Sunday, October 30

Epic Fails in Friendship

For most of my life, I believed I could do anything I wanted, well. So did others... and experience supported that belief. Now I realize how incredibly wrong I was.

I may be good at athletics, academics, music, or internalizing church doctrine. But in the things that really matter - developing long-term meaningful relationships with others - my track record is a long list of failures.

Ability to make and keep friends from elementary school? Fail. Friends from any other school? Fail. Friends from work? Fail. Friends from the mission? Fail. Friends from past wards? Fail. Friends among extended family members? Fail. Friends in the dating world? Fail. And friends as part of a physical support group - people I can turn to when I'm having a rough day? Epic fail.

I honestly think that this - my inability to develop meaningful lasting friendships - played a role in exacerbating same-sex attraction... and that seems to hold true with some of the things I've discussed with other guys who are moving forward - as they are able to develop more meaningful non-sexual relationships with men and women, living with same-sex attraction gets at least a little easier. I'm not sure if it's because friends create a social network and support system, or if there are emotional needs that are met through friendships that, unmet, masquerade as SSA. I don't know because, despite my attempts, it never happens. Something about me destroys relationships with a perfect certainty... and that knowledge probably only further accelerates the process.

Take a recent example - I had a guy I was helping to come back to Church, change his life, and learn to be happy. He didn't have SSA. We spent a ton of time together, and over the course of a few months he was able to change. But as soon as that change happened, life pulled us apart and I haven't had a conversation with him since. I invited him to half a dozen different things, but as the relationship atrophies I feel powerless to stop it, and it doesn't seem like he has any interest in knowing me anymore... so I drop it and move on. And that's the story of my life. Meet people - men and women - feel a desire to be involved in their lives and a desire to be accepted by them... if I get close to them, they usually have massive, painful, life-changing experiences... and then they disappear.

The end result is that I've never had a group of friends to go do stuff with, or even one friend that stayed on for the ride. When I want to go running, it's always alone, even though I know a hundred people who love to run. They just would rather not run than have me running with them. I know - I've tried. When I go hiking or biking, or attend the temple, or go to a museum, or do almost anything, it's alone... I have short-term friends, for a few weeks or sometimes even months, but each of them eventually disappears or consciously walks away. They each had logical and plausible reasons for not pursuing the friendship... and I can't blame them.

Sometimes I wonder about the irony of pulling both the same-sex attraction card (which means I have a rough time with romantic relationships) and the difficulty-making-friends card (which means I have a rough time with non-romantic relationships). The end result is that I have a rough time with all informal relationships - everything that doesn't involve structured roles like student-teacher or mentor-mentee. I'm grateful that being alone taught me to turn to God, but sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be able to overcome it and be able to rely on people in my life. Right now, I look at relationships as opportunities to help other people. I walk into every environment with the question, "How can I help this person come closer to Christ?" But at the same time, I expect it to end when they're done with me. I'm never someone's only or best friend, even if they're mine... and eventually that friendship will disappear - sometimes suddenly - in the course of 5 seconds - and sometimes over weeks. But none of them last, and inside I don't believe they will, simply because they never have.

Wow. This post was longer than I intended. And probably more depressing to people on the outside. This isn't a sob story or an account intended to engender pity or emotional grief. It's just a thought from my mind, and maybe it will help put into perspective some of the choices I make. Everything I do is based on the precept that I'm going to be alone for a long time - surrounded by friends in the short term, but constantly breaking ties and having to make new ones. From experience I've realized that no relationship can ever thrive longer than a few months, then my investment in people has to be front-loaded, and I'm far more willing to do things that will help them in the beginning, even if it jeopardizes the relationship we have. That's a good summary of how it works in my mind. And changing this has proved far more difficult than any temptation with same-sex attraction.


  1. It's possible that looking at relationships as opportunities to help others and bring them closer to Christ makes it difficult to maintain lasting friendships. Most my long-term friendships started just because we had fun hanging out. It probably wouldn't have lasted if either of us were trying to improve the other in any way.

