I’ve said it, thought it and wanted it not to be wrong. The title of this piece is a question I’ve found myself asking more and more of over the past few weeks. It would be wrong to go into the intricacies of why such a thing should be thought about but it would also be wrong of me to lie and say I’ve not wanted something back for many of my relationships. Let’s think about this for a second… if you invest time, effort and often money into spending time with someone to create memories, have a good time and share an experience, at some point, would you not want something to be reciprocated? I refuse to believe i’m the only one on the planet who thinks about this… and I also refuse to believe that there’s something wrong in this kind of expectation. If I make a conscious effort to stay in touch with and be there for someone (whether they need me or not) then surely they can return my sentiment should I need someone to lean on… right?
As I’ve gotten older, and more specifically in the last 5 years or so, my life’s relationships have had an overhaul somewhat. They say people come and go in life but I can honesty put my hand on my heart and say I’ve always wanted people to stay with me. I am a firm believer in good, strong friendships and for me these very friendships are the foundations that should support me through my lifetime. Some of my closest friends are those i’ve known since I was a teenager. These are the friends who know the real me and we’ve seen our friendship grow into something irreplaceable and that with the kind of strength which is difficult to find. It makes me proud to think I’m the kind of person who has been worthy and is still worthy to have people in my life who have been there through all the changes my character might’ve taken through the years. I’m not delusional, however, because I firmly believe that these relationships have lasted because all parties involved have played their part in nurturing the relationship. Without care, time and trust, friendship’s plant would have wilted. During the last couple of years, my life has taken a turn careerwise and along the way I’ve met some fabulous people, a lot of whom I can now call my friends. Once again, this transition from colleague to friend would not have worked if either side had “left it to fate”. I’m grateful for those who are close to me, who look out for me and who stay in touch even when I sometimes don’t… after all, it’s the kinds of people who call “just to say hi” that are the special ones. It shows they are genuinely thinking about you.
So… why the need for such a post? Well, there is a dodgey middle road that some of the relationships in my life have taken lately. These are the people who don’t really stay in touch but my relationship with them hasn’t completely faded. They spring up out of nowhere every so often and show me their presence in my life. I’m thankful for these friends too because some of them are little rays of sunshine. However, the lines get blurry when there are people who don’t stay in touch unless you do. This is my reason for such a post. I’ve evolved into the kind of person who has become pretty blunt when it comes to these sorts of people. I understand that people get busy in their lives but it’s naiive to think that a busy period will mean you don’t talk to anyone during any given day aside from your work colleagues, immediate family or those you live with. Can people honestly say they’ve gone days without speaking to their best friends? I know I can’t go many days without speaking to some of my friends… so what sets this apart from the friends who one “avoids” for no particular reason? Perhaps “avoid” is the wrong word… how about “forgets about”?
Come on, we’re all guilty of it. A text comes through from someone you havent heard from in a good few months and because you’re “busy” you read it but think to yourself that you’ll reply later. The days go by and you don’t give the message a second thought, getting caught up in your own routines and regular interactions. I know, it happens to us all. However, I’ve become the kind of person who doesn’t mind being ignored… up until a certain point. After that point I will come to the conclusion that this person is clearly too busy to even send me a simple text, FB message or give me a short call… and I will back off completely. Quite often, and more so in this day and age, this becomes the “end” of what was once a perfectly good friendship. A little harsh maybe but I will raise my initial argument that if one invests the time to get in touch with someone, even for the pure reason that you haven’t seen or heard from the said person in some time, if there is no reciprocation then there’s no point… right? Let me clarify that i’m not THAT harsh and I totally blame my Scorpion traits for making me get emotional over the relationships and people who are a part of my life. I usually give things time and see whether I’m being totally fair. If there is any part of me that feels that there is something to save in the relationship then I will make the effort every time, even if it’s just to wish the person a happy birthday if nothing else… regardless if the person does or doesn’t remember mine!
So my ultimate question remains… Is it wrong to want something back? Well, my personal take on this is that it’s not too much to want some reciprocation but in this day and age perhaps expectations are the root of all evil when it comes to relationships. Expectations equal disappointment… but it’s so hard not to have them. This also has a lot to do with self-worth but some people may choose to call it selfishness. I would like to think that i’ve “become” this way out of the sheer frustration of people not actively staying in touch or showing me in any way that they WANT to be a part of my life… or that they value the relationship they have with me. Somewhere along the line something’s got to give and I don’t think it would be seen as irresponsible to lose touch with someone who didn’t really stay in touch anyway. It’s not like they’re likely to notice or miss you anyway! What say YOU?