hey pretty

Ceci n'est pas une "dating blog."

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Life in the Balance

You know that common struggle that women not in relationships commonly echo that they never get to see their friends with significant others because said friends are always caught up in their own romantic entanglements? Recently I feel caught up in an entirely different one. Namely, the struggle of illustrating to people that although I am seeing somebody, that this aspect of my life doesn't have to permeate all others. Until not long ago, I relished my singleness. I looked forward to the weekends, when I knew that inevitably, I would roll out with a girlfriend or four, in order to seek out whatever trouble might have been in store for us. And more times than not, trouble found us. In spades. But these days, there's another party to be accounted for, and although I want so much to incorporate him into my life, I'm still clinging to that desire for independence--for time out with my friends without him.

Yet as always, it seems that couples are everywhere, and the second you're a part of one everyone expects you to fully represent as part of a couple at all times. Even my friends who have always known me as single seem to expect me to mostly want to roll with Sailor. It's a tough adjustment to make. I live by the motto that boys are temporary, but your friendships are what endures, and yet it seems that in many cases, your single friends bond without you because another one lost from their ranks (for how long, who knows) causes their bonds to grow that much tighter. I am so not used to being on this side of the dynamic and it's a difficult position to settle down into and even accept. And of course, Sailor makes that somewhat challenging as well because he wants to spend time with me, and I have trouble saying no. Partially because I want to see him when I can, but also because I don't want him to feel isolated.

Also hard are platonic male friendships, a certain one in particular that has always been difficult. I've written about it here time and again. You know the one, you may have one like it. The friendship that has always straddled the line between friendship and romance, that never knows exactly what form to take. Not long ago, mine blew up in my face. Things got ugly, feels were hurt, I spent a large amount of time feeling anxious and scared that things would never be right, yet justifiably angry that my emotions were treated so lightly by somebody who claimed to care. Now, things are on the path to becoming right again. We're both in relationships and I think we're both recognizing a void where our friendship used to be so we're taking steps to rectify it. But I couldn't help but sense that Sailor may not be pleased with that. He sounded a little odd just now when I told him I'd be spending some quality time with said friend this evening.

A few years ago I fell madly in love. I let it consume all of my time and I had little left when things fell apart. In fact, I had something like 3 friends because I had neglected that aspect of my life for two whole years. I tend to function in extremes. With me, it tends to be all or nothing--superstar employee or total slacker; uber motivated fitness/diet freak or complete slob; total sweetheart or salty bitch. But I am trying, slowly but surely to roll those extremes together into a more unified package. Recently I have been wishing it was an easier undertaking.


Blogger Lickety Split said...

This is so well written that I wish I had some good advice for you. HP, I would say that your problem is by no means you-nique. The problem is that no single friend will want to feel like a third wheel. Then again you don't want to be defined as "half of a couple" but rather a "whole HP". Sadly, some of it is up to you but the rest is up to your friends. You can foster an environment where all of your relationships can flourish taking care to attend to all of them as needed BUT...your friends have to give you the opportunity to be either the girlfriend hanging out or the girlfriend in love and attached.

The platonic relationship is another casualty of meeting someone but I will say (as a man who's had a multitude of "platonic" relationships)that when sexual tension is introduced (ie, the remote possibility that sex may occur) the rules of friendship cease to apply. The ground rules now move on to be those that govern any romance even though it's not a legitimate one. I think that anyone that can cast away YOUR feelings at any time doesn't really merit your love in the first place. I hate to say it without knowing this fellow that you refer to but what's most important is that everyone's feelings are respected, for better or worse, regardless of who gets to romance whom...and that hasn't happened here. HP, if you'll permit me, I think that most "platonic" relationships are not really that. I think we convince ourselves that they are platonic because we fail to see that some low-level, romance-like emotions or suggestion exists. Then when it blooms and one of the parties is not willing to accept it (they aren't obligated to)it seems to blow up.

Just my 2 cents...sorry to ramble.

2:23 AM  
Blogger recovering overachiever said...

I whole heartedly agree! On all counts.
Everyone expects me to bring Sports Fan with me everywhere I go, and will relentlessly ask where he is if I don't bring him.
And, on the quasi-friend/more than friend relationship, RA and I have been working on our friendship again. That makes Sports Fan a little uneasy, but he's been very good about it so far.
Fingers crossed that we can be an individual with our own friendships and be part of a couple!

1:19 PM  

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