"Relationships are really complicated," she said, pushing her food around with her fork.
We'd been discussing people and friendships. I wondered out loud if there was something wrong with me. Maybe I was the kind of person who didn't need anyone until I REALLY NEEDED someone...and maybe people didn't want to wait around to feel needed on my terms. Maybe they wanted to feel needed in small, consistent doses, rather than one big influx of sobbing, snotty-nosed NEED.
Maybe not. (And if it is that, I have no idea how to turn off my (aura of) total self-reliance until, of course, I am no longer self-reliant and instead am just a big fucking mess. I have found that people are better with steady helpings of mess. That, they can get used to. But no problems for a long time followed by BIG PROBLEMS for a short time is jarring. Maybe people feel like that's more than they signed on for when they decided they wanted to be friends.)
"We grow and we change. Sometimes people change with us, sometimes they don't."
She was right, but I still worried about it. I can't imagine that all the friendships that have fallen by the wayside are simply an unspoken, mutual agreement that, "This probably won't go any further." There has to be SOMETHING I could do better, right?
On the other hand, friendships are weird because in a lot of ways, they're similar to romantic relationships except for two things: no sex (usually) and no clean break-ups/endings (usually). So that means a dying friendship-type-relationship can hang on and on and on because there's not impetus to say formally, "This isn't working for me anymore."
(And, oh yeah, you can't follow THAT up with, "Let's just be friends," because, let's face it, that is never true in any break-up case*. Can we just be honest and start saying, "This isn't working...and what I really want is for you to leave me alone.")
All that to say, I'm glad that my friendships that are working are working. I'm sure with a little more digging and soul-searching, I could figure out better why the ones that don't, don't.
But, with all relationships, that would be just one side of the story. You know, "Two to tango," and all that.
*For whatever reason, I'm still friends with my significant exes. I'm pretty sure it's because I hold such a special, special place in their hearts.