You’ll do for now…

I often like groups or pages on Facebook that my friends join to indicate my approval rather than joining them myself. One such page can be found here.

When I hit college age the gender balance in my friendships swung. Previously I’d been a guy who made friends with guys. After all a lot more teenage boys play soccer than teenage girls and what more are you interested in as a teenage boy apart from playing ball and balls playing? At third level in Ireland for every guy that attends university there are two women. The odds are in your favour. It was no surprise that I ended up with a lot of female friends. Some of it was the product of the clubs and societies I ended up in but another aspect was that, at that time, I felt I related to women better than I did men.

Over the past couple of years I’ve had a lot more online friendships and relationships than real life ones. I use the term real life to distinguish between relationships that occur more in the physical world compared to the virtual world. It’s funny but online relationships can become a lot more intense. There’s no chance to observe what’s going on with that person. That’s a big part of friendships in the real world. Virtually all you have to go on a lot of the time is the text that’s appearing in front of you. You can learn a lot in an online friendships but you can still know very little about the person you’re chatting with.

That doesn’t change the reality of these relationships though. You do make friends. You do have private jokes. You do share a lot and despite all the drawbacks you do have genuine friendships. Some of the greatest hurt I’ve ever known came as a result of a genuine, online friendship. Actually, a lot of the hurt I’ve known has come from online friendships. Maybe that should tell me something…

How much should a person’s other friendships change when they enter a relationship? It’s happened to me a few times now where I would chat regularly with a female friend and then they find a guy. It’s as if you never existed. You no longer figure in their life to any meaningful degree. They got their man and nothing else seems to matter. I don’t think this is a healthy state of affairs. It happens both ways. The general label where I’m from is that a man is whipped. I’m not sure what the female equivalent is.

If you find yourself cut out of a person’s life when they enter a relationship what does that say about your friendship? Obviously there are different seasons to life but how come so many of us seem to enter a cold, dark winter the moment someone else enjoys a warm, hot summer? It just seems wrong.


2 Responses to “You’ll do for now…”

  1. 1 Karita Saturday, 24 April 2010 at 08:23

    I think there is something very wrong if someone abandons their previous friendships for whatever rewason when they enter a relationship. I have been married for nearly three years and still have my existing real life friendships (albeit that is still a very small number). I get on just as well with men as I do with women and I am a flirt. I don’t mean to be a flirt but I have been told (by the husband no less!) that I am indeed a flirt. Thankfully he doesn’t mind. And I don’t mind that he is also a flirt. This is most likely because we trust each other absolutely and are therefore very easygoing in our relationship.

    Anyhoo, that was perhaps a tad off-topic. I also have true online friendships and they are wonderful. And just as easily open to hurt as real life friendships. Anybody who hurts you by abandoning you once they have entered a relationship was not a true friend in the first place, in my opinion. They clearly do not know the value of friendships. I just wish there was a way to figure this out before they hurt you!

  2. 2 shouldknowbetterbynow Sunday, 25 April 2010 at 11:45

    It does suck alright. I just question the logic and rationale of it. I also wonder what it says about the nature of the relationship between the friend and their significant other.

    Anybody who hurts you by abandoning you once they have entered a relationship was not a true friend in the first place, in my opinion

    Part of me feels the same way but I also feel there’s more to it than just that.

    It just sucks…

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