There are a couple of men who have stayed in contact with me over the past few years of my work/life ordeals. For a variety of reasons, including some enormous logistical ones, I’m not interested romantically. I both appreciate the effort and attention and simultaneously am irritated that I feel like I should appreciate it, as if I should be grateful for whatever scraps come my way, with no determination on my part of whom I might want to spend time with. The more comfortable I get with the idea of being alone, the more irritated I am at the years I have spent believing this, years in which everyone seemed to partner off and I felt grateful for whomever was left to spend time with.
I have some of the same issues with my friendships. I also have felt obligated in that realm to give largesse, whether it be knowledge, connections, driving, a place to stay, or parties, with little expectation of return. One of my kindest and most moral friends told me a few weeks ago that I could afford to be a bit more “mercenary” in my friendships. I agree to a certain extent, yet I kinda hate that we have become such a mercenary society in general.
On thing about all my current acquaintances is that they are kind. There is no backbiting or “frenemy” type behavior, which is an enormous relief.
I put up with a lot of that from a “friend” a few years ago because she was connected to a larger social scene which intrigued me. I loved having that connection; someone to go out with and with whom to dissect the scene. But she was unkind.
My connections are now isolated… a person here, a person there… none connected to each other or a larger social whole of which I am a part.