I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship in recent years. I’ve made a lot of friends, and also lost some. I’m far less trusting of new people than I used to be, but I also have a much healthier circle of friends now than I ever have before.
One thing I’ve learned is that I value loyalty- not just for my sake, but for the sake of the people I care about.
I’m a deeply loyal person and I’ve been burned many times by investing in friendships without reciprocated loyalty. I would honour my promises to them, but they wouldn’t do the same. I would defend them to others, but they would talk badly about me behind my back.
Over the years I’ve also watched people I care about be mistreated by others that I’d welcomed into my social circles. I’m a bit of a mamma kitty towards my loved ones… I get defensive towards people who hurt my ‘family’ and won’t take responsibility for it. I hurt when my family hurts, so people that hurt them are also hurting me. The joys of being an empath…
I’m a rather intense person. I love hard and devote myself to my loved ones fiercely. I’m not comfortable opening up past a certain point to most people because I would get overwhelmed caring this deeply about everyone in my life.
I want to be around people that will stick up for me just like I’ll stick up for them. But I also want to be around people who will be good to my friends, since they will almost certainly be affected by my new relationships/friendships too. Spice Girls got it right. 😛
Healthy Long Term Relationships
I’ve personally come to the conclusion that the best way to build successful long-term relationships of any kind is by having a solid friendship as the foundation. Nobody is going to feel romantic or sexual with their partner all the time, especially after years together or when life gets stressful.
My ex husband and I were not very compatible romantically and life was hard, but we still enjoyed our years together because our friendship was solid as a rock. We could stand being happy around each other even when we were having marital issues. We stayed friends before, during, and after our separation. If we hadn’t been such good friends, I doubt our marriage would have lasted more than a few months. Instead, we shared years together where we grew and explored and learned from each other. Neither of us regretted it, even after it ended. We both agreed that it was our friendship that had made it so worthwhile.
I don’t think I would want a long term relationship without a deep friendship. Otherwise what is there to hold onto when things get hard? What do we fall back on when dynamics change, health falters, people’s needs change, the romance dies down for a while, or we simply mess up? I believe it’s healthy friendships.
People seem to think that the best kind of love comes in hot and heavy, in an explosion of overwhelming lust and mushy feelings. And there’s nothing wrong with that kind of love, it’s fun. It just tends to burn out rather quickly if there’s not enough substance underneath to sustain it after the ‘honeymoon period’.
But I’ve observed that it’s the slow burn that often stays the longest; a fire that builds a deep bed of coals so hot that it would take days to completely cool even when the bright flames have simmered down to barely nothing. I’d rather have that slow but steady burn of intimacy and respect because it’s much more likely to last than the insatiable lust of the moment. (Plus, deep intimacy brings out the BEST SEX EVER.)
I’m tired of heartbreak and conflict. I’d rather invest in friendships and relationships that have a good chance of being healthy and enjoyable for me and those closest to me.
So if you want to be my friend/lover/play partner, here’s what’s important for you to know:
1. Don’t mistreat people I’m close to. It’s the quickest way to lose my trust and bring out my claws. I may be 98% angel, but that 2% demon is not to be messed with.
2. If you mess up, ‘fess up and make changes. I expect mistakes because that’s how we all grow and learn, so it’s all about handling our mistakes responsibly and ethically.
3. I don’t expect perfection, but I do expect reasonable effort and honesty from those who want me in their life.
4. Keep your word.
I hold myself to these same standards. I won’t ask for anything in relationships that I’m not willing to give myself.