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Needing more from Friendships

post #1 of 109
Thread Starter 
I find that at this point in my life, the friendships that I have worked so hard to foster the past 3 or 4 years are not supplying me with what I need. I find that I tend to be a better friend to others than they are to me, and I'm willing to let go of them, but I'm scared to do it. I remember how lonely I was before, and I recognize that I still am pretty lonely since my friends don't act how I need them to act, but I feel like something is better than nothing. Sometimes, I feel that way. But, more, I'm starting to feel like I'd rather be alone and friendless.

It's very frustrating, b/c I have issues with letting ppl down, and I feel like I'd be abandonning these ppl if I stopped dealing with them. It seems like they need me more than I need them. But, at the same time, I'm very frustrated with myself, b/c I feel like if I would just let them go, better ppl would come into my life. I feel like I'm sabotaging myself.

Anyone else dealing with this?
post #2 of 109
Yup, I'm basically alone and friendless. I can relate, but I don't have any advice for you.
post #3 of 109
Now why do you think I spend so much time on these boards?

When we moved here to GA, I left behind my 'soul-friend' (if there is such a thing). We literally still talk daily, but it is costing our husbands a mint. They are conniving on how to get us back in the same city.

I really think friendship comes in waves and many of us nurturing mommas have a tendency to give more than we get. It is the nature that also attracts those that take more than they give (not intentionally . . . well, not always intentionally).

If your friendship is a constant drain, I think releasing it will free you for the opportunity to meet others - or even to find a blissful peace in yourself for a short time.

I didn't realize how much fun I had with my husband until we moved to GA . . . he is my best friend, always has been, but now we 'hang' more.

I say RELEASE and that'll at least keep you from emptying a 'well' that isn't being filled right now.
post #4 of 109
I am in the exact same position. I don't really know what people expect of me. I give my all into my friendships but I seem to get nothing back. It's hard to let friendships go but if they were really your friends then you wouldn't be feeling this way. I don't really have any advise but hang in there.
post #5 of 109

I'm right here for ya sista!
post #6 of 109
heather, i love your take on "releasing" friendships to make space for something else!
chaka, i'm in the same boat. i think there's a whole bunch of us here, too.
my exp. is of friendships where i'm putting energy into them, but not getting what i'm hoping for back. i try to figure out what it *is* that i'm really craving in a friendship and that's tricky to pin down.
this has always been my dilemma, i think: i want a friend who is growing/has grown in ways i'm interested in growing, but a) it's hard to find someone similar when you're so far off the mainstream path, and b) if i did find her, i worry that it the friendship wouldn't be equal, would be off-balance in a teacher/student kind of way that i don't feel comfortable with, if that makes any sense...
as i type this out (and erase and retype) i'm coming to the rather surprising conclusion that *my* problem in finding friends is probably that i'm not confident enough to seek out the people i admire from afar and that leaves me at the mercy of whomever is attracted to my energy, which often is people who are not well grounded.
i'll have to think about that some more. i'm not too thrilled about it but it's probably true.
in general, though, it's very difficult to make new friends when you get past college. we had a discussion about this in my meditation group, which is led by my psychologist, who places a huge premium on the friends in her life and puts a lot of energy into maintaining those friendships. but as she points out, as life progresses, you have less and less time and energy to devote to existing friendships (with husbands, careers, children, self-care), much less make new friends. and we define ourselves more and more distinctly and precisely as we get older and tend to want to find people who are similar, which limits the pool, compared to when we were younger and more wide open in our personality.
sorry for the ramblyness,
interesting subject to consider, tho
post #7 of 109
Thread Starter 
Phenomenal women of MDC...

I find releasing ppl to be very emotionally difficult and draining for me. I know that's one of my (many ) issues that I need to work on, but I over-think and analyze things and I sooooo worry that ppl might take my feelings the wrong way. (still working on releasing my mother from my psyche!)

