Hellen Keller.
With that said, and this is far from a resolution, there is no room on this planet for friends who are unable to build real relationships.