Obsessive Friendship: Who’s at the Center of Your Life?

Rin and Emiya

Who do you keep at the center of your heart and mind?

Okay, so you know how I’ve been talking about high-school romance and friendship over the past couple weeks?  Well, recently I’ve been thinking a lot about high school romance within those healthy friendships that we form.  I mean, boys will be attracted to girls, and vice versa, whether their relationship is romantic or not.

I wanted to share in particular my thoughts about how friendship can be tricky with a person you love, especially if you’re head over heels for someone.

Before I get started, first recall everything I talked about in my two previous posts “Satisfying the Urge for Teen Romance” and “Why being ‘Just Friends’ is Stupid” To summarize, I stated that dating in high school isn’t always smart.  Yes, we have intense desires and emotions, but when it comes to actually loving the person that we claim to love…well, love might require that we do NOT date that person.  Then I went on to say in another post that friendship is an awesome alternative to dating in high school.  In fact, it’s such an awesome alternative that I thought people should stop reducing its value.  Being “just friends” is stupid.  Because the “just” shouldn’t even be there.  Be friends.

However, there is still the issue of being friends with a person that you love.  Just because you’ve decided to be friends—and close friends—, the desire to date is definitely still there.  So what do you do?  How are you supposed to respond?

Let me try to break some things down for you, based off of personal knowledge and personal experience.

If you’re going to be friends, you need to keep things in perspective.  Namely, keep everything in “friend”-perspective.

What does that mean?  I mean that, even if you’re deciding not to be romantic with each other (like telling each other “I love you”, or holding hands, or even flirting, etc.), it’s still EXTREMELY easy to view that person as a boyfriend/girlfriend.  Maybe your relationship is under control because you’re friends, but sometimes we have the tendency to expect certain things from each other that we would also expect if we were dating.  For instance, a lot more goes into a dating relationship than just romantic/physical stuff.

Take for example that when two people date, they tend to make their relationship exclusive.  They treat each other as #1.  Or consider how when people date, they want to be at the center of each other’s time?  They think that they deserve each other’s time and attention over everyone else.

Now, what happens when you apply this to your FRIENDSHIP with the person that you like?

Uh, bad things.

Seriously.

This kind of relationship can gain a sense of obsessiveness.  We elevate our relationship to the level of a romantic/dating relationship under the name of friendship.  We tell each other that we won’t be romantic, but then we expect things from each other that places a sense of exclusivity or obsessiveness on our friendship.  It makes friendship confining.  It can even make it selfish.

And that’s not love.

Love is freeing.  Love gives.  Love is all about “the other”.  Do I need to quote Corinthians for you?  Okay!

4  Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 

So keep everything in perspective.  Realize and be content with where you are in your relationship.  You can still feel a desire to love someone in a deeper, more physical way.  That’s a good thing.  It can even be holy, especially if you allow God to purify your desires.  In fact, it’s even okay for you to allow your desires to drive you to love that person.  That’s how God designed it.

There’s nothing wrong with being friends with a member of the opposite sex and still being a man and a woman for each other.  Guys, you can still be friends with a girl and hold doors open for her; girls, you can still be friends with a guy and let/even expect him to pay for you when you go to a restaurant or see a movie.  There’s nothing wrong with men being men for women, and women being women for men.  Romance doesn’t need to come into the picture (even though it probably will).  I hope all of that makes sense.

Okay, I’ve given you a mentality: keep everything in perspective.  But if I can give you some more practical advice…

So let’s say you feel this desire to form an obsessive friendship with someone.  Or let’s say you tend to view this person that you like as more than a friend, even though friendship is where you are in your relationship…and where you should be at your current stage of life.

What if you’re making your life all about this ONE person?  What if you’ve made them the center of your life?  Your thoughts revolve around them, around the next time you see them, about what you will say when you see them?  Maybe your thoughts can be centered on love: you really care about them.  But what if…for your current stage in life, for the current state of your relationship with this person, you’re just being a little obsessive?

What do you do?

My advice: use your relationship with this person to raise all of your relationships.

Raise your other relationships how?

Well, if you tend to be centered on just one person, branch out.  Don’t allow yourself to slip into exclusivity.  Make your life about even more people.  Reach out and try to develop a deeper relationship with all of your friends; don’t focus on just this one relationship.  And strive for balance.

For example: let’s say you’ve made a habit of texting your friend (whom you actually really like) before every important event or competition in his/her life.  Every time he or she has a game, or a concert, or something, you text him/her “Good luck!”   You do it to show that you care…and you actually do.

Well, start doing that for all of your other friends.

It can be that simple.  I’m not saying be obnoxiously obsessive.  But just try to be more involved, more balanced with all of your friendships.

Do you see what I mean when I say that your desire for a deeper relationship with this one person can be used to deepen your relationships with your other friends too?

Flee from unnecessary exclusivity in friendship.  If you always tend to hug the person you like whenever you greet him/her, hug your other friends too.  If you’d hold the door open for this girl that you like, why not hold it open for your other friends-that-are-girls?

I understand this might seem complicated…maybe not even convincing.  I guess I’m just asking you to trust me.  Make it about everyone.  Make it about love.  Don’t be obsessive.  If you’re like me, and you’re in high school, chances are your life isn’t meant to be completely dedicated to one person right now…

…but, of course, if you really want to dedicate yourself to one Person, He’s always waiting 😉

If you have any questions, or if you’d like me to write about something in particular that relates to the topic of dating/friendship/other, please let me know!

