Thursday, July 23, 2009

to have a friend you must be a friend

do you ever have those moments where there are a million things you want to blog about and you don't know which topic to choose? yeah, i'm totally having one of those moments. decisions, decisions, decisions!

ok, ok i'll choose.

so the last few weeks i've really been dwelling on the concept of friendship. something i certainly tend to take for granted at times. i think reality has just really hit me regarding some relationships that i thought were closer than they probably were. let me explain why. ever heard of the 5 love languages? it's this theory that there are 5 main ways we give and receive love: physical touch, quality time, gifts, acts of service and words of affirmation... something along those lines. so basically every person is kind of wired to give and receive love the majority of the time through 1 way. yes, we can (and should) all learn to be more balanced in this but the reality is that many of us aren't. as a result of these "love languages" we can actually harm and hinder our relationships with others.

let me explain.

i'm going to use my relationship with my bff as an example (hope you don't mind lyr). lyryn's main love language is quality time. in order for her to feel loved by those closest to her she needs to spend time with them, even if that means sitting together watching tv or catching the latest chick flick. so as her best friend the most loving thing for me to do is to show her i love her by spending time with her. is that what i do? certainly not often enough. why? one of the main ways i show love is by giving gifts, whether that's picking out a trendy necklace on one of my around-the-world adventures or buying a cute outfit for her adorable little boy. so if i continue to show lyryn love only through the mode in which i'm most comfortable, without regard for the way she most receives it, is that really loving? sure my intentions are good, but they're mainly selfish because it makes me feel good to give love in the way i'm most comfortable. heavy, huh?

granted we all need to learn how to give and receive love in various ways but part of learning to love others is learning how to show them. i have by no means figured this all out and i am definitely still in the learning process. it's just something that i have really been thinking about lately. i mainly receive love through gifts and acts of service. while quality time is great, it's not a necessity for me in a relationship. sounds silly doesn't it? it feels kind of silly writing it. how can you even have a relationship without quality time? i'm not saying i don't need it at all, just maybe not as much as others. a big part of that could be that i've been single for the last 26 years so i've learned to be independent. unfortunately the lack of a need for quality time has certainly hurt relationships over the years. i'm really starting to see that now.

it's hard when you realize that you aren't as close to people as you think you are. i take full responsibility for many of these failed relationships. i recognize that i fall short on initiating time together with these people and it hurts. i've done a lot of self-examination and i realize that my views on friendship are really different than the average person. i don't have time on this post to go into it all. i'm still trying to figure it out myself. God is slowly revealing things to me and i'm working through it and what it means from here on out.

to those relationships that i've hurt or let fall to the wayside, i'm sorry.

so in an attempt to love my bff more i'm driving to baltimore tomorrow to spend time with her while she's on a business trip. it was going to be a surprise but she figured it out thanks to my oh-so-obvious mom. haha. it's ok though. the main point is to show her that i love her and value our relationship. ultimately that should be our goal with the people that we love, right?


Kristin Williams Balla said...

You truly are Lyryn's BFF. I love watching the two of you grow in wisdom and maturity as young women and as friends. I totally agree with the whole love language thing. I tend to feel loved through acts of service, and Attila has that one nailed!

Asha McGarrell said...

Hi, found you through 20sb. Have fun in Baltimore and be safe in Africa.

Katie @ Loves of Life said...

i know exactly what you mean! this is one of those things that feels like a lightbulb moment. i love that book and it TRULY sheds a TON of light on the subject.


Lyryn said...

SO great babe! Thank you for spending that time with me!!! It meant the world! LOVE YOU!!!!