Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Not about me

I have a short and kind of whiny thing to post about today.

There are people in my life for whom I am a certain kind of invisible because I'll never date them.

I'm not particularly sad about this. Not to sound like a cliché, but it's their loss if I can't be important to them unless I'm their romantic partner.

But it does kinda sting sometimes when I'm reminded that for people who think that way, I don't really count in the scheme of things. A while back, a friend talked to me for a long time about romantic troubles, then immediately afterwards wrote some stuff on their blog about how they have "no one" in their lives and are completely alone, etc. I guess I might as well have been a statue for all it mattered, even though I was being a friend and listening. I've also repeatedly had friends suddenly disappear from my life without explanation when they start dating someone, and then when I'm there to distract them or comfort them after the breakup, I'm suddenly worth paying attention to again (until they meet the next person).

[Sometimes I feel like Patsy up there.]

This is a problem for anyone who has, shall we say, possibly immature and/or insensitive/oblivious friends. I know it's not a particularly rare problem. And to be honest I'm 100% on board for people having their intensely distracted/infatuated phase in a new relationship. I just, you know, expect them to still treat me like I'm important too once they've recalibrated their balances. I definitely don't want to be the disposable friend that you put in a box until you need someone to spend time with. I want to be a person to you, not a convenience or a provider of a service. 

This is especially hard for people like me who don't have romantic relationships. I really don't like feeling like I must have been something amusing to do in between what really matters. And I also hate that when I talk about wanting to be valued and treated respectfully, some people misinterpret that as romantic jealousy. In other words, "You wouldn't be jealous about it if you weren't secretly in love with him." Well, there are different versions of love, and I give my love in ways that sometimes cost me quite a lot. When I'm taught by certain folks that my sacrifice and care isn't even on their radar because I'm not their girlfriend, would you believe it stings a little?

But I tend not to unload these troubles on my friends because when they're talking about their own troubles, they're not going to be receptive to mine. And I don't want to make their issues about me. I might feel used or ignored or dumped, but the reason it hurts is that I care about the person who did it, and when they come back, I so often want to continue supporting them and giving them more chances. They don't do this because they're bad, I remind myself. They don't do it because they mean to. But they do it. And every time they do, I do find myself giving less. Being less invested the second time around. And even though I'm making it about me here on my blog while not invoking any certain person's name, I know better than to make them deal with my disappointment in them. If I ever do bring it up, it won't be while they're having a crisis. I can handle getting treated like garbage without internalizing it. I know better than to believe I deserve to be treated like that. Many people don't. Many of the people I'm talking about here don't. 

I don't need it to be about me. I don't need that from them.

I guess it's just sad that if I did need it, they wouldn't be there for me.

It makes me appreciate those who reciprocate comfortably and value me in their lives even more.

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