Not so long ago, I ran into a person who used to be a friend of mine. We parted ways after I grasped who this person truly was and I realized that their definition of a relationship was far from how I defined my friendships. It was an awkward reunion, to say the least, and after the uncomfortable hug was over I left thinking about the many things that had occurred during our friendship that helped me to redefine my idea of a relationship.
I have grown up knowing that a true relationship is born of empathy and that a relationship, in its purest form, receives as much as it gives. Thus was not the case in this instance.
It is difficult to put a relationship under a microscope and analyze the small parts that make up the sum of those parts. In the initial stages of that friendship, the sum seemed to make complete sense, but upon further scrutiny, those parts did not add up at all. It was easy for me to dismiss the signs that our friendship did not compute, but I was unwilling to see the failure in the equation, for whatever reason. Seeing this person again made me realize that I was right to stand behind my feelings and although there is always the urge to keep a hold on what is familiar, sometimes you can’t go back.
I can’t forgive many of the things that happened in our past and I certainly can’t overlook that this person could never see beyond themselves to put me first, in any situation. I can’t disregard the fact that my needs never came ahead of theirs, and I can’t ignore the numerous times that I put my needs aside to get them through their next crisis. I wanted to move forward and so many of the parameters of our relationship needed to be redefined in order for me to do that.
I will never be sad that I gave so much of myself in that relationship because that is who I am. I will never regret the time I spent trying to help. But at some point, I realized that my needs were just as important and, even though there had been many good times in our relationship, the need to move forward was more important that the urge to go back.