Commentary on Modern Definitions of Love and Friendship

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about friendship. Consider this just an observation on my life, from my perspective. Certain notable philosophers are fond of telling us that everything we perceive in life is done through our own minds and colored by our own experiences and I believe in that. It’s one of the great truths of our world that no one really cares to believe. Reality is simply, what we make of it, it’s not a hard, factual or logical thing. It just is. How it works, and how we muddle through it is all a matter of our personal perception. Thank you for having that observation Mr. Nietzsche, it’s proven itself as a priceless piece of wisdom.

Lately, my friends have been going through a lot of in fighting. We’re a very tight knit bunch, we get together twice a week, every week to either talk, roleplay or celebrate holidays. I cherish that with my friends, as my family is two thousand miles away. It makes the cold winter nights a little less lonely.

Some of the folks in our circle have been trying to take control; I’m not immune to this. The realization hit me today that friendship is not something you can control, or that should be controlled. It’s something to be cherished and treasured for what it is, on whatever terms it exists. One of my friends is often busy in her real life, or simply doesn’t have the emotional stamina to deal with the gaming group and what have you. She invites me to join her on outings every now and again though, and I love her for it. If not for her, I would never leave my house outside of day-to-day errands. Even though she is not there every weekend, I treasure her friendship on the terms that it exists. So, I think it’s important to say thanks to her for that.

Another guy among our circle is someone whom I have personally slighted in recent history. He did not deserve that from me. It was selfish and petty. I hope that we can resolve those issues and move on, because I missed hearing his laugh in the game room on the weekends. Thank you for laughing and putting up with me.

Here’s where we get to the rub. A friend of ours is marrying another dear friend within our group. She is so stressed out over her wedding, and school and work that it is starting to eat her alive and is affecting everyone else. She also has control issues, which she is aware of. She and I have been in a pissing contest -for lack of a better term, though testosterone is lacking for the purpose- for control over everyone’s time. That’s not right of either of us. We need to knock it the hell off and get over our differences. I will be there for her, and she will be there for me, through thick and thin, no matter what. We’ve climbed over worse obstacles, let’s get through this one and do it together then come out on top of the mountain saying, “WE RULE THE WORLD!”

These are just a few of the more difficult situations in the group and it seems like they are centered on me, so I want to deal with those here. How in the heck do you tell your friends you love them without getting this look from them that clearly wonders who the hell you are and when you started swinging that way?

It’s so hard. We don’t ever say that we love our friends, or that we can love people outside of romance and family. What is up with that? Love has many different levels. A friend told me that the Romans had three different levels of love: Familial love, Romantic love and Platonic love, or the love of friends.

I don’t see what’s wrong in looking your friend in the eye and saying, “I love you man!” Why is that taboo in our culture? I don’t understand, someone please enlighten me here because I am totally lost.

Now, keeping this in mind, know that I find it entirely impossible to say I love you to the friends I am closest to. These three people mentioned have been so true in their friendship to me, that at times, I have shoved them away out of fear of those feelings. Why did I do that?

I think that something in society and the way we are raised associates the word “love” as well as the emotion with romantic love and familial love only. You never “love” your friends. You think they are “cool”, or “like” them. It’s something I will never understand and it’s a hurdle that we will all have to overcome someday. Love is not just about romance and marriage; it’s so much more. Friendship is one of the deepest sorts of emotional bonds you can have with another human being, why do we put a big, “No love here” sticker on it and lock it in a box?

So here it is, laid out on the line. Guys, I love you. Deal with it if that makes you uncomfortable, it’s a sad fact of life. You are all totally awesome folks whom I adore beyond measure and love really fits the bill. No, I am not going to get all mushy on you and try to get in your pants the next time I get drunk, swear to God. I just want you to know, that I care. So here’s your happy birthday card, wedding gift, and commentary because I simply feel like it. If it’s not cool, so what? It’s how I feel and I don’t need validation for my emotions. They are a part of my perception of the world, if you disagree, go out and get your own perspective and we’ll discuss the virtues of it at length in the wee hours of the morning.

There we are. Just something I had to say and something I wanted to share with the world. I hope I haven’t offended anyone’s delicate sensibilities.