When we first met, I saw something in you and I thought to myself, “this is a person I’d like to get to know.” You were sweet, warm and caring.
But then, as I started to get to know you, I began to feel like you were looking for reasons for me to reject you.
Were you trying to prove some unknown accuser right? Were you testing me to see if I was really worthy of your friendship? If I’d stay loyal, or if, like a long string of previous “friends” I’d run the other way?
For months almost every conversation began with the refrain, “you probably won’t want to be friend anymore after I tell you this.” And over and over again I reassured you that none of them were reasons not to be your friend.
Eventually you stopped challenging me to stop being your friend.
I proved that I was committed to being your friend, even when life wasn’t perfect, even when you weren’t perfect, because that’s what a true friend does.
We began to bond, spending time together, really lovely times. Really wonderful memories. But time and again we’d make plans and you would find some reason why you needed to back out. The weather, your health, a conflicting event, your spouse, all apparently good and valid reasons. But I began to wonder if there was something wrong with me. Was there some reason that you were trying to find a way to NOT spend time with me?
As our relationship matured, I learned to live with the unpredictability. But it seemed like at the times that things were going well that you would suddenly be swimming in a drama that threatened to pull me in like quicksand, to suffocate me. Was it a drama of your own making? I couldn’t tell, I wouldn’t guess. I’d just hold on to the nearest tree branch and wait until the quicksand subsided.
But it was exhausting. Being your friend is exhausting, and chaotic, and unpredictable and a lot of work. A lot of work. All relationships take work, I’m not naive enough to think otherwise. But this relationship takes more work than any other I’ve ever been in. It takes more work than my marriage, more work than my relationship with my parents, more work than my relationship with my teenagers or my daughters-in-law, and that’s saying a lot.
I really love you. I really want to be your friend, but you make it just so hard.