  2. I don't think it is the fault of your samesex attraction that you aren't able to have the close and successful relationships that you want. I think that there is underlying issues that feed into your same sex attraction as well as your inability to succeed. It has to do with intimacy and vulnerability. It takes vulnerability and trust and being able to let someone be there for you, which I think you aren't very good at. Dig deep. You may find that you never had a good example of this growing up or that you are resentful against that example for some reason. Just my thoughts. I don't know you personally so I can't say, but I thought it was worth pointing out.

  3. I don't get to reading your blog as often as I'd like, but I'm glad I did today--this post spoke to my heart. I am in a similar boat and have been wondering for the past few days why I don't have many meaningful and long lasting relationships. This has given me a few more things to ponder on. Thanks

  4. I am really good at meeting and making friends. Others are really good at keeping friends. New callings in different auxillaries can mean seeing someone less, independence can,too. I am pretty much a loner. What you describe sounds a lot like me. I am almost 40 now and love the fact that when someone new moves in I am able to meet their immediate need of having a friendly, smiling face, knowing that someone else will feed their social needs later on. I have lots of friends, but it is rare to have a buddy/buddy friend. I'm just not that kind of person. But, every now again someone will come along and take on that role. It is usually someone who is very matter-of-fact and not easily offended (though offends others pretty easily with their intense truthfulness). In fact, I married someone like that and we are working on 20 years of married bliss (you know, the ups and downs kind).

  5. I think a major flaw you possess is your inability to worry about yourself and putting yourself first. And while that selflessness is commendable and something everyone should strive for, a lot of your needs seem to go unnoticed--such as friendships. I agree with anonymous #1: trying to establish friendships by offering service only gives these potential friends the opportunity to use you at their disposal until they are no longer in need of your services. I'm sure you can offer more to people than just service.You seem like a nice guy who knows a lot about fitness (I would LOVE to have a guy friend who could work out with me), has some probably interesting views on societal issues, and would love to have fun at dinners, movies, shopping, etc. Really start living. In the year that I've read this blog, everything just seems stifled, like you aren't really living your life. There is where you will find the joy and things you're looking for.

  6. I'm confused by your conclusion. Are you saying that you are trying to change your expectation that all friends leave? To what?
    Someone moved back into my ward that I used to hang out with in high school. I didn't mind helping her out at all, and she and her kids spent a week sleeping on my couch way more than once as she tried to get her life in order. It was evident that she had a much higher emotional attatchment to me than I to her, but I didn't mind being there for her and I enjoyed her company whenever she visited. It was when she was venting about life in general she mentioned a "supposed friend" she had from two moves ago who never called her after she moved away. I was startled. It wouldn't have occured to me to try to stay close to someone who moved a thousand miles away. She has moved on now, and I call her now and then just because now I know that she needs that connection. Otherwise, it would never have occured to me. I recognize that I am a very self centered person. I have used the term selfish before, but that's not true. I have no problem sharing all that I have with someone in need, I just tend to be very blind to the needs of those around me. I don't know why I share the story of my needy friend, except maybe I get the impression that you need to have needy friends. You help them, and then they move on--and maybe they never get the idea that you needed them as much as they needed you? They don't want to hang out with you anymore because you remind them of their weakness.

  7. I think it has something to do with personalities. Some people are really good at making and keeping friends for long, extended periods of time. Its just how they roll. Some people do well with the super close-knit, I-do-everything-with-my-best-friend type. Personally, I'm a floater. I get along with pretty much everyone. My close friends replace themselves with each stage of life that I'm in. My Elementary school friends were different than my high school friends. And my high school friends are different than my college/YSA friends. When I see them I say hi, and sometimes I get all nostalgia-like and totally miss them, but for the most part I've moved on. And maybe this describes your friends better than it describes you, but my suggestion is just to go with the flow. Life is full of changes- embrace it =D

  8. I wish I could give you some good advice...I hate being lonely. I don't have a great handle on your situation but I think you should consider what the first poster had to say. A friendship that's founded on an unequal relationship doesn't seem likely to develop into a buddy-buddy relationship that you desire.
    You might consider talking to someone you trust to be straight up with you and help you to know if there are any traits or habits you have which are driving people away.
    Best wishes, I hope you find some good friends.

