Thursday, August 27, 2009


So I've been thinking a lot about friends lately. Somebody (I can't remember who!) wrote recently about the different kinds of friends, and yesterday I came across this post by Bravone. To sum up, I pretty much suck at making friends, and lately I suck even more at keeping them. I think I grew up keeping my distance from people, even my parents, because I didn't want them to get close enough and discover my "secret". I had friends in high school, but after that I was never very close to many of my mission companions, roommate, ward members, or neighbors. And I'm pretty much still that way, even though my secret is not so secret anymore. The weird thing is, I crave close relationships with much so, that when I find someone I want to be close to I tend to overdo it and either scare them away or get too emotionally attached and end up getting hurt.

Case in point: friend #1. Met him not too long after I moved back to Utah from Seattle. Hung out and talked alot, got close, wanted more, got hurt, retreated, got close again, got hurt again. Stopped talking when he got sick of me and got a boyfriend. We recently reconnected, I helped him out with some stuff, but kept him at an emotional distance. He did something, I reacted in a way that I sincerely thought was out of love and concern for him...and got pretty much shut down for it. That hurt alot, and I was mad at myself for even letting him back into my life. I'm a very forgiving person (or just hate letting people go? glutton for punishment?) so we talk now and again...but it's just not the same. I considered him my best friend at one point...what happened?

Case in point: friend #2. Met him through another friend, thought we had pretty similar experiences and personalities. Talked alot, didn't hang out because he was away at school, got close, he came back from school and we got even closer...hung out alot, shared what was going on with us, etc. He was in the process of coming out, and I think I was an emotional support for him...introduced him to my friends, took him to meet a new (for both of us) crowd of people...and that was the end. He met other people and we talked and hung out less and less. He got a boyfriend and we pretty much stopped talking altogether. I've made attempts to keep the friendship going, but they've only backfired. It hurt for awhile, then I didn't care for awhile, and I've pretty much decided it's not worth the effort anymore. I considered him my best friend at one point...what happened?

Case in point: friend #3. Met him about a year ago, liked him alot, he kind of liked me back, but wasn't ready for anything more than friendship. I was ok with that, and we talked and hung out alot (does this sound familiar yet?) At one point we ended up messing around...which resulted in me feeling emotionally closer to him, and him pushing away slightly. We still talked, and hung out when he had time, but it was always me texting him first, and always me inviting him to hang out. Messed around a little bit more, I got closer, he got farther...and we finally had a good talk that was a long time coming. I was honest, he was honest, I was crushed but not bitter and wanted to stay friends. I took some emotional distance, and he....kind of disappeared. I'm trying to keep the friendship going, but he's a very busy guy and doesn't have alot of time. I don't want to be the one always calling and always wanting to do things...I want him to show some friend love toward me. Can't force it though, obviously, and we're drifting apart now. I considered him my best friend at one point...what happened?

This post sounds pretty negative, and I'm sure I could take more responsibility in what happened with my three friends...maybe if I were less needy, more extroverted, etc. things might be different. I do the best I can though. Luckily I have two newer friends that I feel close to and trust...hopefully I can keep those friendships positive.


Anonymous said...

For what it's worth: I like you for exactly who you are.

Michael said...

I really like how you have opened up about this all. I hope it helps you and others realize things better.

Bravone said...

David, one thing that has helped me is to develop a network of friends so I don't become to reliant on any particular friend. I have 4 or 5 'close' friends and many more good friends and yet more acquaintances.

When I become to dependent on one friend, I invariably get hurt. It isn't so much that I or they do anything wrong, it's just that our needs and perceptions are often different.

Also, I think it's important never to burn a bridge. The post you referenced was inspired by two different friends, one straight one gay. The straight friend and I had an awesome talk a few weeks back that I'll have to blog about. We healed our friendship. It won't ever be quite the same, but I'm okay with that.

The second friend and I also talked and he is just in a different place than he was when we first met. His needs have changed. It's all good. We are friends, just more casual now.

Good luck my friend.

Ben said...

Holy moly! The way you described your younger years and how you pushed people away because of your "secret" is exactly how I was. I'm in college now, and I'm walking the exact same path you described about your college years. I just recently met a guy with SGA here at school. I wouldn't consider him my best friend now, but there's potential since we're both pretty similar in some ways. But I'm afraid our friendship will end up your lost friendships.

Anyway, nice post, you got me thinking, and nice to meet you.

Anonymous said...

That was my post about different kinds of friends... :)

Bravone said...

Why did I call you David? It is a curse! I have a brother David, and people that don't know I have a brother David still call me David. Sorry man. I love your name :)

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