How to tie a strong knot

When those who’ve never seen “Sex and the City” hear about this television series, they undoubtedly think that it’s all aboutsex, and the city. And, well, there’s definitely a lot of sex going on in the city in those episodes. But what becomes clear as you watch the show (which I believe ended in 2003) is that it’s not just about what the title says. The story is woven around the strong bond of these four friends who lead their own individual  lives, yet find a way to always stay connected with each other. Sure, I want Carrie’s shoes and career or Charlotte’s apartment, but what I end up really wanting every time I watch that show is their sustained close relationship that they have with one another.

They make having relationships (and I mean friendships) look so easy, but people don’t tell you that the prerequisite for being able to have any sort of relationship is that you are able to open yourself up. My own track record for keeping relationships has not been very good. I’ve purposely broken up good friendships for no good reason in the past. Many times I’ve suddenly stopped speaking to someone I had good relations with, and then not contacted him/her for months at a time. I often find a way to push these connections away if I sense even a hint of closeness. I haven’t figured out exactly why it is that I’ve done such a thing repeatedly, but I do know that one of the reasons is that I’m so afraid of being “found out” that I’m much different from the image of myself that I may have projected. I’m so afraid that when the perception of a good friendship is peeled away, I will be exposed with all the flaws. As a result of having torn up so many past friendships, I’m so afraid to even allow for other relationships to form, because I’m scared that I will do that again to someone else that I care about deeply.

Right now, I feel like I’ve met a person with whom I think I could sustain a long friendship. And despite so many of my fears, I am trying hard not pull away like so many other times.  I kind of feel like a tuna can that’s being pried open, but I guess one way to look at it is that in order to enjoy what’s inside, you’ve got to get that can opened.

I’m not looking to be able to recreate that “Sex and the City”-like bond with three other people. I just want to be able to have a relationship with someone for the long term. But what it seems to be coming down to is whether I can let that relationship to happen.



2 Comments to “How to tie a strong knot”

  1. Christi Mary Warner is quoted as saying, “A friend is one who knows all about you and likes you anyway.” There’s a ton of truth in that statement. One particular line in your post very much stood out to me: “…I’m so afraid of being ‘found out’ that I’m much different from the image of myself that I may have projected.” I have always been very, very fortunate to have really great friends – long-time friends. But for me, when it comes to being more than friends – taking it to a more serious, romantic relationship has always ended in HUGE, epic failures and I find myself doing exactly what you mentioned – pushing people away or withdrawing myself. After reading this, I think it probably has to do with the fact that I tend to stop being myself and try to project an image of being the guy that I think “she” wants me to be.

    It’s interesting that for both of us the big problem seems to arise when we realize that we’re not measuring up to the image that we’re trying to project. I think for long-term relationships to *really* work out we have to be exceptionally genuine and not formulate expectations for ourselves to be someone that we’re really not.

    Every single one of us has flaws. Or at least we have flaws when we compare ourselves to some nonexistent hypothetical perfect person. It’s interesting that while I’ve been writing this, I’ve thought of a million things that I would like to change about myself. But I can’t name a single thing that I would change about any of my friends. In fact, I very much enjoy the diversity I find in my friends.

    Another great thought-provoking post. I definitely encourage you to let those relationships develop and to be confident in who you are! You’ll find that your very best friends are the ones that do know all about you – the good, the not-so-good – and still love you anyway. :)

  2. Hey, I think every woman who watches Sex and the City ends each episode wishing she could have friends who she is that close with! Time and distance push people apart, and I guess that’s why it’s a TV show and not real life.

    You should just interview potential friends by having them read your blog and then seeing if they run away – that way you won’t have to worry about letting them in on all the “hard” stuff in the future!! I’m kidding, but only kind of.

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