  9. This is really brave. A really good realization to have.

  10. I know exactly what you mean, and for the longest time it was something that greatly troubled me. I hate going home for the holidays because I only have one real friend; I much prefer visiting my sister in Salt Lake because I at least have her and her husband, and I know I can do things with them.
    For my first year of college, I was always trying to make sure that people liked me- I was paranoid people said they liked me but didn't actually mean it. My second year was spent making new friends, trying desperately to rekindle my friendships from my first year, and trying to keep myself together. Those two years I had a history of dropping friends or feeling like they had dropped me. I told myself that if they really wanted to be my friend, they'd contact me. I didn't have much hope. But I finally, truly started to understand friendship this past May during a summer term. I rekindled a friendship with someone my Freshman year, I realized how important some people were in my life and how they had always been there supporting me in little ways without me really realizing it. I made some great new friends; One I live with now, and he and his girlfriend are such great friends to me and I've met other great people I genuinely feel connections with. But I also made a friend I got extremely close to, and now he's always busy and I don't feel the love anymore. I tell myself it's not logical for me to get angry with him, because he has so much to do but I feel like he's taken for granted the bond we formed over the summer. But more and more I'm becoming accepting of the situation and less angry with the situation- I'm becoming patient. My entire life I've waited for real, deep friendships and I'm finally being rewarded.
    I still unfortunately have those feelings of abandonment, but they've become less severe as I've continued my life at college. I still remember the good times I've had with the people who have meant something to me, and I like to think they remember those times too, that they still care. Somebody mentioned to me yesterday how the friend I got close to over the summer mentioned something about me and plans we had made and I realized the friendship was still there. It took away some of the feelings of bitterness.
    We may not know eachother, but your blog has helped me so much. I feel connected to you, this kind of friendship. There's this girl I know who always knows just what to say whenever I'm in need of spiritual advice, and this blog is like an online version of her. Time and again, like with this post, You have said something I needed to hear or connected with. And because of that, I consider you a dear friend. Again, we may not know eachother personally, but I do love you as one of my brothers of our Heavenly Father, and I am your friend whether you know it or not- you have made an impact on me. I hope we'll get to meet in heaven so I can properly express how much I appreciate you and what you do. Thank you.

  11. Just wanted to echo some of the comments here.

    I have two major points: First, there is self-interest involved in all relationships, and second, part of self-interest is the need to feel needed.

    When a company markets a product, they are going to try to appeal to a target market. They know these consumers have a self-interest that their product can fill, and they know that people, by nature, will be the most likely and loyal customers if they really want the product. You don't buy a different kind of soap out of kindness to a company - you buy the soap you want because it fits your self-interest in some way(s); more ways than other brands do. People choose most things they associate long-term with in this way - "how does it fit what I want?" If you build a friendship based on other reasons, or if you facilitate someone else doing so by seeking only to serve, it makes sense that the friendship will last only as long as the self-interest lasts. If the basis of your relationship is a project situation (negative connotation aside), you are building a relationship on bricks that are, by nature, going to go away once the project is over. (Just like a video game buddy goes away if you stop playing video games.) The hanging out "just because we enjoy each other's company" needs to be the first self-interest for you both if the relationship is to carry longevity. Over time, the relationship will fill other self-interests (including service, on both sides), and that's how it will strengthen.

    Your self-interest in these cases is driven by, yes, your faith and desire to be Christlike. (We are unprofitable servants, right? This is not only a gift-love - we get a definite payback for this kind of service, and the spiritual blessings and personal growth we attain are not to be discounted, even when the effects aren't immediate.) However, this brings me to my second point - you are the only one who is getting to fill this need in a service relationship. Just like new converts to the Church need a calling, people need to feel needed in all their relationships. If you are the only one giving, and you are doing so heavily, the other party probably assumes that you are simply serving - not asking for anything in return. If you ARE asking for something in return, let the relationship be more balanced. (This will probably work best if you begin the relationship this way. Changing existing relationships to ask more of the other person will be more difficult.)