Of course, that's on a bad day. On a good day, I couldn't care less what ppl think of me. (w/friends, it gets a little more intense, but I think you know what I mean)

Well, I think at this point, I'm just going to let certain relationships dissipate. I'm not going to put anymore energy into them, but I won't avoid the women, either. I think this will have to be gradual for me, b/c although I'm good at confrontation, I don't like it.

I don't really have a problem approaching ppl I would like to connect with...it's just a matter of figuring out exactly why I want the connection, ykwim? Like, I have one "friend" who it seemed like we were on the same page spiritually and she seemed so politically active (a trait I admire). I remember her specifically telling me that if we were going to walk our spiritual path together (we're both new at it), then she couldn't tolerate flakiness on my behalf. Well, that was right up my alley! I don't like flaky ppl, either! But, now, it's turned out that she's so flaky, I don't want to bother with her. And, she's not near as open-minded and peaceful as I thought. So, now, I'm like...what happened? How'd I misread the signs?

I guess I should have known since we've known each other for about 3 years, and she's never kept in contact even though she claimed to really like me.

Oh, well. I've decided to devote my energies to attracting ppl that I can have deep, meaningful relationships with.

Good luck to all of us!
post #8 of 109
I have had my share of flakey friends over the years (seemed to be I had a flakey friend one or another for most of my life)

But I ditched the last flake about six years ago and haven't picked up another since (Perhaps something in me has changed to stop attracting them LOL)

But I don't have good solid soulmate friends.

I have some really nice friendly acquaintences.

What I *have* is my children and family.

Seriously, my good friends are my SIL, my daughter, my other daughter and her fiance (Seriously a great guy could be a friend if he wasn't my daughter's fiance) my other DD is a Marine and I miss her terribly.

There you go, my firstborn daughter is especially close (she's earthey-crunchey like me and we can argue about Iraq and still be extremely close (like, "why did you wear that french flag on your shirt" Because france is against the war. I can't stand the french, paint a german flag next time" and we move on to another subject)

I'm close to my 13YO as well. I'm also strangely close to my mom.

It's a nice thing about having a large family we're our own social circle
post #9 of 109
Originally posted by DebraBaker
It's a nice thing about having a large family we're our own social circle
This is exactly what I'm working on building with my kids. There are times when they are of a completely different opinion than me and my dh. It is over 'small' things like bed-times, privileges removed, etc . . . it becomes dinner time chat. I find that if my 6 year old can come up with a good argument against our choice, that my dh will let her 'win.' It used to frustrate me as I wanted us to be an authority that she respected until I realized that out in the world I didn't want her to take things at face value . . . so why should I train her to do that at home?

My family - immediate and extended are the loves of my life! I wish we lived in one big commune!
post #10 of 109

I have just been struggling with this myself these past few days.
Wondering why there is this pattern of best friends whom I get real close w/ and then move away (either me or them moving) to another state.
The last one I opened up to, who was my soul sister, just trashed my heart all to hell in December. Now I am scared to get too close to anyone.
I, too want to attract a solid soul sister.
I've asked if there is something in my psyche/emotional makeup that is preventing from such a friendship forming.
I am sick of the flakes and drainos.
I want someone who can lift me up and cry with me. Long talks over tea, has kids that my dd can play with, has same morals and values as me....
I think if we can be specific in our search, then the universe will send one our way.
My dh is my best friend, but he just doesn't compare to a female best friend. He cannot comiserate about being a sahm, bf, pms, etc, etc.

btw, Chaka, when you moving here?

post #11 of 109
but I over-think and analyze things and I sooooo worry that ppl might take my feelings the wrong way.
This is me. I can't just let something go, I have to approach it from every angle, flip it over, turn it inside out, and eventually wear myself down worrying about it- so tiring.

