In the past year, super important friendships have dissolved. While I could dwell on those, I choose to look at all of the new and wonderful people that have walked in and brightened up my life.
I read quotes all over the internet that contradict each other, when it comes to relationships. Some will tell you that things are worth fighting for, and relationships take work. Others will say that once its over, to move on, because you don’t need someone who doesn’t want you.
Meaningful relationships do require effort. Communication, trust, compassion, and patience are necessary to grow with another person. If a relationship isn’t working, you have to analyze why. Let me tell you an experience I had last year.
My friend Lauren* and I were extremely close. I lived in New York for school, and she was back home in Nebraska. We talked on the phone almost every day, sometimes twice a day. I told her everything about me. We were both ambitious and had similar career goals. She was my best friend.
As my anxiety got worse through my first semester, I started talking to her more about it, because I didn’t know who else to go to. At first, she was kind and tried to help, but it wasn’t long before she started to get rude. She told me I was using my anxiety as a crutch. Every time I talked to her about it, I felt attacked, and there was nothing I could do.
The day that it ended, I was having a panic attack. I told her what I was going through and that I was stressing out. Her response, “Oh my god. What the f*ck is wrong with you?” I never texted back. It’s been ten months since we talked.
Without compassion or empathy, how does a relationship grow? It doesn’t. While it absolutely sucked to lose someone who I was close to for years, I knew it was something I wasn’t going to try and work out. She crossed a line.
There are relationships that are worth fighting (working) for, though. I live in New York. If I want to maintain relationships with people in Nebraska, we have to schedule FaceTime sessions or phone calls.
When it comes to working towards a healthier and more positive relationship, just remember to respect the other party. Don’t use guilt, negativity, or manipulation to get your way. Find the problem areas, and attack them together. Know the difference between a failed relationship, and a rocky patch. Some people are not compatible, others just need more direction on what you need to be happy. If you aren’t happy, something needs to change.