    Helping people is great, but the people I'm helping are almost never the ones I stay friends with long-term, and definitely never the ones I stay close to long-term. Those kinds of friends are important, but not the ones I talk to every day forever. My lasting friendships usually stick around because we hung out BECAUSE we are on a similar level and could keep up with one another. Helping each other was a byproduct. We help each other because we identify with each other, spend time together, and naturally we both grow to understand each other's needs. Filling them becomes natural and is driven both by need-love and gift-love. (Read C.S. Lewis' "The Four Loves" for more elaboration on the need-love/gift-love principle - it may help you break down your relationships to understand them better.)

    Good luck :)

  12. My best friend and I both read your blog and she frequently asks me if I’m moonlighting as a male gay Mormon blogger because our lives seem to parallel each others so often, and this was no exception.
    Heavenly Father has given certain individuals an extra measure of strength, to not only bear our own burdens, but those of others. I call individuals with these gifts “Boulder Carriers.” We walk around with the weight of the world on our shoulders because the Lord has given us the capacity to do so. And for the most part, we got it. We just hike that boulder up on our hip and carry it around like a small child. Then when we encounter someone with their own burden, no matter what size, we have the ability to use our free hand and hold it for them for a moment while they take a breather. We talk them through their problem, empathize, console, problem solve, and then when all is well again, we hand them their stone back, and carry on our way.
    However, reality is that our boulders are freaking heavy and our arms will get tired. And that is when we need one of two types of people in our lives: another boulder carrier or a boulder ripper. Fellow boulder carriers are great to have around, because they’re like us: never judgmental, used to carrying others burdens, and if they’ve got their boulder under control, they’ll take yours for a moment while you take a breather. They can empathize with how exasperating carrying that huge thing around is, but they also understand why you do it, because they receive the same sense of satisfaction from it that you do. Sometimes you don’t even need to hand it over. Sometimes you can just talk about your boulder, throw it out in the open and say “That’s all. Just needed to get that out.” And they understand.
    Boulder rippers on the other hand, don’t carry theirs with them. They have one, they just know how to leave it at home. So when they see you with yours, they love you for carrying it, and admire all the hard work you do, but when they see you struggling with it, they know it’s time to put it down. They have the ability to take it from you, set it down and say “Let’s talk about this thing you’re carrying around.” Then they listen, ever so lovingly, and help chip off pieces of the rock that are completely unnecessary. Then they polish it for you, and maybe carry it for a bit while they walk you back to work, and then hand it back with a wink and a smile.
    I’ve always been an extremely private person, mostly because I feel like I need to be the strength to all of those around me, and I have found, just like everyone else has said, that those that I only serve never stick around, but those that I let in become eternal friends. Even the ones that have moved away, I still count as great friends, and Heavenly Father has always replaced them. Be careful of feeling the need to be your own strength. The Savior is always there to support and strengthen us, but if Heavenly Father wanted us to do this all on our own, He would’ve put us here by ourselves :)

  13. Please remember one thing- YOU ARE WONDERFUL!!!! I feel like you are my friend, and I've never met you! I love you because your words speak to my weary soul! When I feel like I can't go on, I read your words and I realize I'm not alone. You are the epitome of Christ-like love! You give without asking for anything in return. You shine the light in a world filled with darkness. You give me courage to keep going when I want to just give up. In my eyes, you are a true disciple of Christ. You remind me that He loves me even when I don't love myself. You help me see that I am worth loving and that life is worth living. Please, please never stop!

