One of the things that is always on my mind is relationships. How do they form? What causes them? What dissolves them? Why are they easier for some and not so for others? How do you maintain them? When is it best to end them? And most importantly, how do all these questions apply to me? And how can I be better at relationships?
Damn… Why did you have to start this off with so many questions? Now you got me asking them!
A lot of questions to take in, I know, which is probably why I’m going to break up this topic into parts. I’m not big on wordy blog posts. Most of you readers already know this, so why should I start now? I guess like any pop psychologist would say, “let’s start at the beginning” and discuss friendships.
Let me begin by saying that I don’t have many friends. As a matter of fact, I’ll go one step further and say I have only one friend: my best friend and wife, Claudia. The two or so others in my life are more akin to buddies and/or comrades at arms. Before anyone I know takes offense to this statement, I’ll try my best to define what a friend means to me. I’m a bit of a romantic and extremely idealistic. My escapism through TV shows and books in my childhood may have played a part in this.
Regardless, as unattainable as my ideals may seem, Claudia came into my life and fitted those parameters to a capital T. This may have also been the reason our relationship developed further, from friendship into something more. Like the movie “When Harry Met Sally” and from personal experience, I don’t think men and women can just be friends.
But Julio, What if the guy or the girl is gay and there is no possibility of any sexual attraction between them?
Ok, you got me. I was using a heterosexual-only paradigm. It’s what I know so pardon my neglect of other possibilities and/or factors. Let me elaborate on my hypothesis. If there is a possibility of any physical attraction between a party of two members, regardless of gender, who are trying to keep the relationship at a serious but platonic level; in all likelihood, that relationship will develop into something more than platonic or it will eventually break off into a relationship that is more distant.
Will you get to the point already! What is a friend to you dagnabbit?!
Without further ado, my definition of a friend is someone you can count on. Someone you can lean on for moral support when you’re down. Someone you can trust with all your secrets, who you can be completely honest with, your warts and all, without fear of judgement. Someone you trust implicitly and with whom you have your guard down because there is no ulterior motive or machinations that you need fear. Basically, what most people would call a best friend.
To me, anyone who falls short of my expectations listed above are buddies. And what is wrong with that? A buddy is someone who you choose to hang out with to have a good time. You may not trust them with your dirty laundry, but that doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy their company. Buddies are OK. Just don’t have “friend-like” expectations with them right off the bat or you may be heading down the road to bitter disappointment. That doesn’t mean that a buddy can’t become a friend or a friend won’t downgrade to buddy status. People change. As people change, so do their set values and definitions of their relationships. Like life, relationships are dynamic and can be uncertain. It isn’t a math problem that can be figured out with just pure logic. Faith and trust also play a part. The volatile concoction that is a friendship is what makes it so valuable.
I feel most people overuse the word friend so much that it has lost its meaning and luster. A friend should be someone who matters in your life. Someone who holds a special place in your heart, because you get to choose who your friends are, whereas you’re born into the family you have.
This seems like a good point to end part one of my series on relationships. I’ll keep all related articles linked to each other so it’ll be easy to follow the evolution of my thought process on this topic. Stay tuned.Follow @juliofromny