friendships - sad vent - posible link mono v poly styles
I have been banging my head for a while agaist the wall of a friend X who I'm coming to see as unconsiously selfish. She comes to me for support and I like helping her but she is very restricted in her world view and distances herself from people with problems she doesn't understand/ can't relate too whilst they're having them, this includes me and makes me feel somewhat rejected. I think she does care about me to a point but not as much as i would like her to. I'm not sure how to deal with this.
Brining things to a head. We wth a couple of others (all the girls but me are in hetro mono relationships) have had "girls night" meeting for dinner every week or so for the past couple of years and I have loved girls night and the emotional support I've gotten from it. Last night X and y (one of the others girls) told me they don't want to do girls night any more and basicly they've only been keeping it going the last few months because its important to me. y wants to stop because of some personality clashes and x because she thinks co-ordinating our admittedly busy schrdules as a group is too much bother. They both would rather meet up individually. I have to accept their feelings, but I am really sad about it. There are two issues
1) i really like the supportive group perspective, maybe this is a poly vs mono issue? they like to have friendships seperate, i like the criss crossing? Has anyone else noticed this with friendships/ friendship groups?
2) it gives our friendships a framework, I don't really believe that they will be bothered to keep in touch with me, because they have bfs and busy lives and generally i'm always the person who initiates meet ups. I think they enjoy them, they generally accept and we have fun. but if thats the case why don't they initiate them? am I just kidding myself?
since they told me Y has been supportive and indicated that she's still there for me, its the shape of the dynamic that doesn't work for her, this reassures me that she cares about me
X hasn't been in touch at all, this hurts me, on the one side she claims to care about me but I'm not sure she does, i think see trusts me which is nice but different. needless to say i care a lot about her. Part of me wants to explain my needs to her, that i want her to listen to and care about me and support me thru this transitonary time in my life, but i suspect that if its not freely offered its not something she can give. What do you think?
Also I'm confused about how to react next time she comes to me with a problem (i don't think she'll contact me otherwise) the hurt part of me wants to tell her too F O, but thats not particularly positive, or how i wan't to be. but don't want to be used :0(
Anyhow, I spose I'll get over it, i will try to estabish a new group situation and culivate my friendships with people who can show that they care about me/give be what i need as well as vice virsa, i've found writing this has helped sort it out abit in my head, so thanks for reading and thoughts appriciated
Honestly, people have different perspectives and wants and needs when it comes to friends. I am very close to friends but the way we hang out and where we hang out is very fluid. It has to be as we are "just" friends. People come and go and we stay in touch
I live in a town where, as people here have seen, I go to 15 to 20 going away parties a year. It is a transient town and this is something I have grown used to. Friendships outside of this bubble are no different, albeit the rotation moves slower. Its natural imo.
As for your "needy" friend. There are lots of people like that, some people just can't be helpful to others as their problems encompass their entire lives. They see everything else as less meaningful than their problems. I have never found a way to deal with these friends beyond
a) stick with them and keep playing the role they need
b) drop them like a rock because it is a one sided selfish relationship
I am a sucker for helping people, so its usually (a) for me...:)
Thanks ari, i appriciate the empathy.
I think she equates deep caring and responsibility only to family (including her bf) not friends :0( though she is happy to accept support from friends. (she has always got just one person she feels emotionally closest to, be it her bf or a platonic friend) I have always had deep feelings for a number of friends at the same time and can't imagine switching feelings on and off as she seems to. I have to accept we are very different. (this is the tangential platonic mono/poly styles i was aluding to)
the sadness i feel at the ending of girls night is probably a slightly seperate issue in that it just highlights that I've to an extent been probably been using my friends as emotional substute for a LTR and need to find my own partner(s) still there we go.
i'm totally with you on a) and thats prob the way i'll go, as eyes open thats more the way i want to be, thanks again
"I think she does care about me to a point but not as much as i would like her to."
Even as friends, others can be "just not that into you." This can result from life circumstances as much as anything. It seems that all relationships exist in waves. Sometimes you're close and sometimes you drift. If you love her as a friend, there's no reason to shut down the relationship, but you may have to let any expectations of her go.
I feel your pain. It's not really fair... to care so much and not receive it in return.
To believe, what you put out there will always be returned, is in a lot of ways an unfair expectation. I love our ex, but have none of it in return. To claim that is unfair puts pressure on her. Once you give, without the expectation of something to receive...things become easier
I write that easily btw, but this is a lesson I am learning myself. I suffered with a lot of pain when I knew, for the first time in my life, the love I gave someone wouldn't be returned. But it has been a worthwhile lessons in living without expectation.
I have had friendships like this. Actually I do have a current friendship like this.
I choose to not put an emotional investment into the friendship because I know that the depth I put into what I consider *REAL* friends will not be returned. I don't think she's capable of it.
On the other hand - I have a few new friends that are phenomenal. I think that in the grand scheme of things, these friends will likely be as emotionally connected as I can get - and I will match my emotional investment to theirs.
