A friend in need

Lately, I have been pondering nature of relationships. More specifically, intimate relationships. Please drag your gutter-bound mind back here, because I’m actually referring to emotional, rather than sexual, intimacy. Clearly, it’s a no-brainer to say that there are different levels to the thing, but there has to be a break-even point where a relationship moves beyond the superficial to the intimate. At what stage do you stop being an acquaintance and start being a friend? All answers on a postcard, please.

To digress for a moment – someone whose insight I have come to respect immensely wrote that you can never truly know whether you are capable of doing something until you actually make the attempt. As a variation on the ‘actions speak louder’ theme, it may seem obvious, but it also extends to the sphere of relationships: You never know whether someone will be a friend until you make the connection.

For me, the level of emotional investment required for bona-fide friendship means that my friends are few and far between. Although this is not necessarily a bad thing, sometimes when the focus is too sharp, it burns. Still, given the choice, I think I would rather risk the flame than leave things to smoulder unattended. Fools may rush in, but I’m guessing that angels seldom get laid.

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20 thoughts on “A friend in need

  1. I have few friends probably due to the fact that I feel a lot of friendships are unfulfilling. I do believe that the best friendships are ones based on an emotional union.

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  2. I have few friends too but the ones I do have I know I’ll be in touch with them no matter how far away they are or how seldom we talk.

    It’s interesting because now, I’m trying to become friends with a man without him thinking that I want anything intimate. However, I’m not getting anything back from him. I know we’ll never move to that other level.

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  3. Here’s my postcard answer:

    Let’s meet, all of us. This would be an incredible discussion in a cafe which would last for hours. Some would bring stories of love and loss, and others would bring pencil and paper. Every single comment would be wolcome…true dialogue. I can project myself into that mental image as I comment. It would be a truly sublime communion…but would we be merely acquaintances or truly friends?

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  4. I’ve often wondered the same thing. How does an acquaintance become a friend? I have few friends – people that I trust with my secrets and my heart. I think that at some point in the relationship you realize that the person is trustworthy and that’s when they become your friend. You throw something personal out there and see what they do with it. It’s easy to get burned this way, but it’s worth the risk if you end up with a life long friend.

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  5. Trust is the most telling thing. If you trust someone so much you can tell her/him your secrets – then they are true friends (if they keep the secrets). My best friends are people with whom I can be apart for years and then when we do get together – it is as if we were never apart.

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  6. paul: A meeting of more than the minds, not so?

    nomad: I think that’s deserving of an entry all on its own.

    andrea: Don’t sell yourself short, Andrea. Your words are inspirational, too.

    scott: You bitch! Nobody likes a tease, you know.

    juliana: A pity. It’s never simple or easy to move on from disappointment.

    brian: Hey everyone, Brian’s organising a party!

    anduin: It’s weird that people are so tentative about taking that risk. What’s the worst that could happen? You might end up feeling foolish or disappointed, possibly. In life, you’ll have to deal with these as a matter of course, so what’s one or two more?

    kenju: As the old joke goes: “Can you keep a secret?” “Sure” “So can I”

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  7. The only way to keep a secret is not to tell anyone – come on we all learned that the hard way. I think by their very definition angel can’t get laid what would happen with all that sexual guilt if they did. Hey I grew up in SA too – I remember hearing you could get pregnant from sitting on a toilet seat that boys sat on …. I have come to realize that my friendship is a gift, one I can’t bestow on those who don’t deserve it. I used to work really hard at helping all I could and investing a lot of effort into many people. I have taken the list down to a handful and those people see my soul, the rest can join me for a good lag and will NEVER know any of my secrets, no matter how juicy they are!!! Great thought provoking post.

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  8. What a complicated post.

    Starting with “I’m actually referring to emotional, rather than sexual, intimacy” and finishing with “I’m guessing that angels seldom get laid.”

    Sure you know what you want?

    True friendship is a very special thing. I have many friends. I went to the same school from sub A to matric (grade 1 to 12) and have many friendships dating back to sub A. But true friendship is something really special.

    I know true friends because they care. They phone to find out where I’ve been. They don’t need anything from me but they want me around.

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  9. I agree. True friends are few and far between, but it also depends on what type of person you are. I have many friends because I make people laugh – ‘Mr Nice Guy’. But my best friend is my partner. She is the only one that I share my troubles with. I do not share my problems with anyone else.

    Does that mean that I don’t have any true friends or does it mean that I like to keep my problems to myself?

    True friends are those that are still around for years to come. Even if you haven’t spoken to them in 10 years, you will still have soemthing to share with them without feeling awkward about it.

    IMHO of course! πŸ˜‰

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  10. Tough question, Kyknoord. Or maybe I’ve just been burned too often. Unfortunately I’ve learned the hard way that if you try keep everything to yourself you eventually go into meltdown, so ja, I guess the only option is to take a deep breath and leap into the void. There can only be one of two outcomes: an ‘angel’ will catch you as you fall, or you will go splat.

    PS you won’t believe my word verification… “eeyor”… hahaha!

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  11. tripeak: I’m going to go and wait at the post-box now.

    tammy: It depends what do on the toilet seat, doesn’t it? If you sit down before he gets up…

    IITQ: You’re a sharp one, aren’t you? Put it this way, if people really knew what they wanted – or were at least consistent with their wants – life would probably be a lot easier.

    del: Personally, I believe that having your partner as your best friend is exactly as it should be.

    tj: Sizzle.

    terri: If you go splat often enough, you eventually learn to bend your knees and roll. Ahahahah! ‘eeyor’ is just priceless!

    jarvis: Thanks πŸ™‚

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  12. this has been on my mind too- i’m chicken when it comes to taking the next step, probably because i’ve been in too much of a hurry in the past and got my ass burned! unfortunately i fall into the “all or nothing” school- usually from date one… ROTFL! bad angel! bad! so now i stay at home…

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  13. Have just read jarvis’s comment on your commenting at Latin Lover’s site. Trust me to immediately think that it was a dating site or, even, a porno site! Rather than another blog.

    Or maybe it isn’t? πŸ™‚

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