Most of my life, I’ve tried very hard to connect with others. I’ve always been interested in forming deep relationships, in which both parties feel like a strong sense of trust, investment and comfort with the other.
We all have a story, and we all want it to be heard. We all yearn to connect and share our story with those around us. We yearn to help others in times of need and to be helped when we need it most. I’ve always known that and I’ve strived to make it a priority in my life to give myself to others and invest in friendships, because it’s something I truly value.
However, I have not found that most people value friendship in the same way that I do. In fact, I am baffled at how people seem to care so little about investing in friendships.
Don’t people understand that life is tough, and that it is to their benefit to have good friends who will be there for them when life is less than peachy? This has not been my experience.
I’ve wondered if this lack of commitment has to do with the age of those I associate with, but I’m still not too sure about that. When I look at my parents’ lives, they too have lost many friendships. Sometimes due to a resentment that widened the gap between both parties until the space between them was too vast to carry on, and sometimes it was simply because both parties stopped caring and trying to invest.
I’ve found that most people invest so deeply and entirely in their romantic relationships, in their partners or spouses, that they forget how hard romantic relationships truly can be. At some point they are really going to want that friend to be there for them when the going gets tough, because no matter how romantic and wonderful things seem now– the going will get tough at some point.
It kind of dawned on me tonight the truth of the old, cliche statement my mother used to tell me when I was a young girl and was crying over a mean thing a friend said or did to me, which was that in the end, the most important relationship you have is the one with yourself, because in the end, all you have is yourself.
I am starting to realize that perhaps part of growing into a mature, stable, and content adult, is letting go of striving for connections with others and letting yourself dwell more deeply in the connection with yourself.
The more you put yourself out there and your efforts are not reciprocated, the more you allow yourself to be hurt and lose trust in humanity. Therefore, maybe it’s best for us all to not strive so hard to forge friendships, but really feel people out and what they truly value, before we start investing ourselves.
This isn’t to say that I advocate not reaching out to people– I believe that in order to ever make meaningful connections with others, we must put ourselves out there and allow ourselves to be vulnerable to rejection and pain.
What I mean is that, I have found that as soon as I feel I may be compatible with another person, I begin to place my faith in them and in the prospect that the friendship will inevitably bloom and flourish into a lasting bond. I realize now that allowing myself to get my hopes up when I am unsure if this person actually cares about investing as much as I do, is not healthy for me.
The fact of the matter is, some people really do not want, nor do they care, about forging deep connections with others.
We must allow ourselves time and patience when it comes to relationships and friendships, because I believe that in an individual’s lifetime, they will only make a small number of truly deep and profound friendships, and these friendships are sacred and should be cherished.
No matter if you have one billion amazing friendships, or if you feel very lonely tonight, please remember that you can always find a way to enjoy being with just yourself, and that investing in both knowing and loving yourself is the smartest investment you will ever make in your life.