Some people just don't know how to give.
Some people give too much. I tend to be the 'give too much' type person - I'm learning a healthy balance.
Its all about finding your own level of comfort with those types of people - and accepting them for who they are :)
In terms of poly vs mono - I prefer one on one situations for my friendships. Or few on one - I don't like groups or lots and lots of people :)
Fair was the wrong word. No one is guaranteed happiness, and we cannot expect others to make us happy. Love, friendship, etc. is not born of obligation. But hopes can be dashed, and we can be hurt. I was acknowledging the pain. I think we have to recognize pain before we can release it.
her feelings change more often than mine do. That's not fair! *shakes fist and stamps feet like a 2 year old*
"I was acknowledging the pain. I think we have to recognize pain before we can release it."
Thanks for the empathy jade, i guess thats what i've been trying to do
and ari think to an extent you are right relationships aren't fair, i've been consious of not putting pressure on X (i e i haven't told her how i feel) because i genuinely don't feel its something she's done out of choice. she's never tried to hurt me, just our outlooks/styles have
"Its all about finding your own level of comfort with those types of people - and accepting them for who they are"
I think your right marksbabygirl, that's what i'm trying to do,
"In terms of poly vs mono - I prefer one on one situations for my friendships. Or few on one - I don't like groups or lots and lots of people" there are 5 of us which is comfortable for me (but obv not for 2 of my friends any more) i suppose even in poly theres those who preffer v's or networks or triangles / other mutual configurations - was just a little musing
feel alot better now, thanks for giving me the opprtunity to vent
In my case, I'm aware that I don't often make an initiative to make plans with my friends. I've even mentioned it to friends before, so that they don't take it as me not liking them. If one of them were to tell me they need more of an effort on my part, I would make more of an effort. I would put reminders on my calendar to call them once a week and invite them over for coffee.
Thanks for the empathy and suggestions, SchrodingersCat, also you reminded me i haven't updated the progress.
using this vent was really helpful for me cool down and help me crystalise my thinking. Also its been a time where I've learned alot about my emotional needs
(hadn't really considered them before)
I met up with Q (another girls night member) she is also upset that X and Y don't want to do girls night any more, so we've decided to start a "friendly night" (run on same lines but as we have the chance to reform ourselfs udating "rules" to include blokes, starting with I, who's Q's partner and also a good friend of mine) and take it from there, win! :D. Z who's the fith origional G's night member said she'll continue attending sporadically - so that's really nice
With X, having had the chance to cool down, still a bit disapointed she hadn't contacted me, i texted her (she went on holiday couple of days after our last meeting) and let her know that due to a difference in styles (and my personal situation) I feel insecure about our friendship and that it would help me to believe that she cares about me it she could make a note in her diary to initiate contact with me at least once a month, but if she preferred not that would be fine. I feel this puts the ball in her court. She texted back saying it hadn't occured to her I was upset and v appologetic, and that we'll see each other when she gets back. So feeling hopeful about this. And to be honest now i've processed it I can be more detatched from it by recognising our differences.
"Rather than waiting for her to come with a problem, what about being proactive? Find a time when she doesn't have an overwhelming problem, and talk to her about how you're feeling and how the relationship feels one-sided, see if she has any feelings about that or was even remotely aware."
You were totaly right there!
In my case, I'm aware that I don't often make an initiative to make plans with my friends. I've even mentioned it to friends before, so that they don't take it as me not liking them. If one of them were to tell me they need more of an effort on my part, I would make more of an effort. I would put reminders on my calendar to call them once a week and invite them over for coffee
I think X is like you, i hope so :)
"This, unfortunately, is just one of those things that happens as you get older. Your friends start pairing off and starting families. Their priorities change. When you're the only single person left in your group of friends, it's easy to feel bummed out. So go out and find some younger friends who have a while to go before they pair off, and who will appreciate your age and experience."
I appriciate the sentiment, but i think for me a better solution is to continue nuturing my current friendships and finding a LTR of my own to settle into (and horray for polyamory for showing me an LTR style that doesn't give me the screaming heeby-geebys!:D) my concern is if i'm continually looking for people who are (mono emotionally and single) i will continually be dissapointed as they "move on" - not really what i want.
The majority of my friends are what i think of as polyaffectionate in that they can have very close reciprocal friendships in addition to their pramary relationship, that fullfill different needs.
I think X was closest to me when she single because of HER attachment style, (serial monogamist) i was a substitute partner for Her whilst she was single, but although it was nice she didn't fulfill the same role for me, she can only feel really close to one person at a time, she has moved on to find her bf which is brilliant, and i accept she can't care about me as much as she once did. Its sad because my emotions are the same, but i recognise that we are different and that she does still care about me but in a different way. This is prob all good practice for when i do find my poly relationship :)
Thanks again for kind thoughts and perspective sharing
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