more thoughts about friendship

 

“yeah, you go deep all quick and stuff, but it’s not really the same as getting to know someone over time and having the opportunity for them to disappoint you.”

maybe 2-3 years is the sweet time, the honeymoon phase, of a friendship. [sidenote: did you know that “honeymoon” in Spanish is, quite literally, “luna de miel”? being a nonnative (read: noob) speaker of a language has these perks, of your ears perking up at the sounds and literal meanings of words — of your mind immediately envisioning a full, yellow moon of comb, dripping with honey at the sound of “luna de miel” that “honeymoon” simply does not conjure up because you’ve become desensitized to the cuteness of that word, in its naked self, stripped of all its contextual trappings. if I were talented at illustrating, at this moment, I would try to draw a naked-in-a-cute-way WORD. someone do this for me.]

and after this period, chara said, you start to come to a period of conflict. 

-because you start getting to know a person better, in all their good sides and their bad ones?- I proffered.

well yes, that, but what I wanted to say was that after this period, you come to a place where you have certain expectations of a friendship of [however many] years and so does that other person. and more often than not, these expectations will not match up perfectly. at least that’s what I can deduce the reason to be; that’s the overarching umbrella reason for conflict in my long-term friendships: mismatched expectations. do you know about the [example of just this thing] of second year?

-this…makes sense. buhcause, [offers example of just this thing] that happened my first year!

-and, and, and I wonder if all relationships are like this. but other kinds of relationships have more rules decided by society on how they “should” sorta be. take romantic relationships, for example. society, more or less, dictates certain expectations for a romantic relationship. like, an average healthy, happy couple should probably talk to each other [some range of] times per week. and you should probably see each other [some range of] times per week, or per month, or whatever. and for anniversaries, you should probably do [whatever kind of thing] to celebrate. you know? like, there are certain EXPECTATIONS for a romantic relationship, predetermined, that are just not so for friendships. expectations for friendships can be wildly varying, and that’s where the trouble comes in, because you’re not really sure where that person could be coming from, in terms of what they are expecting from this friendship with you. people love and feel loved in different ways. people are and inspire different kinds of thoughts and feelings that makes this whole thing of RELATINGships really very complicated. it’s like a beautiful thing, too, though, that it’s this freeform, freewilly kind of substance, malleable and putty-like in your collective four hands (or six or eight or seven).

yeah! exactly. basically, I think it’s inevitable that you’re going to disappoint and be disappointed by these mismatched expectations. 

-but see? I haven’t really. it’s only been the peachy, moon-of-honey years of friendships (mmm peach + honey) that I’ve lived. I feel sort of stunted in this. but also…glad that I get to learn this in theory before mucking it completely up in practice. I feel much better equipped for this.

what you have to do is decide that a relationship with that person is worth pushing through that disappointment and make it work. there are gonna be sad moments; there are different kinds of friends for different portions of you and portions of your life. and that’s okay. 

-friendship is hard!! what the heck.

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