30 (blogs) for (turning) 30: Day 27: Loyalty and Friendship

Posted: May 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

Here’s an admission: I dread making platonic friends more than I do meeting women who I might find attractive and/or am interested in dating. This is true. It’s the introvert in me, I think. And the fact that while I am loyal to a fault, it also takes a little while before I can trust someone to the point that I can call them a friend. Once I feel that, I find it hard to let go, but it does take time. Sadly, I cannot remember a time where I actively pursued a friendship with another guy on my own without some sort of force pushing us together. My friend Ryan, who just graduated today from film school at UNCSA, we met because he was at the church I began attending when I moved down the Carolinas. My roommate and I met because he got a job at the school I was teaching at. My oldest friend, Josh, lived down the street from me when we were in middle school and I probably would have never allowed him to get very close to me except that he was remarkably stubborn in his resolve to be friends that he eventually broke me down and we are still friends to this day.

My point is simply that my extreme introversion and fear of rejection in some ways extends to other people besides just pretty girls. I have a lot of people I’d consider pretty solid acquaintances. But I only have a few people that I’d consider very good friends who I can talk about life with. Experience the world with. And the older I get, the harder it gets to establish those relationships. I’m fine with it to a certain extent because it forces those relationships to have some substance, and as an introvert the establishment of stability within the relationships I do enter in to is vital. On the other hand, if I’m let on my own because the world changes, then I’m stuck.

I say all this because I’m starting to realize that those changes are on the horizon. My roommate is all my engaged at this point. It’s an inevitability at this point that doesn’t even require speaking of–suffice it to say, I will be back on my own as far as the living arrangement situation is concerned within a 12-month time span or less. Ryan is on his way to Wilmington, NC, and while this is still within driving distance, as he has been for the last 4 years, there’s something more final about this move. He’s not going to school and coming back on long weekends or for the summer. This is a move made with extreme purpose, and the 4-hour one-way car ride is enough to make the trip a less than regular thing.

I do not say all these things to make anyone feel guilty about choices or to convince anyone to stay where they are and stop allowing life to happen. If it were me, I’d be making the same decisions they are, so I cannot fault them for it. I say this because I think we often overlook the importance of platonic friendships for men simply because we assume that they don’t mean that much. I’ll say that this is for sure an incorrect assertion, and that especially at this time in my life, where I’m dating anyone and with no realistic possibilities of that happening any time soon, my friends play a bigger role than they might otherwise. Life happens, things change, I get this. And it’s not as though I want the change to stop, or that I can’t deal with the ups and downs, the ebbs and flows. It’s just the anxiety of knowing that I might have to start over, even just a little bit, is a little much to take sometimes.

In my quieter moments, I’m aware that everything is going to be okay. That I will survive this change. That certain people will always be there for me no matter what. It’s just that sometimes those voices in my head are far too strong. And sometimes I wish I had a mute button for them.

 

God bless,

Robert

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Comments
  1. Life is full of complexities and things that don’t always make sense. You tell the story of the beginning of our friendship and to the world it probably sounds like I’m an extrovert. lol. One day, maybe, I’ll tell the long version of my side of that story.

    But yes, things change, but true friends are there even when they are not. Since I’m similarly introverted I can relate quite a bit now that you’ve moved on, justin has found 3 jobs he’s good at all at the same time, and brian and I have had our ups and downs and he had his own ministry for a long time.

    I know, its different cause I am married, but you probably wouldn’t be surprised that those relationships still carry significant weight even if you are in the most stable of home situations. I may just tell my side of that story soon.

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