After reading this post today, my thankfulness for not needing to be married is renewed. I’m so thankful that I do not have children to take care of right now. I’m so thankful that the salary I earn is more than enough.
I met up with two very different friends at separate times and places today. Each of them are dating two very different people.
I met the first friend for breakfast at a local diner. I hadn’t seen this friend since May when I helped her move out of the house she and her ex-long-term boyfriend had bought together. The guy that she is dating now is much more gentlemanly, much more outgoing, and much more chill. We had a good time chatting and catching up.
I met the second friend to watch a dodgeball tournament for charity. This time last year, she was also in a fairly deep relationship that ended rather abruptly. Her current boyfriend has a lot in common with her: same college, both from Nor Cal, now both live in So Cal. Nice guy, from what I can tell.
The main difference is with the people. Breakfast Friend is unapologetically herself – she loves freebies, going to Yelp events, enjoying good food, and is health and exercise conscious. Never have I seen her act any different when she moves from group to group, circle to different circle of people.
I noticed a slight difference in Dodgeball Friend today. She appeared more girly, more reliant on the guy to answer her questions. She showed apprehension when the dodge balls flew into the audience. Previously, I knew her as sporty, independent, curious to seek her own answers, and enjoys physically aggressive activities.
On the one hand, I understand why relationships change people. Their influence on you is large, and vice versa, especially during the ‘meet the parents’ phase like Dodgeball Friend’s relationship is.
On the other hand, it is a little sad to lose some of yourself when working at a relationship. Does it have to be that way? Can’t a relationship be about gaining something for both people involved? Can’t both people’s characteristics be enhanced? Improved? Refined so that both are more generous, more forgiving, more wise, and more loving to all, and not just to each other? Can’t relationships be less about the image and more about, you know, the relationship?
I’m rather thankful sometimes, that I’m not currently in a relationship. I would like to be, and I pray for it. But I also pray that I keep who I am in the bargain as well.