I believe in the power of ideas encapsulated in every word. To me, friend isn’t just a word in its denotative sense. It has a subtext. A hidden meaning. A concealed idea. And because this hidden idea is usually subjective, I may or may not share it with anyone. Not even with people who I used to consider friends or consider me a friend. Because of this miscommunication, we have different expectations from each other. My expectations are always at par with my ideals.
Back in the time when I have friends, they would disappoint me all the time. They would do things that hurt me or would make me feel like betrayed without them knowing it. It sucked because in my mind, I feel like they should have known me better. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. And that’s one of the many things that sting–it’s when you’ve spent years and years with the same people yet realize they don’t really know you.
Sometimes I look back though and think that maybe it wasn’t really their fault. It’s probably my fault. I idealized them and in the process, expected too much from them. I thought baring my soul will allow them to see the person that I am. Unfortunately, it’s true what they say: “Despite how open, peaceful and loving you attempt to be, people can only meet you as deep as they’ve met themselves.”
For me, a friend is a just lover without the sexual relations. That’s it. That’s all. That’s how deep my idea of how friendship should be. And when someone who is supposed to be a friend fails to meet my high arched eyebrow standards, I get disappointed.
So I stopped making friends because people couldn’t really live up to my idealization of them. And now, I’ve developed a new “friendship” system that works for me (which I’m hoping to write a separate post on) because it allowed me to make room for all my connections without expecting anything from them.
If there’s one important lesson that I learned about friendship, it’s this: “If they make you feel lonely, they are not your friend.”
Today, I consider friends those people who I enjoy spending time with. Little by little, I’m learning to let go of the idealization part, the other requirements that brought me nothing but disappointment. I don’t expect anything from these people except that they shouldn’t expect anything from me as well. They shouldn’t expect me to always be there for them or expect me to always show up on time or whatever. I have deconstructed the word friend for myself and have successfully assimilated to it. And today, my friendships don’t disenchant me anymore.