Friday, April 6, 2012
A to Z: Friendship vs. Love
Ever noticed how much more tolerant we're with our friends than with our lovers?
If your friend cancels a date, it's no big deal. Sure, you wanted to see your friend, maybe had something specific you wanted to talk about with them, or you were just looking forward to spending some time with them. But it's no big deal. You don't get all "so you're saying there's stuff--stuff--that's more important than me?", and you don't give them the silent treatment for days (okay, weeks).
But if your lover cancels a date... Hell hath no fury, right?
[By the way, the correct quote is Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned, and it comes from a play, "Mourning Bride", by William Congrave]
If a friend turns on you, shows their (previously carefully hidden) true colors, and "breaks up" the friendship, you rarely turn to drinking and tears, depression, maybe even contemplate suicide. Right? (I hope I'm right). But a lover breaks up with you, or cheats on you, or does something horrible... I mean, therapists have gotten rich over this. It's got to be the second largest source of therapy payments, right under daddy and mommy issues, maybe PTS.
Friendship, somehow, has forgiveness and tolerance built in. But not love. Considering how important love is to us, how much of our hopes and expectations for a happily-ever-after, ride on it, you'd think we'd be more tolerant.
We don't really have expectations for our friends, right? We meet someone, we like them--their smile, their wit, the way they dance on the bar after five tequila shots, whatever--and we never impose secret expectations on them. We take our friends for who they are, just like that.
We don't try to shape our friends into someone they're not.
Food for thought, people. Food for thought.