Sunday, August 11, 2013

Honesty and Restraint - becoming friends

This post is excerpted from my journal, edited, and back-dated to the day of writing.
What Hawk said last night, during our discussion of how much phone time we will have and what limits are best so he won’t feel pressured has sent me off on an analysis of how I view relationships in general, and what defines the difference between friendship, dating, engagement, marriage, etc.

I find this ironic since, last year, I was at first entirely certain I’d never be interested in any man ever again, and then (after the shock of realization that I was attracted to Hawk) determined to force him out of my head … which didn't work so well.

(Ree took the brunt of that flood of ranting about how unfair it is that I should fall in love ... and survived rather well -- even if she did laugh at me like the true friend she is.)

Hawk's comment, as best I can remember was, “If we were dating I’d understand talking every day, but since we’re friends I think a couple times a week is enough.”

I haven’t thought about dating yet … what with believing it couldn't happen and all. According to his measure of relationship as I understand it thus far, I’m linked to several of my friends at a frequency level that would make him feel nervous.

Which makes sense, since for him I’m a new discovery. He hasn't been thinking about me since last November ... like I've been thinking about him. He can have all the time he needs, since I took plenty myself … and STILL need more … How can he be both terrifying AND so very reassuring. Augh!

I’m prepared to adjust to his feedback, whatever it may be. I need that reality from him, too. That is what I hoped to learn from when I connected in the first place. If I must be attracted to someone, at least he is choosing to be honest while befriending me.

But the fact is, I’m always adjusting to the other person’s level of comfort in every friendship. So the reality isn't “I speak to all my friends every day,” but rather, “Sometimes we end up speaking every day for long periods of time, and other times I don’t hear from them for weeks or months, until I remind them that I’m beginning to be concerned about whether they’re still alive.” It probably does average out to “a couple times a week” sometimes even for my closest friends.

I know I can only maintain so many relationships at frequent, deep connection.

The weaker connections are naturally pressed out by the stronger, and they weave together, time-wise, in a way I sincerely believe is orchestrated. Somehow I always seem to have time when it’s really important, and so far if two friends need me at the same time I've either been able to manage going back and forth between them or there is someone else they can rely on instead.

Other times, I’m left feeling a bit disconnected when … aaaallll... my friends seem to be busy elsewhere. But I’m okay with being alone, too. Sometimes I purposefully keep the various social sites closed because I need silence and time to think … like today.

Because Hawk is uncomfortable with daily interaction right now, then that is where we are. And because I understand why … to some extent, at least … I’m fine with that.

I want the best for him, even if it means … losing him. I don’t want to think about not being friends with him right now. It makes me sad, since we just started.

But I will be very happy to hear from him … any time … just like I am with Mica, Ree, Bri, Nic,.... etc. Hawk could wake me up at 3am with a call like Nic did in his crisis and I’d be thrilled, even if I miss my sleep, because it would demonstrate that he trusts me and that trust is more important to me than my rest. (I’m not quite that patient with my kids … familiarity? Well, they have me all day, every day.)

Most of all, I accept his limits because those limits prove he trusts me with where he is. He was pretty honest about his usual strategy of avoidance when he feels overwhelmed, and that it was hard for him to be straightforward. He chose to imitate my transparency and trusted me to see his vulnerability through my disappointment.

So yeah, I'm feeling disappointed, but also ... thankful that this is real. Friendship is way more than I ever thought would happen between us.

Now that I’m left with the realization that it’s possible for me to love again, I guess it’s time to analyse what I think about relationships. What would qualify someone as date-able? Hmm...