For years, I have carried a heavy burden on my shoulders.
I have a difficult time making friends with women. I have deep seeded trust issues and insecurities surrounding relationships with them. They stem from past shitty experiences. A classic Psychology case study.
What I am starting to realize in my late 30’s, though, is that I have mistakenly associated friendship with back-stabbing, lying, manipulation, jealousy, and deceit. I see friendship with women as a trap, a set up for failure.
I have formed a negative image of girlfriends in my mind, and have believed it for too long.
This is why I struggle to form new friendships.
The truth is, friendship is NOT lying and manipulating each other. It is not being jealous and competing with each other. Those things are different. My problem is that I’ve been confusing these things AS friendships, though. Hence my hesitations to start any new friendships with women.
I think a lot of us make this mistake without even realizing it.
It’s why we say things like, “Love sucks! Marriage stinks! I never want to date another man/woman again!”
Love, in all forms, is love. Yes, it IS as simple as that.
When someone lies to you, cheats on you, hits you, verbally abuses you, they are NOT loving you. That is NOT love. That is not friendship. Nor is it marriage or dating, or any of those other positive relationships.
Those are red flags, warning signs, and issues that need to be addressed. Those are wake up calls, boundary testing, and character checking.
Love does NOT hurt. Lies hurt.
Love does NOT suck. Cheating sucks.
Unfortunately, in order to have a happy marriage, a great friendship, a functional relationship of any kind, we have to sort out and filter the bad. We have to face lies, deceit, bad words, manipulation, and pain.
Those are the challenges that teach us what we want, what we need, and what we deserve in a relationship.
It is how we find true love and friendships that last a lifetime.
We have to know pain to appreciate love.
Just don’t mix up the two as one and the same.
As I shift my perspective, I find myself much more open to women in general, and a newfound excitement for friendships that I’ve been robbing myself of for so long.
When we allow love to happen to us, and deal with pain as a tool towards building a quality of life, we are no longer jaded or bitter.
Love is love.