Stay awesome!

Dominic (Aul)


Like me as a blogger? Like the way I write?

Believe me, my books are way better than this post. If you really want to see the best I can do, check out my fantasy/anime series “The Golden Lands”. The first volume is free as an eBook, or you can just read it in the form of “episodes” right here on my blog! Go to my page Embark on the Journey: Volume 1 Episodes for a complete list of episodes. I also post episodes every week, so look for them if you really want to experience the best I’ve got!

Advertisements

5 comments

  1. neighborhoodotaku

    Your post spoke directly into where I am in my own stage of life. Ever since prom finished two weeks ago, I have had the desire to grow a stronger relationship with my date and have fallen into the “exclusive friendship” trap that you discussed. I feel this deep obligation to hang out with her more than my other friends and it is just a very awkward situation. I had made it clear with her that I didn’t want to date until we were a few months out of high school, yet I treat our friendship almost with an obsessive isolation. I wanted to thank you for what you wrote today and I will work on allowing Christ to infiltrate my relationship with my prom date.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Saddy

    Great job with tackling this subject! Job very well done. I am going through a situation where I am falling pretty hard for a friend of mine, but I don’t want our relationship to become obsessive because I fear that I will lose him as a friend. We hang out a lot, with and without other friends, but its not like it’s awkward or that only one of us wants to hang out all the time. We both make these plans and just follow through with them. I really just want to make sure that we are not turning out friendship into an obsessive one. Suggestions ?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aul

      Hey there!
      Thanks! I’m glad you took away something from the post.

      Okay, I think I understand what you’re going through. I’m going through a very similar situation with a friend of mine too. I have a number of suggestions for you:

      1. Don’t set expectations for each other. What does that mean? In a way, that doesn’t EXACTLY make sense. If you’re friends with someone, or closer, of course you might expect things from each other (time, attention, care/concern, etc.) That makes sense…but relationships aren’t about expectations. And what’s more, if you’re trying to NOT have an obsessive relationship, you need to NOT set expectations for each other. You can’t set each other on a pedestal and be disappointed if the other person doesn’t live up to your expectations. Once again, like I said in the post, keep things in perspective. If you are friends, and you’re trying to be friends, then don’t set expectations that you would have if you were dating. That would be setting the other person on a pedestal.

      2. Watch your thoughts. Having an “obsessive friendship”, i think, largely arises from how you choose to VIEW someone. It has less to do with how you act towards a person…it’s mainly about how you train yourself to feel. So what do I mean by “watching” your thoughts? Try to get rid of any unnecessary daydreaming. Daydreaming, if we’re honest with ourselves, is really quite useless. It creates a false version of the person that you claim to love, in a false, overly perfect reality that we create, and daydreaming even fosters an unhealthy desire for control…like everything needs to work out the way you planned it in your daydream. All of that being said, don’t take this too far. You SHOULD be able to imagine yourself being happy with this person in the future. Deciding in your thoughts WHAT you want to happen is fine, but if you focus on HOW it happens, you can slip into obsessiveness.

      3. Train yourself to be happy for the other person. I think this is SUPER important. Train yourself to be happy for the person that you claim to love, whether or not you feel loved back or not. Feel happy, and want what’s best for them, even if things don’t work out between you. And if things ARE working out between you, still put the other person’s happiness first. Does that make sense? Basically, if you do pursue a relationship, you’re setting yourself up for a healthy relationship…but also a healthy break up. If you are genuinely concerned about each other’s happiness, and get rid of selfishness that would make you feel like the other person OWES you something, you can be happy for each other no matter where life takes each of you. You can never date each other, and both of you start dating someone else. Or you can date each other and break up. Or you can stay together forever. In any of these cases, fostering a sense of happiness for the other person will ensure that your friendship will remain in tact.

      4. Don’t be like me. I set expectations for my friend that she wasn’t even aware of, and also that weren’t in the perspective of our friendship. I’m really sorry for that, and I hope she can forgive me. But this literally started to ruin my life. Whether or not she realized it, I was demanding her time and attention, as if I were her boyfriend, when, in reality, we were friends. Every time she didn’t respond to my expectations, I felt mortified. And it wasn’t her fault, it was mine. I wasn’t keeping things in perspective. My desire to hang out with her might’ve been pure, but I was being obsessive. My mom helped me find a remedy…I know it may not sound nice, but she basically told me that I needed to stop caring so much. I had to go with the flow. I needed to stop daydreaming and setting up perfect situations (like always being able to hang out whenever I wanted) and be flexible. I needed to be more unconditional.

      Your heart is already in right place by caring so much. You just need to watch yourself. You need to realize and keep in check how much you are relying on this person, how much you expect of them, and you need to find other outlets for everything that you need. That was another thing that I struggled with; I expected my friend to be able to solve all of my problems and to be everything that I needed. But the truth is, she wasn’t ready to fulfill that role, and nor was she actually able to. Only God is able to fully console us and be everything that we need. Once again, I really hope my friend can forgive me for all of that. But I would ask you to not make the same mistake. I know that it won’t be easy. It will be a struggle. But you shouldn’t fret too much either. It’s a process; it takes time. And if you’re genuinely determined to do what’s best for this person, I know God will help you and you’ll find a way.

      I hope this helps 🙂

      Dom

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s