PianoTeacher, I can relate with you alot. I'll be 26 next month. As a child, I only needed one friend, and that was a best friend. I recently ran into my old best friend's mom. Her mom told me that we were super close. So close that we would hold hands at every chance we got. That was 2nd grade. I also remember in highschool after I started dating my first boyfriend that I could not maintain my friendship with my best friend and the relationship I had with my boyfriend at the same time. I've almost always only been able to handle one friendship, and I've always been very emotionally attached to that one person. I have people that will refer to me as a friend, but we only talk or hang out once in a blue moon, and I just don't really feel connected to them..and I would consider that closer to an acquaintance than a friend.
I became best friends with a girl, who I pretty much fell in love with the day that I met her (note that this DOES NOT normally happen to me...I do get clingy, but I am very selective and it usually takes me a long time to trust them before I get attached). I connected with her on so many levels, and my personality poured out when I was with her. It happened quickly and felt very natural. Generally, I find it very difficult to be myself around people, so it felt amazing to connect with someone that understood my humor, and seemingly accepted me for me. We are no longer friends due to many things, and most people I talk to that knew her (and didnt know her) tell me she is a sociopath. Yeah, buddy, I know how to choose them. But the sad thing is that I still desire what we had...so I'm kind of afraid that I will end up in a similar situation again.
I think my concept of friendship is very skewed because, I, too, have expectations for friendships that just don't seem to exist in real life. And I also have been hurt a lot.
You said that a lot of your friendships didn't last because they were unnatural. I think my relationship with others is naturally unnatural, if you will. I grew up in a dysfunctional home, and a lot of my social interaction is forced because if it was not forced it would not be existant at all. Isolation comes much easier to me than connecting with others does.
I am also a people pleaser. And I lack boundaries. I will help people and help people...and help people...but literally, I could save your life, and then when I'm in the hospital due to medical complications, you (the "friend") would not be there for me. This exact situation (and others like it) has happened to me over and over again. And frankly, I feel and know that it is my own fault.
The thing that is bothering me the most right now is the fact that I really have no friends and I am not very close to anyone in my family. Like, a lot of people I see on a daily basis talk to their family everyday, text friends and family everyday, etc. They seem to have some sort of functioning relationships (whether they are healthy or dysfunctional I don't know), but I feel like I'm living life without any meaningful relationships. I get bored and uninterested with people a lot, and I just don't feel a sense of belonging a lot of the time. This is why I find it very disturbing that when I DO connect with someone on a rare occasion, and develop what I feel is trust with them, I get super attached emotionally. It's like I go from one extreme to another. I have issues with balancing things out in most areas of my life.
I know everything I wrote is kind of a giant cluster*****...welcome to my brain. I just thought I'd share because I have a strong desire to understand myself, and I am glad that there are other people out there, struggling with similar issues, that also want to learn more about themselves.
Originally Posted by pianoteacher33
Hi..I only just found this forum but can't help replying to this thread. This is totally me. Or was me. I'm 26 yr old female by the way.
I was a really clingy child who always had a 24/7 best friend - one friend was all i really wanted or needed at any one time.
When i was 16 my best friend and I a fall-out and I suddenly felt lonely and craved meaningful emotionally close relationships. I decided to make friends. I'd never tried to make a friend in my life. I pretty much went about it like a 5 year old. I met this girl and pretty much got obsessed with her. So bad that I pretty much crushed on her. I wanted her to be my new best friend. For like 2 years I tried to make her my best friend and I put her through so much crap - argh all that pressure. And she was never brave enough to say, "I just don't want to be close to you."
I did this with numerous friends - probably 10 best friends over 10 years. I realised at some point that people hated it. They don't want the expectation and pressure heaped on them - after a few years I tried to hide the desire while getting to know them - but they could sense it. I'm easy to read. They could feel the pressure radiating from me :-/ I went through so many friends and totally people-pleased them to make them love me, poured so much of myself into them, so much time, emotion, caring, countless emails, texting them every few days, etc. In the last few years it was me caring for them. It was totally exhausting and i had some fulfilling friendships but they didn't last long because they were forced and unnatural.
Not long ago, I realised that people don't really do 24/7 friends. Most of my friends are just trying to get on with their lives and don't really want to be bothered with intense committed friendships. Almost as intense as boy-girl relationships. Several friends told me that I was seeking a type of friendship that didn't actually exist.. I could never be close enough to a girl. To get close enough to satisfy me i'd pretty much have to be married to one :-/
I pretty much stopped having close friends and got on with my life. I have a husband so I do have that friendship intimacy there. Now i don't call anyone my 'best friend' but I do have friends. I've started having good adult friends - 30 - 45 yr olds. There's not the same pressure there. But with girls my age I know that deep down I will want that unacheivable intimacy if I let myself go down that trail. Even though i know its wrong. Girls my age are starting to reach out to me and i've naturally got close to them. But it's scary, I'm so scared of getting emotionally attached to them. I actually told my friend this and she said "Don't worry, I don't do best friends."
I also do better if I don't watch tv shows with girls being best friends cause it makes me want that.
I wish i could find the balance - wish I could stop avoiding close friendships so that I don't get clingy and make someone's life difficult or be an annoying friend!
Oops that was a really long post. Oh well, someone might relate
(actually i'm thinking sorry for the long post, you're all going to be annoyed now, but here's me trying to come across as non-people pleasing. sigh)