Holidays and everything aside, this past week I’ve managed to do a bit of self reflecting. Like most people, I generally like to see the good in well, myself.
Yes, I can be incredibly hard on myself, but at the end of the day I like to think that I have some basic ‘good’ qualities. I like to think of myself as smart, funny, nice and a good friend. I’ve always felt that I was the type of person who wouldn’t be judgmental.
Okay. That’s a lie. I’m SUPER judgmental.
But I always figured that quality was in reference to strangers, to new co-workers or people I thought needed to ‘prove’ themselves. I always figured that when it came to established friends, that they’d pass some secret, super, awesome friend test and would come out the other side relatively unscathed and have a free pass in my no judgement zone.
I mean, sure. Maybe I’d raise an eyebrow at that shirt. Or perhaps roll my eyes at your opinion on the latest Nolan movie. Hell, I might not even like your new girlfriend, but I thought when it came down to the bones of it, I’d be there for you: loving, nurturing and above all else, supportive.
And when it came down to it, I managed to do those basic qualities for a good amount of time. Had a bad day at work? Yeah, I’m there for you. Boyfriend dumped you? Sure, let’s go grab a coffee and bitch about what a douche he was. Friends not being supportive? Well fuck ‘em. But you’d think that above all else, when something ‘good’ happened, I’d be able to be just as supportive, loving and non-judging as the next person. You’d think that when a new couple emerged, especially one from my own social circle, I could smile and be happy for them. I mean, here’s two people that I care for on some level, you’d think that them finding happiness within each other would thrill me.
Unfortunately that’s not the case.
Despite having a basic countdown for the past couple of months of when these two love birds finally stopped the ‘we’re just friends’ bullshit and moved onto the ‘yeah, we’re together’ phase, I could smile and wish them all the best. That I wouldn’t shake my head behind their backs, that I wouldn’t bitch to all my other friends, ranting about them or their decision to do things this way.
And for the past few months, I always thought I was in the right. They’re lying to themselves, they’re making bad decisions, they’re going too fast, too slow. I was at a point where I was weighing the decision on whether or not I should cut my losses now or if I should just wait and try to schedule time with each of them, ignoring their significant other status.
In decisions that were ultimately between the two of them, I was acting like I knew what’s best for the situation, for the people involved and given the last few months, I’m probably the last person to be giving advice on something that seems a little dysfunctional from the outside.
I’d love to say that this is my first time feeling this way. That with my other friends I’ve managed to fall in love immediately with their significant other and we plan all sorts of double dates. Unfortunately, when M and G got together, I wasn’t exactly the most supportive of them either. However, in the end of that coupling I was left two incredibly generous, patient, caring best friends and god knows that it could have swerved the other way as well. I got lucky in that case, this time might not be so.
There is absolutely no reason why our two new love birds can’t tell me to go fuck myself. Had I been in their situation, I might have said the same thing. Yes, this dynamic does complicate things but there is no reason why things cannot be changed into something good as well. Perhaps, yes, I won’t end up being best friends with both these people but perhaps I can have a good, solid friendship. Yes it has evolved from him and her into an ‘us’ thing but not everyone I meet is going to be single.
In my time off, I’ve realized that I cannot just make everyone stay in that happy little bubble that I met them in. People get together, break up, get married, have babies and that’s a part of growing up. If I cannot be happy and supportive of the good times, can I really still claim to being a good friend?
Part of me is really scared that I can’t move past this. That my jealousy of wanting to keep my friends to myself will end up eating, eroding at that friendship and eventually I’ll be left alone. However, with this couple perhaps there’s a blessing in the fact that I’ll have to learn sooner than later how to deal with the inevitable. M, G and C may technically be single for now, but that isn’t to say that this will always be the case. They’re all incredible people and they’ll be snapped up by hopefully equally incredible people.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I need to go back to kindergarden and learn one of the basic fundamental things of being social: Learning to share.