I have been 'friends' with a woman for 27 years. I was so proud of that number, but really it didn't mean anything. We have grown so far apart, and I haven't spoken to her sincee Christmas, and even that was strained. I have always been the backbone of the relationship. When we were teens she would come to our house when things got rough with her stepmom at home. When she wanted to get away from her husband, she would come to my house. When she wanted to CHEAT on her husband, she came to my parking lot- and of course I never told anyone. But these things didn't bother me at the time because she was my 'best' friend.

But when I was down, or in need- where was she?

When I moved to NC, I kept up emails, letters, and expensive phone calls. She has never written, and never called. So now the phone calls from me are few and far between. I don't write anymore and I do not send her emails or updates on Kailey. During our last call she commented on how she hadn't heard from me for such a long time :

Anyway, I just wanted you to know I understand...

BTW, it's so hard to find and make friends now. At first I think that there is a connection, then once I get to know them, they aren't what they seem. I don't think I have misjudged anyone, because there is always more to a person than what your first impression tells you
post #12 of 109
post #13 of 109
Vesta, you touched on something I've noticed myself - the junior high mentality. I've even used this description to my husband. I am a mother, yes. However, I do still enjoy intelligent conversation, it just might be tailored around my current situation (recently: natural birth, midwives -v- OBs, vaccinations, circumcisions, needless medical intervention) or with my older ones (giving 'room' for them to act as thinking children without giving so much room they have no 'reign,' so to speak and things of that nature). My husband is military and we talk through issues of the war and how it would impact our family, the children's lives, possibly being separated again.

However, most moms I encounter talk about hair appt.s, the latest clothing sale, that they got a Tommy shirt for their son at 1/2 off (and it still cost 3x what I would pay), how fat they are when they are skinny as all get-out, and other things that are of no interest to me.

My soul friend and I weep together, rejoice together, share in the concerns and prayers for each other's children, share spiritual battles and personal concerns. When I moved here my heart broke - it was a bit much to take.

I realize that I don't allow others in my heart here. I don't want to waste the time b/c it does take so much TIME and I've yet to even spot a momma that seems vaguely interesting.

Sometimes I think I'm a friend snob - anyone else feel like that?
post #14 of 109
Thread Starter 
Oh, gawd, Heather, yes! I am a friend snob! That's why I let my guard down a few years back (I thought something was wrong w/me since I wasn't making friends easily or often), and now I've got all this friendship residue all over me. Ugh! I should trust my intuition about ppl, but sometime I doubt myself and think Just give her a chance. And, then, I get severely disappointed.

I guess I'm not so much a snob as I am right about ppl.

I understand about the junior-high mentalities. I want to talk about important, serious stuff with a little fluff thrown in, not clothes, cars, or mall prices. I don't care how much credit card debt you have or how you had to refinance your house in order to send Josie to the "better" preschool. Let's discuss breastfeeding and co-sleeping and politics and our sex lives.

I have one friend where it seems like we always end up discussing more serious topics when we talk. She always thanks me for discussing these things with her when we're getting off the phone. I'm like You're welcome, but I'm not into chit chat so I don't know what you thought we'd talk about. She cracks me up!

post #15 of 109
I can relate to so much of what you all have written.
I am in a place in my life where I don't want to waste time with shallow friendships. I have had my share of draining friends. I have been the one that held the friendships together, and oh how old that got.
Right now my only female friends are my sister and my mother and those relationships aren't w/o their own set of problems.
I really want to find a deep friendship with a mother who shares many of my beliefs about pareting, politics etc..
I have a very hard time making friends , for one I am very shy and I guess I am a friend snob as well.
I do not come across any mothers here where I live that have veiws compatable with mine.
I also don't want to sit around talking about hair or clothes, those aren't very important to me.
I want a friend that will lift me up and I can learn from and I will do the same for her.
I do not want to have deal with any catty , competition or jealousy shit either.
This is what I do want in a friend someone who
breastfeeds, extended
does not circumcise
homeschools, would be a real plus
doesn't vaccinate
down to earth, not matrialistic
who like to discuss the government, health care , etc and not freak about my veiws
has natural childbirth and if she has or plans on a UC even better
shares similiar spiritual beliefs (which would be Atheist with a spiritual twist)
is kind
and on and on, I'm not picky am I.

