Dating for a Friend

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For whatever reason we are often faced with the need to make new friends in adult life, maybe you have moved, or your friend has moved, perhaps you’ve had a falling out over not picking them as a bridesmaid or maybe you’ve lost them forever. Whatever the reason the process is the same. I’ve moved many times now and every time I’ve had to make new friends. I’ve found this process exhausting, heart breaking, exhilarating and lonely. In fact the more times I’ve had to do this the more I’ve realised it’s exactly like dating for a life partner. The same fears, the same excitement and the same results. Yes I am dating for a friend at the moment and I’m exhausted, like anyone who’s been in the dating scene too long and longing for that special someone to share important milestones with, I too long for that special someone in the form of a friend. 

So what are these similarities I see?? Well it all starts by seeing someone who you see similarities with, maybe they have a child the same age as yours, maybe they are wearing a tshirt of a band you love, either way you see something that grabs your interest. The next step is the trickiest, although with age I’ve come to find it easy as I’m confident in myself, you need to go up and introduce yourself. Suddenly a conversation is started and you then have the nerve to exchange numbers. All the time in the back of your mind you’re thinking, someone as nice as them surely has many friends, probably a bestie they do everything with, why would they want me? Still you persevere because lets be honest that human contact was nice and you could use more, even at the risk of rejection. Now you have their number, do you message straight away and tell them you had fun or will that seem too needy? How long do you wait before you organise another meeting? What if they were just being polite giving you their number? No you felt a connection so you text and tell them you had a good time. You then spend hours analysing their response. What does it mean? If all goes well you get more catch ups and the friendship grows but the same fears creep out as they do in dating, what if you like them more than they like you? What if they’ll get sick of you, after all you are extremely needy. What if they simply don’t have space for you in their life?

Yes my friends, I’ve been doing this long enough to know all the ins and outs of finding that friend and I know not only how important having that friend is but also how hard it is to find the right one. Like dating you can settle for the first person to show you attention because you are lonely but let’s be honest they are probably not the one, maybe you’re in a friendship where the other person is always taking, or plain controlling, but your loneliness drives you to stay. Either way finding that person, who has a hole to fill in their life at the same time as you do, as well as having similar values and interests is almost impossible. It takes so long to find that friend that needs you as much as you need them but just like a life partner it is as vital to our happiness because with their love and support you can do anything.

I will always remember a work colleague in Canberra telling me quite bluntly that they didn’t have time for another friend. Yes in my desperate state she had sensed me trying to start a relationship which she quickly put an end to. At the time I felt brokenhearted, I took it really personally, what was wrong with me?? Why didn’t she have room for me? These days I get similar rejections, like when you date sometimes it just doesn’t work out. In the end I don’t want a friend who doesn’t want me and are my friend out of guilt or obligation. I can sit around moping thinking it’s me with the problem or I can pick myself up and realise not everyone will click and it’s not me that’s the problem it was just the combination. I just have to keep searching, because wasting my time with people who aren’t quite the right fit stops me from finding the perfect fit. 

Friendship keeps you sane, you need that sounding board, that cheer squad that is a great friend. That person who will push you to be the best you can be, to challenge you but also support you through the hard times. Yes a life long partner should be all those things but sometimes your partner can’t be everything you need. I find that another woman understand my emotional needs better, but having said that I couldn’t live with someone equally as emotional as me that’s why they are friends because they have a special place. If you have that support then you can achieve so much more and that is why I keep searching. It’s a bloody pain in the arse sometimes, or plain heartbreaking but in the end it’s such a wonderful thing it’s worth all the heartache. 

With that said treasure the friends you have, they are more important that you can imagine, cull the ones who are holding you back or abusive and if like me there is a hole keep on searching to fill it because when you find the one it truly is magical.

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