Posts Tagged 'Friendships'

Loneliness

I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me. This has got to be the longest a lonely phase has went on for me in my entire life. It started around Christmas and seems intent on bugging me all the way into 2012. I don’t know what to do about it. It’s frustrating. How one side of me can be so wailing like a baby, “I’m so lonely!” and the other side looks on it with contempt as this distracts me from getting work done. It sucks though. It’s an ache like no other. I’m not sure how I’ll handle it if it continues.

The idea of coming home and talking to my girl about my day. Hearing about her day. Maybe giving her a massage or something if she’s had a bad one. Me just laying my head down on her lap and chatting as she plays with my hair. Or helping her with her projects. Supporting her. Getting excited for her. There’s nothing wrong with these feelings. I don’t think the fact I feel them is particularly unique. Maybe the fact I articulate them but that’s for another blog post.

This seems to be worse than the usual run of the mill loneliness. The 5% I talk about when I say that 95% of the time as a single guy I’m fine. That 5% is generally just a “I’d like a cuddle” loneliness. This one seems much more structural in nature. I know I’m designed to connect with people. That’s part of my problem. I can come on very strong. I stay in touch. I email people I met for a few days years ago because I got on with them so well. I actually get hurt when someone says they’ll email me or text me or phone me and fail to do so. I know when that’s said it’s not really going to happen. That it’s said in order for the person to end a conversation or as a throw away to soothe their own conscience. And 95% of the time I just smile to myself when I hear it. But 5% of the time I get really sad when I don’t get that email or phone call.

I worry about loneliness though. I don’t ever want to have a girlfriend who just fills the gap. I don’t feel it’s fair to the woman involved – human female with a pulse? You’ll do! I guess my number one problem is not having had a real relationship. All my relationships have been long distance. I have no real life experience of a girl who lives a short drive away. My main fear is coming on too strong in whatever ends up as my first relationship.

It’s connected to other things in my life no doubt. 2010 is the year of change for me and there may yet be a whole load more change than I thought there would be from the start of the year. Change and solitude. People leaving my life. I don’t know if they’ll ever come back. Some of it is intentional then. Withdrawing from other aspects of life. I’m not sure what I want from life. That’s the first problem. To a certain extent I’m not even sure who I am any more. Loneliness comes quite easily when you don’t recognize yourself.

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.


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