10/23/10 11:11PM

I'm sitting here watching Nip Tuck, and it strikes me... People are so vulnerable, and we adapt our relationships to our vulnerability... Not to the needs of the relationship. There are three basic relationships that we have: family; friends; romantic relationships.

Family, we're pretty much stuck with... which means we tend to be at our worst with our family. We know who they are and have been... We can do our worst, and they still must be in some sort of communication with us. It is a bond that we are biologically tied to, without choice... It can be good or bad, but it will always be there... We are forced to accept every family member.

Friendship is so beautiful. You select your friends, but you select a variety of people... They serve different needs within you... You may have different friends for different parts of who you are. You don't have to hold your friends to the same standards as you do a romantic partnet, either... For that matter, most people really don't have "standards" for their friends. You rely much more on chemistry. Sure, friends can violate trust... But it's a WHOLE LOT HARDER to do. We are not as vulnerable with our friends as we are in family relationships, because we can get away from our friends. We are not as vulnerable as we are with a life partner, because you don't have to come to a decision on who your friend will be... You can have as many as you need/want. We can be more of who we are with our friends. We don't have to worry as much about rejection, because we aren't held at as high of standards by our friends. Love, from our friends, is a lot less costly. We can mess up majorly, and they don't take it as personally. You aren't as much of a part of their identity!

In romantic relationships, we tend to be very vulnerable. There's only one person who you will spend your life with, ultimately. There is a sense of finding one person, exclusivity, judgement, etc... You have to pick one person, and so trust means a very different thing than it does within every other relationship in your life. It really puts your relationship in a box... It means you have to make sure that you fit together, and if you don't it can be devistating. With friends, they don't stick around all day and give you priority over everything else. With a partner, you get one-on-one personal attention a great deal of the time. That person has to be able to deal with you, and give you what you need.

If you mess up with your partner, there is the potential for them to be extremely disappointed. If you mess up with your family, there's the potential that they will disfellowship you or be seriously disappointed. Your friends, however, are not going to be horribly disappointed, more than likely. Unless every friendship you have is political, your friends will just love you... You can be a cheater, get arrested, get drunk and pass out, have a nervous breakdown, lose your job, etc... I've counseled people who have gone to drug rehab and lost everything, except for a few good friends. You have to love God for inventing friends... Isn't it an amazing invention?... Making us capable of deep and meaningful connection outside of our romantic and familial relationships... It saves sanity... Having people whose reputation you have very limited ability to tarnish... I mean... How wonderful...

Our friends don't define us... Our family defines our past, which may be embarassing makes us vulnerable. They define the part of us that we can not deny... It's who we are genetically and without choice. Our partner defines our future and who we want to be... Our friends, on a much more real note, collaboratively define who we are now. No one of them has the responsibility to define us totally, but they do collaboratively.

I find that I've always been much more careful around people I'm dating, then I am around my friends. I feel like I'm being tested by people I choose to date, whereas my friends just kind of accept me as a total package. If I do something dumb, the person I'm dating might question whether or not I'm the right person for them... whereas my friends weigh my stupid actions against all of the good things about me... and then see that the good outweighs the bad... and that I'm worth keeping around. We are so much more careful about chosing a partner.

So, it's just something I've been thinking about lately. What makes us vulnerable in romantic relationships? What makes us feel so in need of definition of our standards. I think that we don't really need standards, though.... I think if we all just went back to enjoying our partners for the people that they are, as we did before we dated, we'd all be in a lot better of shape.
  • fullofgrace
    by fullofgrace at 10/25/10 1:36AM
  • aucowgirl
    hence why it helps to be friends with your romantic partner.
    by aucowgirl at 10/25/10 11:37AM
  • redmartineau
    The fact that it's two months after the writing of your post that I choose to write this makes it clear what kind of friend I am, but you are right, and I am glad that you (as part of the collaborative assembly of people who define the me of the now) are my friend!
    by redmartineau at 12/22/10 7:27PM

10/18/10 7:24PM

Life... oh life... oh-ho life... oh life... ooooh... life... oh life... oooh-hooo li-i-ife.... oh life... ooohho...

06/20/10 11:56AM

A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave. - Mohandas Gandhi

If this is true, I'm ridiculously brave. I feel like I love really recklessly, and like other people don't appreciate my love. I feel misunderstood and totally torn down when my love is not returned. I feel like people take so much love from me, without returning it... I feel used for it, sometimes.

When I read this quote, though, I felt better. I feel strong for having the love to give. I feel brave for loving people who don't love me back. I just don't know when to stop expressing that love for people... It takes a lot out of me to love without anything in return.

What do you do when you do everything to tell and show your love and support for people without anything in return? How do you keep giving love? Or is it impossible, and do you stop? I don't know... I feel tapped out of love, though.
  • redmartineau
    I sometimes feel that way too. Although not always the case, most of the time the people I love actually do love me back as much as I hope, I just can't see the ways.
    I realize that I've probably not had any influence on your life, if you remember me at all, but I remember you. I remember your reckless love of friends, and how you lit up a room. So meager comfort though it be, there is plenty of love out there for you, your friends, and those who still remember you even though it's been years since they've seen you, love you.
    by redmartineau at 06/21/10 8:50PM

03/23/10 10:19PM

Have NOT been taking care of myself. That ends today... My self-care has been slowly declining for about a year. I need to get back on track. No more eating out at junky places, no more sitting around on my bum, and no more working WAY too hard. It's all up hill from here, baby!!!
  • sunshinelove05
    You can do it! Babies have a way of forcing you to take better care of yourself because you are also taking care of them. :)
    by sunshinelove05 at 03/23/10 10:33PM
  • chooselove

    eat some apples. i've been binge eating apples and they are lovely for feeling good and doing good things for my...everything. except for when the peeling gets stuck between my teeth. that's sorta just annoying.
    by chooselove at 03/23/10 11:37PM
  • fullofgrace
    me too!

    this morning i drank V8, a bunch of water and a protein shake.

    around 4 this afternoon i consumed a half a can of pringles, a quarter pound of cheddar cheese, and two honey buns.


    i'll try again tomorrow.
    by fullofgrace at 03/24/10 11:48PM
  • caty
    by caty at 03/25/10 9:25PM
  • chooselove
    oh peni...
    by chooselove at 03/31/10 5:56PM
  • fullofgrace
    by fullofgrace at 04/18/10 11:35PM

03/20/10 11:28PM

Life seems to be getting exponentially better. Please pray for me. I feel like every time I get up, I get knocked down... most of the time, harder than before.
  • fullofgrace
    by fullofgrace at 03/20/10 11:58PM
  • chooselove
    gotta get everything knocked down sometimes so it's all level and God can start building all fresh and beautiful
    by chooselove at 03/21/10 2:01AM
  • caty
    That's a really good way of looking at it.
    by caty at 03/21/10 1:14PM
  • chooselove
    remind me of that when i'm the one lying in the heap of rubble ;) much harder to remember it then.
    by chooselove at 03/21/10 9:47PM