  14. I think it might be because you aren't willing to make yourself known/vulnerable to the other person. You listen and offer perfect advice as they pour out their soul to you. Are you willing/able to do the same? How often to you tell your story to a friend, face to face? And I don't think you would even need to ask for advice. Just showing them that you trust them enough to confide in them would be crucial to building a lasting relationship. When I am in a relationship, it's give and take. It has to be symbiotic. I tell you something about myself, trusting in you to take that information and not use it against me. Then I wait for you to do the same. It builds trust in both people and allows them to be more vulnerable. If I were one of your friends and you helped me through a life changing experience and yet never let me know the real you, I would leave too. It would feel like a waste of my time and energy (I understand not many people feel this way). Not everyone wants someone to help them fix their problems and be there for them all the time. That's really nice, but in my personal experience I want to feel needed. You don't need anyone, or it comes across like you don't, because your testimony is so strong. And that's wonderful. But maybe if you put the real you into your relationships it would benefit you. Let them know you. That way they could feel needed and like they were contributing to the relationship. It is a very scary thing to tell someone so much about yourself and not have the other person reciprocate. It doesn't allow a real connection to be made, let alone thrive and last.

  15. I've learned that most people who really need help at a certain time in their lives often become uncomfortable with those who helped them through that time. It's as though they were too exposed, and the relationship was too imbalanced, for there to ever be the equality necessary for the type of friendship you're describing. I also wonder if you would know what to do with that kind of relationship? I don't mean to be unkind; rather, I look at my own relationships and realize that I am much more comfortable as a mentor than I am as a friend. I think I've had that kind of friendship extended to me; I just didn't always know what to do about it.

  16. Except for same-sex attraction, everything else in my life is common knowledge - to people in my ward, colleagues, random strangers on the street. In real life people tell me that I'm the most transparent person they know... I wear my heart on my sleeve and talk with everyone about the problems I face. But when I have truly deep conversations with others, and I tell them everything (literally everything) I know about myself, in most cases it becomes an incredibly painful experience on their part... and it takes them weeks or months to come to grips with what I'm facing each day.

    People who don't know me well sometimes give advice, but implementing it has proved harder than I imagined... because it often lacks context. And when I ask people I trust, who know me completely, for help - for feedback on what I need to change, almost without fail, they tell me nothing. Someday I hope I'll figure it out.

  17. OK, I thought I was the only one who had no one to hang with. I am 44 years old, single, could be considered a "faithful" church member, and yet I feel exactly the same way you do. I have friends that seem to come and go and nothing seems to last. I do things alone because people are disinclined to "hang" with me and I have never understood why.

    Unlike some of these other replies, I'm not going to give you any advice. Advice is kind of useless to give someone when you are not acquainted with them and don't know them, despite having something in common with them.

    I see a counselor every 2 weeks. He is wonderfully compassionate and understands and is empathetic about the pain I feel about being alone so much of the time. At the same time, he points out that I have a GREAT DEAL to offer as a friend and if people do not recognize that, it is not necessarily because of something I do or don't do.

    I love to go see the symphony. I live in Chicago, that has one of the best orchestras in the country. To date, I have not found either an LDS person or a person with SGA who is interested in that kind of culture enough to go to a concert with me. I should go alone, but that is one activity that I positively HATE doing alone, so I never go. I do have plenty of other activities I do on my own anyway.

    So, for what it is worth, I understand exactly what you are feeling. And it is very frustrating.

  18. I wonder why you never publish any of my comments. I said exactly the same thing as many of the rest of these people. hmmm. Glad to hear that some of these people got through to you though, as you published/validated their comments. Maybe your approach to publishing comments is the reason you have trouble keeping friends. It would be fun to ponder.

  19. Alice:

    I appreciate your advice, even though I don't agree with how it's framed sometimes. As far as it affecting my life, I read everything you write, multiple times, and think about how it applies to me. Posting comments here is a different story - because this blog isn't for me. It's a missionary blog designed to help other guys who are struggling in their faith, and, because of that, I don't post comments for a lot of reasons. Sometimes it's because I read them late at night and don't feel like posting them and then forget... sometimes it's because they're more like personal letters to me... sometimes it's because I want to wait and post multiple comments with multiple perspectives at the same time to give a more accurate and rounded response... sometimes it's because I don't like sarcasm... and sometimes because the feel just doesn't fit with what I'm trying to create. I understand that sarcasm and light humor is a vital part of some people's communication styles, but it doesn't match what I'm trying to create here at (G)MG.

