The Difference

Anybody else read The Five Love Languages? If you have, you know all about them and what they mean. If you haven’t, here’s a quick rundown – each person feels love a different way. Gary Chapman argues that there’s mostly five ways to give and receive love. The five are: giving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch.

Chapman says to discover another person’s love language, one must observe the way they express love to others, and analyze what they complain about most often and what they request from their significant other most often. He theorizes that people tend to naturally give love in the way that they prefer to receive love.

Anybody who knows me knows that quality time is the most important thing in my life. As long as I’m with the people I love, and who love to be around me, I’m beyond content. I am the best version of me when I am surrounded by friends and family.

However, being wired this way means I take sly looks, being ignored, and perceived slights very personally. I hate that I do – I hate being so sensitive. I’ve tried my entire life to be more thick skinned, but honestly I just want to love people, want them to love me, and I’m willing to put in the work to maintain a friendship.

What destroys me more than anything is when a close person doesn’t put in the same amount of effort. When it’s me pulling the entire weight, reaching out to you, never hearing back, you not taking advantage of time we could’ve had together – I start to feel a little worthless.

I understand I am demanding. I don’t think I can just not care, when I’ve spend parts of my life loving and creating memories with a person. I can’t fathom the idea that our best times can be in the past. And when a close friend acts that way, I’m hurt.

Symptoms of the same problem often resemble each other. They may sound different, or look nothing alike, but that doesn’t mean they don’t manifest from the same place.

I feel like I’ve heard it all. People who only spent time with me because it was convenient  for them at the time all have one thing in common. They’ve got an excuse for why things can’t be the same anymore, and they move on.

“I’m just in a busy time in my life, I’m sorry.”

“I’ve just been struggling with a lot lately, and I haven’t really talked to anyone lately, I’m sorry. (while posting on IG photos of a bunch of new friends they’ve made).”

“I’m not good at long distance friendships. I’m sorry.”

You aren’t sorry. You are a bad friend. You may not know it, but I bet you do. And somebody who knows you’re a bad friend? That might be the worst of them all.

Because if you know you’re a bad friend, you’ve come to terms with it. You aren’t trying to get better, you’re fine with your minimal effort. If you know that you’re a bad friend, you’re just a bad friend. There isn’t a difference between being a bad person and a bad friend. And that’s the problem where the symptoms, excuses, whatever you want to call them comes from.

I get angry about this, because I care about creating something special with people who I think are special. Clearly, I can be wrong. But if you can’t be bothered to say hi, try to be better, or even reach out when we’re in the same area, I won’t wait on you anymore.

If a thought is love’s currency, clearly I’m not worth anything to you. I just wish you would’ve told me before I started calling you my friend.

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