So if their are any mothers fitting my discription for a friend that live in G'vlle, SC email me.
post #16 of 109
Now I am concocting a plan to bring likeminded moms together(in their respective areas). We have the penpal thing, but that is more long distance....

post #17 of 109
Greenville, SC, eh?
We are in Augusta, GA.

But you got me on the Atheist issue . . . I'm Christian. That said, my best friend in college was Atheist and it didn't seem to affect our relationship. Hmmmm .. . I wish she and I hadn't lost touch, she introduced me to Indian food at a little Taj Mahal dive in Houston, TX.
post #18 of 109
Originally posted by Chaka Falls
Phenomenal women of MDC...

Well, I think at this point, I'm just going to let certain relationships dissipate. I'm not going to put anymore energy into them, but I won't avoid the women, either. I think this will have to be gradual for me, b/c although I'm good at confrontation, I don't like it.

You ladies are SO singin' my tune! I realized a few years ago that I've always been the one to pour heart and soul into the friendships in my life and that in oh- 9/10's of them there was little reprocicity (did I spell that right?). After my kids came along I just stopped putting the effort forth for anyone who wasn't mutually supportive and it was a nice painless way to jettison a lot of non-nurturing friendships. There was one person I had to write a letter to to tell her I wouldn't be seeing her anymore- we'd been close but she was very much a person who took way more than she gave and I just didn't have the energy to give after becoming a mother. It hurt her feelings, it was hard to do- I second-guessed myself for months afterward (could I have worked a little harder to salvage the relationship?) but in retrospect it was a good move to make.

Now when I start getting close to someone I sometimes take a step back to see if they'll take up the slack when I can't- it saves a lot of time to learn early on who can be there for you and who can't. ha.

One thing, though- I think people generally do the best they can in relationships and a lot of people just don't have all that much to give. I'm glad I'm getting better at spotting those people (I think: ) and just keeping it casual with them. Sometimes Friendship Lite is just about the right speed.

Lory (sorry for the end-of-term-meta-babble)
post #19 of 109
post #20 of 109
I was just thinking about this today.. thank you for this thread Chaka.

I guess I am still analyzing my thoughts, though.

I think I need and want more from relationships in general.. more out of my expiriences on earth. Am I crazy? Are my expectations just completely outrageous?

I haven't had a close friend, the sort of person you can pour your heart out to, since high school, maybe college. I didn't keep up with those friendships.. I should have, but one thing or another got in the way. Distance, responsibilities, family, careers.

I recently saw my best friend from high school. She lives 40 miles away, though. We really grew apart, because she got to be something of a religious zealot along with her growing responsibilites that came with her growing family. She seems sweet now and I'd like to talk with her again, but do not really want to have her trying to 'save me' all the time again. She just isn't very open minded. The sort of person who is always right.. no room for debate with her. Her beliefs about everything are infallible in her mind..

Is there something wrong with me? I know I have moved several times. I live 30 miles from where I work. Even then, the people I end up working with under my supervision.. not in an equal position with me. Makes it tough to be close friends with them.

Where do you meet people to become friends with anyways?

I so crave people in my life to enhance it, to expirience life with. People to grow and learn with. People who want to enjoy living and pay attention to the important stuff. People who also enjoy occasionaly goofing off and just plain silliness. People who aren't going to get all wrapped up and obsessed in just one thing. There's just so much out there. Religious and political differences aren't all that important to me. I like to discuss things in an open minded way. Having a friend with similar views and beliefs would be alright, too.

Sometimes I just feel like no one really understands me.. like no one really gets it. Not even my Dh.. I am pretty sure he thinks I am insane by now I'm not exactly sure what he wants out of life right now, but it seems like he's content with the old day to day mundane existing thing... There's got to be more out there, I hope.
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