    As far as specifics to your comments... I read everything everyone writes. I just went back and posted the last one you wrote. The one before, where you shared a personal story of frustration and called a guy who didn't feel comfortable dating a girl who posted immodest pictures online a self-righteous jerk, made me feel like you didn't get it. I completely understand your pretext, but I don't think it's applicable in my situation. I've dated a lot of girls, and while there are plenty of girls who are good people at heart and have multiple piercings, tattoos, or wear immodest clothing, I've found that a profound testimony of the gospel affects everything about a person - especially the choices they make each day. I don't need a person who is perfect, but I need someone who completely understands and supports the gospel, without reservation, and doesn't embrace or flaunt or endorse anything else... and probably so did your friend. Maybe some people are okay walking the line and pushing the envelope in life - doing what they call "living life." I don't have that option, and neither does anyone else who is in a life-or-death battle for their souls. I'm sure that every girl is a daughter of God. But if she hasn't already developed the strength to live the letter of the law in her own life, how are we supposed to work together to face trials even bigger than SSA?

  20. You know, even before you posted this, I was wondering about you this week, that I hadn't seen you write much since conference. (But I don't keep up with twitter well.) Your post brought feelings of utter empathy in me, since a few years ago, I felt an intense loneliness for several years. I always had connected well, I thought, and was a people person, but my best friends had faded with the increased miles, I had no really deep connections, and my husband was ever distant, not loving me, really. (Since then, God worked a miracle in our marriage and it is much better now.) But I spent years meeting people, wondering if each person would end up being my best friend. And I do have some closer connections now, but I've realized that closeness is sometimes limited by the busy things in our lives, and people who like me might simply just not have time for me. And I'm ok with that now. You know, life changes a lot, and you never really know what it will bring. I hope that there can be some lasting, deep friendships in your life. One thing I do know: 'Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for them that love him.' We will endure this life, with the Lord's help, and then one day we will have more peace and happiness than we ever imagined possible, with deep, eternal relationships. Hang in there. I admire you for your testimony, sacrifices, and willingness to share your experiences to strengthen others.

  21. I'm wondering if your intensity in a friendship has a little bit to do with you wanting to have a meaningful, lasting relationship so badly that you feel like you have to solve all their problems and put yourself all the way out there all at once. I'm just wondering because that is one of my tendencies and I detect that a little in your writing. I've gathered from your blog that you have a beautiful, caring, nurturing, loving spirit. You truly love and care about people and if there is any way that you can see to help them along, you'll do it. Sometimes you can't though. This is something that I'm learning. It's so hard to watch someone struggle especially when you feel like you can help them, but sometimes you have to wait until they ask for help. That's what the Savior does. He's always there ready to help when we ask.

    Also, it's hard to be in a friendship that feels so one-sided. If you're always the one doing the saving and lifting it will eventually drain you. To the one that you're saving, it's almost as if you're smothering them, even though that is not your intention. I haven't quite figured out why it has that particular affect.
    I really don't know if this makes any sense at all. It's just a thought. I hope some of my rambling makes sense:)

  22. I've dealt with a lot of what you express here. I'm a very closed person, partially out of introversion and partially out of fear of losing control of the public image I present, so when I talk to people, it's often me asking questions and helping them. My best times on my mission were when I was helping my companions, and I was given at least two so I *could* help them - and I feel that my ability to help them came from my experiences with self-doubt and depression. I treated them how I, deep down, wanted to be treated. But it's rarely, if ever, been reciprocated. I've had many, many acquaintances, and very, very few friends. I'm sure most of it is due to my self-closure; if you don't talk about yourself, you'll seldom have people talk back. They're busy enough that if they sense that you don't want to open up, they can't force it out. (Add to this that my one previous romantic relationship went up in flames, and I've been deathly afraid of another one since then.)

