Value that is found in friendships is often the result of a friend demonstrating the following on a consistent basis:
- The tendency to desire what is best for the other
- Sympathy and empathy
- Honesty, perhaps in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth, especially in terms of pointing out the perceived faults of one's counterpart
- Mutual understanding and compassion; ability to go to each other for emotional support
- Enjoyment of each other's company
- Trust in one another
- Positive reciprocity — a relationship is based on equal give-and-take between the two parties.
- The ability to be oneself, express one's feelings and make mistakes without fear of judgement.
Now, I don't know about you, but I don't have all of these things in every single friendships I have, and yet I still value those connections. I find it sad that I know I definitely don't have the final one in many of my relationships. There is always that fear of judgement with some of my friends. And relatives actually.. And I have tried to bridge that gap. I've tried to talk about what I find interesting and what I'd like to do, but you know what? For some people, it's just not what they're interested in. It's just a bit too much openness for them to manage.
And in those relationships that I feel I can be myself, there feels a lack of other things that might need to be there. This all boils down to - I don't think any friendship I have will ever be perfect. And that's okay. I've come to terms with that. But what I really love seeing in a relationship of any kind? Discussion. Communication. Mutual trust and reciprocity. These things are beautiful.
Back to my thoughts on different types of relationship. I have a few relationships which have been on my mind a lot lately - I'm sure you only have to read back to other posts to see this - and I've been wondering about their make-up. Not cosmetics, no, but why they feel so different from traditional relationships to me. I have had friendships before where everything felt reasonably similar - sure, each person offered me something a little different depending on their personality, their drive, their motivations, but really most friendships felt the same. I had more attachment to some people and less to others, but that was the most that differed. And now I have relationships in my life which are entirely different. The one I share with Xin is comforting in it's constancy, but is still ever-changing. There is a mutual curiosity in each other that seems constant - a caring and nurturing feeling that I don't think would be present in a relationship that is much newer.
In other relationships, there are feelings that I don't understand. I have tried to take the road of sanity and not think about them too much, but that doesn't stop me pondering things occasionally. That's just the way I'm built. (Plus, lately I've been having a few bouts of feeling very tired, so it gives me more time to think things over.)
I feel like some of the relationships I have are not quite friendships, but they aren't quite romantic relationships either. Many people say that I shouldn't seek labels for things - I was told this many times when it came to being sick - but that's how I understand my world. This doesn't mean I want to stereotype... This is hard to explain. In certain cases I find I need a name to understand something more effectively. I do not mean to use that name to take away the power of the item itself or the feelings associated to it. It just makes me feel like I can related more effectively. That may be ignorant or selfish, but it's the way I currently operate.
Perhaps I should let go of this idea. I guess I mostly want a name because then it would be easier for me to deal with when I can't talk to these people, etc. Perhaps that is what I need to deal with? Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps.
More later. Maybe. :P