I've been really struggling with friendships since moving to Texas. I'm just not meeting "my people" out here, and it's hard for me, personally. I've learned the hard way over the past 3 years that I'll be just as unsatisfied, if not more so, by not being true to myself in order to make friends and have friendships. I've had a handful of "false starts", where I meet a woman, and everything seems very promising, but then I learn some more details about her and I'm in a position where I'm just trying to back away slowly, if you know what I mean. I'm working on being more OK with myself. I'm 100% OK with my own company, for periods of time, however I judge my worth almost solely on what others think of me, and that does need to change in some ways. I am throwing that out there because when you have no friends, it's hard to know what people think of you, and that's a difficult position for me to be in.
I've let a friendship go, recently. It was hurtful, but I just wasn't getting anything from the relationship, and I didn't feel as though I was offering her anything positive either. She initiated the split, and I went with it. At this point I feel friendly towards her, and comfortable being distant acquaintances. I hope she feels the same. We had been reasonably close friends for about a year.
There is another friendship that I am really struggling with. The friend initiated some distance, or so I thought, and I, frankly, felt hurt but relieved. The friendship hasn't been an easy fit. The break was pretty short-lived, and now I find myself really, really torn. On the one hand, I have already lost that above-mentioned formed friendship this year, and I feel like it would reflect pretty poorly on me to let another friendship go. I also have a new friend and a few fledgling relationships that I came into directly because of this friend. She introduced me to these people. The new friendships are very promising. Additionally, I do have fun with this person, and I enjoy, on occasion, the social scenes she creates. There is an element of excitement added to my life. I would feel lonely and left out if I was never included again.
On the other hand I find a number of this person's life choices to be morally questionable and irresponsible. I find it difficult not to focus on the choices made because frankly, I find them to be the result of flaws in character. Judgy, I know. I don't like how judgemental I am when I'm with this person. Also, this person is very comfortable taking help, but has, as of late, not offered any. And I've needed help, and I've said to her, bluntly, that I need some help. She was too involved with her own stuff to reach out to me.
Looking at her other relationships, I think I can expect to not receive support from her. I can expect to give it frequently.
There are a few behavioral issues that I find very, very annoying. "Flaky" would be the apt term for the biggest "problem habit". Some people just laugh it off, but I'm a planner, and I find flaking out very disrespectful, and it makes me downright nervous and upset.
Finally, there is absolutely no chance she and I will be able to have a conversation about any of this. Constructive criticism is not handled well. Any slight, major, minor or imagined, is met with massive public drama. I've watched it happen. I've confirmed, discreetly, with a mutual friend that if I so much as intimate that I have a problem with something she's done, she will go batshit.
Ugh. I think the fact that I haven't just cut bait says something. I do feel for this person. She has a lot of good to offer... she's just not offering it right now, in my estimation. She stretches me as a person, something I want and seek for in friends, but she also irritates the ever-loving-crap out of me on a regular basis.
I wouldn't be left with zero local friends if I ditched her, but I might lose another friend or two, and frankly, I would also miss her, in many ways.
I'm comfortable discussing my own involvement and shortcoming in this situation, but please be gentle. I'm really trying hard to be a decent person, and this past year hasn't been easy for me in a lot of ways.
And on 09/23/2011, we were three; husband, daughter, and me!
I have learned that you can have different leveles of friendship. I have had flaky friendships in the past that crumbled because I had too high needs and expectations of those people. And also it just wasn't a good fit. Lately I just let people have as much space as they need and relaize that lots of times ppl are maxed out b theri own life and it isn't a personal reflection on y owrthiness how often they call- so just let her be just as she is and love her and allow the space to be-
I have found that freidnships happen best for me when I see people on a regular basis in a place where we are all goign anyway. Like for yrs I needed to make palns and have get togethers and it was hard- but now I see ppl around town and we see eachother enough that we become friends slowly but surely.
Maybe just let ppl into your life on casual levels too and see what deepens and sticks,a dn try to have less high expectations of friendships?
good luck- I had yrs when I lived in a different town where I struggled to find good friendships. Since moving and haivng my baby (now almost 3) I have had an easier time connecting with people and just accepting even if I pny see someone once a month for a while or soemthing, not putting too much pressure on it.
but then again my husband is my best friend so he fills that primamry need for me.
good luck! Love yorself just as you are too as we are all with issues!
Do you need to have an "all or nothing" relationship with this person, or friends in general? Can you have a casual relationship with this person where you do fun things together from time to time, but where you don't expect her to "be there" for you, but don't feel any guilt for not "being there" in return? These are o.k. friendships to have if they work for both people. Not all of our friends will be life-long best friends, and it seems like you have fun when you're with her!
I have a few friends that I have this type of relationship with. They're lots of fun to be around, we have a good time and they open up my social circle, but I wouldn't count on them to be there in a crisis and I don't share my most intimate secrets with them, kwim? But I'm ok with that relationship. I have other friends that I see maybe once per year, but know they'd be there for me and I for them no matter what, and when we do get together it's like a day hasn't passed.
I don't know what the "life choices" are that you are referring to. I think it's good that you are trying not to be judgy. I always try to reflect on my own short comings and remind myself that I would not want my friends to judge me for them, and I work hard to forgive my friends of their short comings and accept them for who they are. I won't pretend I could do this in every situation, but it would have to be something pretty bad for me to hold it against a friend if their choices weren't affecting me or any children ('cause grown-ups can take care of themselves).
N, wife to my goofball K and mamma to my EC grad D (July 2010) and my new little love S (May 2013). Exploring the uncharted territory of tandem nursing with my two boys.
Thank you both for the advice and encouragement! I agree, 100%, that I need to change my expectations of friendship. I'm very happy with casual friendships (I need more of these, actually, but being a stay-at-home mom isn't allowing for that, I find.), but I struggle to allow relationships to develop organically. I'm eager to categorize people within minutes of meeting them. That's certainly on me!
I've been wanting to make my relationship with her more casual. I'm unable to give intimate support without wanting it in return. I think she expects that I continue to give it. I'm not sure, I suppose, how I can go about making our relationship more casual without talking to her directly, or leaving her hurt and angry.
Sadly, her situation does involve and affect children (her own), and I think that's why I judge so harshly. I think she has to feel judged by me, and I know it has to hurt. I don't want that for her.
And on 09/23/2011, we were three; husband, daughter, and me!