You Don’t Have To Say I Love You

“You don’t have to say you love me” ~ Dusty Springfield

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Love (vb): to have great affection for a person or thing

 

I’ve written a lot about love and friendship within this blog. This is because they are two of the most important things to me and go hand in hand.

It’s easy to take our friends, those we love for granted. Our love for them may be undisputed within our hearts but we forget to express it, to show how much we care and that we do appreciate how lucky we are to have them in our lives.

You don’t even have to say that you love them. There are so many ways to express love without ever even using the word (photo with kind permission of Vivienne Clore)

Love

 

 

My best friend died last year so I can’t say any of these things to him anymore. I would give up scores of things, people, to have him back. It’s selfish but I want my best friend back. I want that gap that his absence creates filled by his presence. I don’t know if I told him I loved him often enough. Or how much he meant to me. But I do know I said many of those things so I hope he knew.

My point, such as there is, is tend your friendships. Like plants, they need watering & sunshine, space in which to grow and, occasionally, culling. Life is simply too short to waste time on those who don’t enrich your life

But never stop telling the ones that do how much you love and appreciate them, however you chose to express it. Because one day you won’t be able to and that will be the time you want to do it the most.

 

Princess

Friendship?

“When other friendships have been forgot, ours will still be hot” ~ Anything Goes

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Friendship (n): the state of being a friend; association as friends

In vino veritas. It means ‘in wine there is truth‘ and I’ve been pondering this recently after making a comment about a friendship after not really that much wine at all.

I’m not going to repeat what I said. For the purposes of this blog it isn’t relevant but the point that struck me is and it is this: what friendships matter, what do I put into them, what do I get out of them, and is it/are they worth it?

There are, of course, many different types of friendship, just as there are many different types of love. You can go through life with a whole host of casual acquaintances, the type of person you nod hello to in a shared office space or when out walking the dog. The exchanges may never become more than that but those friendly faces can help us through our days.

Some perhaps do progress beyond that. You walk your dogs together, you go for a drink after work. Somewhere there is a shift and this person becomes beyond an acquaintance. Not a friend you’d invite to your wedding, perhaps, but certainly someone who has become to matter. And, unless you are only friends with people you know from school and or/university, that is how a lot of friendships developed. It’s a natural and understandable progression, how else do you meet people? Oh yes, the internet. More specifically, social media. This piece in the Guardian sums up the nature of online friendships quite succinctly.

Here it is possible and generally likely to make a further whole host of casual acquaintances; the exchanges about 6Music and bacon become the online version of the nods exchanged whilst walking the dog. They are no less valid by the virtue of being online. In fact it could be argued that they are of more value, spending increasing amounts of time online means we need our friendly faces there too.

And it is also possible to make friends online, proper true friends; the kind that would hold your hand through tragedy and dance with you in your triumphs. And we all need friends like that. What price a whole host of casual acquaintances if there isn’t someone you wholeheartedly could rely on if your world falls apart at 3am?

Which takes me back to in vino veritas. I can think of several people who could call me at 3am and I would be there for them. But there are only two or three that I would call in return. (One of those died last year but that’s an entirely different blog about friendship). This isn’t an idictment on my friends, some of whom may absolutely know they would be there for me at 3am, irrespective of whether I may think I would call them or not. It’s about the curious quirks of thought within me as to what the differing natures of friendships are and and the ways in which they matter.

And they do all matter; I want my conversations about bacon and I want my hand holding. We all need both. But sometimes it’s important to not confuse the two

Interested in your thoughts, as always, so why not drop me a line on a comment box-shaped postcard.

Princess

Friendship

“Friends will be friends, when you’re in need of love they give you care and attention. Friends will be friends, when you’re through with life and all hope is lost, hold out your hand cos friends will be friends right till the end” ~ Queen

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Friendship (n): the state of being a friend, association as friends, to value a person’s friendship

Eleven years ago, strangely enough at this time of year, I caught my boyfriend and my best friend together. Yes, it is a tragic tale but not without some humorous elements but that’s a story for another time. The only reason I mention is, a few days after the event, said best friend came out with a line regarding the situation that I’ve never forgotten. She said, and this is a direct quote, “There are three people hurting in this situation when there should only be one.” Her meaning was that, despite our close friendship that she had betrayed, despite the several years boyfriend and I had been together, I should gracefully back off and leave the two of them to be happy together.

Needless to say, both the relationship and the friendship ended.

I missed her so much. He I got over quickly in comparison. But I missed my friendship with her badly. Friends, good close friends, are so incredibly hard to find. Someone who thinks like you, laughs at what you laugh at, shares your ideas & your hopes, has got your back even when you didn’t even realise you were in trouble.

People roll out all the clichés when a relationship ends “Plenty more fish in the sea” they say, amongst others, but for the death of a friendship there’s nothing. You’re just supposed to dust yourself off and carry on.

@miss_alaynius wrote a great blog on the differing nature of friendships and has summed it up much better than I feel I could (especially as I have been trying to write this blog since Christmas!). Some people do only drift into our lives for a season, turn up for a specific reason, or stay for life. But every single one has an impact on and changes our lives.

Social media has now a massive impact on our lives and so, as an extension of that, out friendships. Close, intense, friendships can be formed between people who’ve never even met. Some people don’t understand this. ‘How can you be friends? You’ve never met them.’ Do you need to physically meet someone to call them a friend? Was there ever this much furore about pen friends?

Another blog that has highlighted how friendships made via social media can matter and mean so much is this by @andromedababe. Stuck at home, ill, now with a broken arm, the things she has received and is still receiving from people she’s never met are making her time at home so much more bearable. I’ve benefited from some glorious bits of post from ‘unknown’ friends too; chocolates to fatten me up, random gifts and cards to make me smile, and my own Pink Panther DVD boxset. The chocolates were swiftly and happily eaten, other things still litter my flat and my desk at work and make me smile

Going back to my ex best friend, it took years to stop missing her, to stop having that close female friendship void. But over the last 3 years I’ve made three close and I truly believe life-enduring friendships with three amazing women. I went to the wedding of one at the weekend. As I said at time and then to her later, she has never looked more beautiful nor have I felt prouder to be her friend than when she walked down the aisle. She has had such a tough time, to see her happy is all I could wish for. Another is the person who gave me the picture at the top of this post. In a short space of time, out friendship and we ourselves have survived so many blows, set-backs and hardships it fair takes our breath away. She has just undergone major surgery and will be in recovery for a long time. We share a toast to a far off time in the future when she will be healthy and my life will be boring. The third is @bear_faced_lady. We only met a year ago, via Twitter. The friendship and support she shows me, during a time of such personal adversity for her, can barely be described. We’re both still in the wars but she’s holding my hand in her tiny bear paws (as so eloquently written about in this story) and we’re getting there, one step at a time.

There are loads of other people I could mention who enrich my life but then this would stop looking like a blog post and turn more into an Oscar acceptance speech. Just be aware that, if I am your friend, in some way it means I think you’re amazing.

So, if you have a good friend, or even just a fleeting friend, go give them a hug or send them a text or give them a call, just let them know they’re appreciated and  that they matter to you.

And, just so you know, that ex best friend? If she ever contacted me I’d still be there for her. Just because she stopped being my friend doesn’t mean I stopped being hers.

Interested in your thoughts, as always.

 

Princess