QUOTE: “When it hurts to look back, and you're scared to look ahead, you can look beside you and your best friend will be there.”
My best friend and I went through relationship transition together a little more than a year ago. In fact, that was the time when she and I started being best friends. Jan split up with her live-in boyfriend after three or four years and I had just become a widow.
We found comfort in sharing our sadness, grief and trials with each other. This brought us close together. Jan was there for me when my tears came and I had no one to talk to. In return, I listened to her venting and helped her through the bitterness and depression from the hurt inflicted upon her.
Neither Jan nor I were ready for a new relationship with another man. My grief was too fresh and her preference was to stay away from anyone else who might create the same kind of wounds and indignity she had suffered with Pete.
We were both content to be single women and we grew to depend on each other for moral and emotional support, and our friendship developed rapidly. I had always longed for a close woman friend and so I cherished Jan’s friendship. Her interests and mine ran along the same lines, and we enjoyed each other’s company.
We would get together once a week or so, if for nothing more than to have a movie night and eat popcorn, or share our mutual interest in music. We live in different towns, so getting together was something special, even though we talk to each other on the telephone every day just about.
A month or so ago, Jan’s interest in a man she’d been corresponding with on the Internet came into being. She found a guy with similar interests who was now calling her up and they were enjoying long talks and he was talking about moving to Colorado to be near her. Jan was developing a romantic interest in Sam.
My first reaction was one of mixed feelings. On one hand, I was excited for my friend and happy that she might be getting a new relationship in the near future. But then, I felt a little “left out.” This might mean that we wouldn’t be able to do things together as much as before. Would I lose my best friend?
What about the camping trips and the hikes we had planned to do? What about the trip to New Mexico and Arizona we had talked about taking this winter?
Suddenly, I felt a little bit resentful. Jan was going to get a new boyfriend, but here I was… still alone… what about me?
Ironically, the tables turned on us. Jan’s prospective boyfriend suddenly became an unlikely possibility. At the same time, a new man came into my life — quite spontaneously — and now I am the one who has started a new relationship and Jan is the one who is feeling left out and confused.
We’ve been talking a lot to each other about our feelings. When she first heard I was dating Doug, she wanted to warn me about jumping in too fast. She was suddenly full of well-meaning advice to keep me from getting hurt. But when I ignored her advice and my new relationship began to intensify and become something beyond my wildest dreams, poor Jan grew depressed and morose.
I saw immediately what was going on. I recognized the feelings I had felt when I thought she was getting a new boyfriend and was afraid our best-friend relationship was going to change. When I pointed out to her how I had felt just a few short weeks earlier, she then realized that was what it was.
Abandonment is an issue we all deal with because we live in 3D on Planet Earth. It all started when we were born and came out of the womb into this cold, limited place and fear and insecurity overcame us. Jan did not want me to abandon her as her best friend!
The following excerpt is from Michelle Knudson at http://www.associatedcontent.com.
“How can you help someone to overcome abandonment issues? Make sure to have quite a bit of patience with the individual. Let them know that you aren't a liar. Promise the person that you aren't going to send them away. Tell the individual that you are never going to leave them. It takes time for someone with abandonment issues to trust people because of everything that they have been through.
“They need to know that people will follow through with what they say. They need to know that people around them are going to always come back and never leave them. They need to know that people love them. They need to feel loved. It is difficult for them to believe everything that people say because most everyone has lied to them. It is difficult for some friends and family members to understand. The person may have problems in a romance relationship or keeping friends because of being paranoid most of the time about people because of what has happened in the past. They often want to have control of situations due to other people just leaving and never coming back.”
(End of excerpt...)
Just because I am in love again doesn’t mean I can’t keep my best friend. I know that Jan feels the same way. I know she wants a relationship too, but she is still in that place where she is unsure… which is where I was, too... just a short time ago.
I told Jan she needs to be happy. She needs to project an image of herself as being a bright, life-loving, go-getter of a woman before she will attract the right man into her life. If she walks around with a glum look on her face and projecting an image of being a victim, she’s either going to repel men or she’s going to bring into her experience the wrong kind of man.
I’ve always felt that before we can fully love someone else, we need to love ourselves first and accept ourselves for whom and what we are, no matter what anyone else judges us to be. In Jan’s case, her ex-boyfriend had criticized her looks. He had destroyed her confidence in herself.
Yet Jan truly is one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen and has so much talent and appeal. She deserves a wonderful, caring man in her life… just as I have now… and I know that one day she will find love again.
And in the meantime, we are still best friends. We still talk on the phone every day. We share our news, our trials, our joys, our pain. I think I have convinced her that our relationship will not change just because of Doug. And if Sam does eventually come into her life, I know that she will still be my best friend.