Monday, May 14, 2012

Friendly advice

I said it before, and I'll say it again: My friends are amazing. I'm so lucky and blessed to have them, and I know that no matter how hard this is, it would be a hundred times more difficult without them.

It's interesting to hear the advice that different friends will offer. They each hear the same information, and they all know me, and want the best for me. So I know their advice is based on the same situation, and has the same intent - to protect me and make me feel better.

But based on their own personality and experiences, the advice can be vastly different.

Some have other problems in their own lives. Whether it's financial difficulties, or a change in jobs, or whatever - relationships just aren't high on their priority list. To them, if my biggest problem is a guy I dated for six months decides he doesn't want to date anymore, I should count myself lucky and move on.

I understand that point of view. I mean - I am lucky to not have other problems. The thing is, no matter who you are or where you are in life, loss is still loss. It still hurts. It's still scary. It still sucks. So while the process for me to "pick myself back up" might be a little different, it's still not any easier.

I was telling a friend the other day that I think relationships are tough for me because I don't get to decide. At the end of the day, it's only 50% my decision how well, or even if, a relationship will work. My career, my finances, my health - those are more in my control. As a result, I stress less over those things. But finding love and being able to have someone special in my life is a priority for me. For better or worse, there it is. So if I find someone, and invest myself, and come to trust in those feelings, and then suddenly it's gone - it hurts. A lot.

Other friends think I should cut myself some slack. "How does the girl with the dating blog not allow herself some time to be sad?" one asked. I guess I was thinking that because I was in a better place going into this relationship, I'd be better equipt to handle whatever happened. But it really is different this time. I feel like I've lost a lot, and grieving for that is very painful.

I also have friends who may be too well adjusted. They've been through something similar, went to counseling, and know all the stages, even as I go through them. They can identify when I'm in denial, or anger, or bargaining (more on that coming up, by the way).

That's actually helpful, even if it is a little frustrating to my emotional side. I want what I want; and while that may be, I'm also smart enough to know that what we want isn't always what's best. Sometimes it helps to take a step back and look at things objectively.

I love and appreciate all my friends. Actually, all of their advice has been helpful. I think the trick is to listen to what people are telling you - especially if you know they love and care for you, and just want you to feel better. Just listen.

Even if you don't think the advice suits you right then, things might change. You just might find that advice you didn't want to hear was exactly what you needed.


  1. This is very true.

    Take all the advice no matter how much you like or dislike it.

    It may be helpful at a later time.

    I agree with your friends who think using this as a place to grieve is appropriate.
    IT IS.

    I love your writing style.
    If I may:

    Close your eyes, and type whatever's up in your head.
    Even if you save it as a draft and never post it.

  2. Chocolate is definitely my friend.