    But I think I had a personal revelation last week. It was a day that I had spent in a sort of paralytic depression, with worries about the future (and especially the anxiety about never having friends), and I was just feeling miserably impotent. I prayed, and words from Ether 12 came into my mind, but interpreted differently than I'd ever heard them interpreted before. Basically, Moroni is reassured that his weakness in writing is acceptable, and that it's the Gentiles fault if they dismiss his words offhand. Grant Hardy even proposes that Moroni's sense of weakness and insufficiency in writing accounts for the fact that there are huge gaps between when he wrote - sixteen years one time! Moroni was lonely and afraid and overwhelmed by his incapacity to live up to his father's meticulous historiographical standards.

    What I realized is that Moroni's weakness provided the opportunity (which the brother of Jared's power in writing would not have) for the Gentiles to exercise *charity*.

    Part of the purpose for our weaknesses is so that we will be humble, that we will know that we can't go it alone. You already understand that God is always there for you. But you can let others exercise their charity by confiding in them. If you never say you're mourning, people can't fulfill their baptismal covenants and mourn with you.

    It's really hard to do. I know. It requires a sort of surrender and resignation that no one wants to have - you're putting your life in someone else's hands, a mortal's hands. But I trust that you can find someone with whom to talk. Just - don't stop yourself from speaking up and saying, "Hey, can I talk with you about something?" or "Would you be willing to help me think/work through something?" And then let yourself tell the truth.

    I believe that as you open yourself up to be the recipient of Christlike charity, you can find that people will be your friends, and that you can find that people love you. And not just in the sense of Greek agape.

  23. I have many friends, but somehow I end up going to stuff alone or not going at all. I find I have to put myself out there a lot and sometimes I text or call half a dozen to a dozen people before I get a YES and sometimes even then it's "I can't." Sometimes I think life has gotten too busy. But I know that feeling - wanting that group of friends that you ALWAYS do stuff with. There have been times in my life where that has happened for me, but it's usually fleeting and largely because I am so transitory, it ends.

    I look forward to Heaven when we can always be with the ones we love!

  24. Hey, I think we should be friends! :) You know, sometimes I think we complicate friendships and relationships too much. We think people don't like us, or want to get rid of us. Maybe sometimes it's true...but I think most of the time people are just people. Caught up in their own lives. I've felt similar to you at different times in my life. I seem to go through sets of friends. Our lives are ever changing, and so are the groups of people around us. I feel much better when I give people the benefit of the doubt. (Easier said than done I know) Here is a quote I like: "Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down." -Oprah Winfrey- I think we're all searching for the people who will be with us when the times get tough. They are few and far between. I know that you will find people who will stand by you!

  25. I like what Aubrey (the first commentor) said. Mostly though, just hang in there. Really good friends that you keep forever don't happen often to most of us. I'm terrible at keeping in touch, and it's okay. Those friends filled a need at the time and that's enough. I also do not believe that most people have the kind of friendships you talk about in this post. I think that's one of Satan's lies. (I'm very opinionated sometimes too!) ;-)

  26. I know this is like, a month later, but I had to comment.

    To echo a few that have already commented, I know exactly how you feel. I have a few close friends, but as life goes, they live their lives and I live mine... separately. I try to involve myself as much as possible, but as we get older, the room that was allotted for me gets filled with other things.
    I think the reason I'm so bothered by being alone and, oftentimes, friendless is because I don't have a relationship with my Heavenly Father like I know I should. I don't think I ever have. I try. I really do. People say, you never have to feel alone or friendless when you have a relationship with God, and I think that's true, but it's not like Heavenly Father's there to go to a movie with you. There's all this pressure. I almost feel guilty for feeling lonely.

    Does that make sense?

    I don't think I've ever articulated these thoughts before. :(

    Thanks for making me think.

  27. I have the exact opposite problem... I make friends easily, and keep them for a very long time. However, I'm not very talented at anything else, and sometimes I can't get rid of someone who is doing nothing to improve my life.

    The people who use you for your help and kindness and then leave you; they never deserved your friendship. You WILL find people who care about you, I swear to you that you will. It took me many years to discover my talent for making friends, you just need to develop YOURS. :)


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