Getting over temporary people is definitely a learning process…
As I’ve probably mentioned in previous posts, my parents are divorced and have been for over a decade. As I’ve also stated, witnessing divorce can take a major toll on how you evaluate the relationships in your life. People coming and going through life’s revolving door is a common thing that all people go through. But, personally speaking, it can be a little hard to let go once people end up in your life. In fact, it contributes to my biggest fear of ending up alone.
It sometimes seems like there’s no true middle ground: either you accept that everyone is temporary and don’t develop relationships with anyone, or you open yourself up to relationships with people and feel absolutely awful when they leave you. Sometimes, with the latter, comes this delusion of grandeur. You’d like to imagine that opening yourself up to relationships will mean that you’ll be rewarded with a bond. However, as time passes, you learn that bonds can sometimes be one sided. You may believe that you have a potential something, while the other person doesn’t feel that way at all. This can be in regards to friendship as well as romantic relationships.
I’ve lost count of the number of times that I consistently texted ex-friends first when I thought that they were slipping away from me, possibly hoping that reminding them of my existence will make things change. And I lost count of the times when, after days of what seemed like the building up to something great, guys just kind of lost interest in me. My first instinct was to believe that I was doing something wrong. Maybe I wasn’t interesting enough, or maybe someone else was more intriguing than I was. Maybe I was too awkward or negative or boring. And even if I feel that I’ve “adjusted” my personality to be the perfect friend or potential girlfriend, it doesn’t work.
Walking back to my dorm, alone, gave me time to think about my relationships and how things change once you enter adulthood. One thing my father told me growing up was: “Not everyone is going to be your best friend.” And while I didn’t understand it in middle school, I suppose I understand it better now. Growing up and experiencing flaky friends has taught me that not everyone is fit to be a “best friend.” Sometimes, people are fit to be acquaintances at best, while others are relegated to simply friends. At the moment, I’d like to think that I have at least 2 best friends. While I’d love to be a person who has multiple best friends that can grow into a giant circle of satellites around the planet that is Me, I don’t think I’m that type of person. I haven’t been that type of person in years. I’ve always been someone who hangs around the fringes of friendship circles. In other words, I have multiple acquaintances, some friends, and very few best friends.
There are no rules for the way things are.
I’ve learned that being my best friend should be considered a privilege for both people involved, not just one. When it becomes the type of relationship where interaction only happens when I initiate it, it’s clear that they’re no longer my friend. The hardest part is admitting that it’s okay to move on and let them go. Especially when it’s someone that you see so much future potential with in regards to what the friendship could be.
As for dating, it’s a bit of the same but slightly different. As someone who isn’t much of a dater, I’ve had 2 pseudo-relationships. Neither of them blossomed into anything huge. The last guy and I remained in that odd relationship limbo where we weren’t dating, but we weren’t friends either. We were comfortably floating between the two. We talked about everything, and taught each other about things the other never really had interest in. We debated, we insulted (playfully, always), we were flirtatious, and we were silly. And this lasted (on and off) for almost 2 years. Then suddenly it was nothing. We drifted, the conversations hit dead ends and we had no place else to go. So it ended. And it hurt like hell. I won’t lie and say that a little part of me hopes that we could go back to what it was before. But coming to terms with it ending has been a hell of a battle.
In my mind, I can’t help but compare every guy I talk to to him. And even when I tell myself that different people mean different interactions, I can’t help but wish I could just replicate it again. I still talk to guys here and there. And sometimes I hope that it’ll blossom into something. When it doesn’t, I’m disappointed. But I eventually shake it off and move on. So I suppose that could be considered progress.
Every so often, one guy will come into my life who I take a liking to, and when it falls flat, my first instinct is to try and make it work even when it won’t.
I’ve stopped. For one, I know that that type of desperation would be something my matriarchs would be ashamed of. Second, like friendships, I’ve learned that you can’t force someone to stay when they don’t want to. If someone genuinely had an interest in me I wouldn’t have to fight for their attention. Ever.
The motto is: People will come and go in seasons.
I always value the people who do enter my life and influence me in a positive way. Even if they don’t stay, I’d like to think that they entered my life for a reason. I may not understand the reason right away. It might take me years before I understand. I doubt letting go gets any easier. But knowing that it’s a normal experience does make it seem a bit easier.