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Respect and Friendship. [Dec. 4th, 2010|03:13 pm]
[emotional state |contemplativecontemplative]
[song on the wind |Miss You Till I Meet You - Dar Williams]

I was talking with a friend of mine in ATITD earlier today about crushes and Romantic Relationships and the foundations of such. The whole conversation twisted and turned, as such conversations do, and lead to a discussion about respect in friendships. He said something about not necessarily always respecting all of his friends, which lead me to the following...

"Well yes, there are people who I call my friends, that I spend time with and care about that are also dumb-asses. Those are NOT the people who I confide in and bare my soul to and ask advice from and consider my close friends. Who's decisions and motivations in life I consistently agree with and respect. Not to say I always agree with everything they do, but when they do something cringe-worthy I think of it as them doing something dumb-ass, vs BEING a dumb-ass, and it emotionally affects me more. It's that latter type of friendship that I believe needs to be part of a romantic relationship for it to succeed long-term. If you don't respect your partner in that way, how on Earth can you expect anything to last?"

Gumby and I have that. Gumby and I had that before we ever MET, which is part of why we WORK. I'm quite blessed that I've had that in my last few substantial relationships, and I have a number of close friends whom I really respect. The more I think about it the more I realize that Darxus and I never had that, and were never going to develop that. What in my addled 21 year old brain made me think that it was ever going to work?

Saying the above "out loud" has helped me realize why some friendships I have had over the years have worked out, or failed, in the ways that they have. Do I have to agree with everything that my friends do or say? No. But if you don't like or approve of many or most of the decisions your friends make, what is there really to be friends with?


[User Picture]From: drwex
2010-12-06 10:09 pm (UTC)

I think part of the problem is we lack words

In the UK people are not just friends they're also "mates" and your "mate" is someone you might go to a pub with to share a drink, or go to a football match with, but you wouldn't invite over for dinner and probably don't do much more than swap cards at Xmas.

"Chum" is someone you probably went to school with and see at reunions, and maybe you invite them over for holiday parties and such-like, particularly if it's a good chance to introduce your families to each other, etc.

In French there are "copains" that are different from "amis". Unfortunately both of those words tend to get rendered as 'friend' in English, which wholly loses the distinction.

All of which is to say that I have friends whose political opinions, choices in purchasing, partnering habits (you put your dick in THAT?) and such-like I don't necessarily agree with. But all I have to label them with, in English, is 'friend.' They're not the same class of friend as some other people, but again, one word tries to fit all. And like a lot of one-size things, fails miserably.
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