Here’s the thing, I love having face-to-face friends. I love being able to go out and do stuff with someone else. I love being able to grow a relationship where sharing grows into a possibility. But mostly I just put a lot of time, energy, and emotion into something that goes nowhere.
Two years ago, when I moved back to my homestate, I ran into someone downtown, that I knew before moving away. We had never become friends, but it looked like it was a possibility back then. She acted pretty much the same, kind of wanting to become friends, suggesting things we could do together, all things that I would like to do.
We did get together twice and I did call her several times. She wanted to do things that I couldn’t do, mostly because I have difficulty and pain when walking and sitting. As a disabled person I thought she would understand what my limitations were, but that never seemed to happen.
She would roll her eyes when I would explain why somewhere was not a good place to eat for me and suggest somewhere else, which turned out to be places she did not want to go to. Like my brother I had lived with, she was convinced she knew what was safe and gluten free and how to tell, though she knew nothing at all. We did manage to go to two places to have coffee.
I tried to explain to her everything and tried to explain what my living space was like at the time; unsafe, loud, drinking, smoking, and drugs going on in the house where I was renting a room, and that right now I was not getting enough sleep and just trying to cope and to move out of there. I told her I am so tired from all of this. Her response was, well it is making me tired just listening to it. That was like a slap in the face. It really hurt my feelings.
I wasn’t trying to disclose and complain to her. I was just trying to explain so that she would understand that I just didn’t have the energy or rest to do things with her that week or the next one, because she was trying to pressure me into making some commitments I couldn’t.
She also had wanted me to move into the apartment complex where she lived, though she then proceeded to list off a long list of complaints about the place. She was upset that I moved somewhere else and that my place had stairs. I would have preferred no stairs myself. The stairs can be a huge issue for me some days. I was not happy with that, but I had to move and it was a place to move to and I was very thankful for that.
Then she stopped answering her phone and not returning my messages. This was exactly how our interactions had ended the last time.This isn’t the only recent potential friendship that ended badly. But the end of the interactions were for the best.
I have some wonderful online friendships that have included blogs, phone calls and emails. Here’s the thing, once you’ve been consistently respected, cared for, listened to, loved, valued; supported in time, words, feedback, and emotion it makes it easy to spot when you aren’t being and hard to accept less from someone saying they are a friend.
What I get from my online friends is huge. It makes it impossible for me to accept something less in person.