Friends and other Enemies

Relationships are complicated.

My feelings about relationships are complicated.

I’m having a difficult time with several of my “friends” these days. One of them is used to this. We’ve existed in a strangely functional dysfunctional friendship for quite some time. I’m never really sure what he is getting out of it but for some reason it works for him. Lately he’s decided he needs to get out more. A desire he has transferred to me.

Transference is a beautiful thing.

It’s one of the reasons models have limited personality – so we can imagine they are anything. On a person to person level it is an aspect of how we relate. We see things in others that we see in ourselves. It is when people see things in you that don’t exist that become creepy.

Can you tell I’ve been dating?

We want to date people who are like us. Who have similar views, ideas, and values. Usually as you get to know someone you start to see not only the similarities but also the differences. That is usually. Sometimes the desire to see someone not as you are but as you want them to be, assuming passions, knowledge and aspirations that they simply don’t have, is so powerful it overrides even logic.

Kind of like our political views. We pay attention to what supports our view and ignore or discount those pieces of information that doesn’t. Belief is a powerful and dangerous thing. Personally I don’t like to mess with it although it comes so naturally to us it is difficult to turn off.

There is a fine line between seeing someone as who they can be verses seeing them for who you wish them to be.

So, I’m complaining about my friendly enemies but the truth is that a lot of the problem lies with me.

(1)   I’m not good with expectations.

Every time I’ve been hired to “fix” something I’ve ended up on the street rather quickly. Granted I “fixed” the thing, but no one like the person who causes change thus the back on the street ending to my story. We have a build in negative reaction to change that is very difficult to overcome. I’ve become averse to being anyone’s solution to anything – professionally or romantically – it never goes the way they think it will. Now I choose to simply not get involved.   

(2)   Too much of how I view myself is wrapped up in being unique.

In the immortal words of Louisa in the Fantastics, “Please God, Please… Don’t let me be normal.” I shy away from those people who like to see themselves reflected in other. I believe in the uniqueness of each person. No one lives their life the same, views the world the same, thinks in exactly the same way. That individuality is something I treasure. The act of transference takes it away. I am no longer me but a ‘me’ you filter through your wants and desires. A ‘me’ that is only real for the viewer and has limited relation to the original.  

And just to be clear:

I’m not good at being the entertainment and just once would like to be the one in transition rather than the innumerable midlife crisis I’ve suffered through. I’ve decided it is my turn!  

I wonder what online dating would be like if we posted these types of things rather than pictures and interests? Probably not any different but it was an interesting thought. Most of us do a very poor job of seeing ourselves for who we really are besides the fact that we are very poor judges of what will make us happy.

It is rare to find people who see you for yourself – be those friends or lovers. People who don’t assume or if they do are willing to change their view. I treasure them. But I have to I’ve found so few.

Enough with the soul searching – I have fiction to write.

~ Tess

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