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Emotional attraction, possible attachment issues?

This may or may not be an update of sorts to a post I made about a year ago.

Friendships are unnecessarily tiring and complex. I have improved in some ways from the last time I posted, but I now deal with more issues than ever. Due to certain past experiences with friendships involving emotional manipulation and abandonment, I’m very selective with my close friends and won’t try to get close to someone unless I’m emotionally attracted to them, which cuts out most people to begin with. For the people I do want to get close to, more often than not I just push them away because dealing with the whole cycle of trusting someone to not abandon me is exhausting, and it takes months for me to trust someone enough to know they won’t abandon me. Yes, I do have 2 friends who I can trust with absolutely anything, but it took me 2 years of an uphill battle to make said friends. And even then, I often feel like I’m being annoying by wanting to spend time with them much more than they seem to want to spend time with me, and I end up isolating because I feel like I have no one else to turn to, which in turn feeds my feelings of chronic loneliness.

I get genuinely upset when my current close friends need space, even though I try to give it to them. I’m a little slow with picking up on things, so it usually happens that I ask them if they need space and then remind myself, “hey Sid, if you feel the need to ask them that, they probably do.” and proceed to quietly delete some texts I’d sent and begin to sulk again. I get genuinely upset when I know my friends are around and still take a while to respond to me, though I try to remind myself that I’m not the center of their world, and even if I were, my friends have lives of their own to live and struggle through too. Don’t get me wrong, the people I’m close to are wonderful people who’ve never let me down, who I feel absolutely safe around, who I can trust with anything, but I just wonder if there’s an underlying issue to my behavior of wanting to spend as much time as I can with them and feelings of anger or fear of abandonment being triggered whenever they’re busy, or need some time away from me for whatever valid reasons they may have.

I wish I knew why it took me so much effort to trust someone, or why I feel emotionally attracted to and want to spend time with only some people, or why I struggle to be convinced when said people are supportive and caring and understanding and tell me that I’m not annoying them at all and that they’ll always be here for me.

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Hey there @Sid127

It sounds like you value the friendships you have quite a bit. I mean this in the kindest way that I think you are being a bit unfair to your friends by not giving them the opportunity to tell you their boundaries.

If you are bothering them they should be able to tell you such. So sometimes asking the question is the best validation you can get.

I think it’s especially difficult these days with social media and texting, we’re used to instant gratification of a quick response. I used to be the same way, and it used to make me feel very insecure and doubtful(new relationship and dating) which only harmed myself. What helped me the most to get over this was actually to just set my phone down in another room to charge it turn it off and go do something else. Seriously it helped a ton.

Anyways, it sounds like you are a extremely caring person and so I know you have the best intentions for these friendships. I hope that you can build these relationships and keep them for a very long time.

With a caring heart <3 Mish

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From: twixremix

hi sid, it’s great to connect with you again since your last post and to know how things are going. i’m so thankful you have those 2 friends you can trust through it all, those friendships are a true treasure! if you feel like you’re annoying them with the frequency of time spent with them, it wouldn’t hurt to be up front about it and ask what they think? having those open conversations can validate you and destroy the insecurities you weren’t so sure about. you mentioned you have to remind yourself they probably need space but have you ever asked them personally? another thing with chronic loneliness is not feeling comfortable being alone. i feel like there’s an exciting journey ahead where you can find peace with yourself through hobbies, adopting a pet, or volunteering to fill any time when you’re just by yourself? at the end of the day though, i’m thankful you have those friends and i can tell how much you care about them. keep the conversations with them honest and open and treasure that time with them! you deserve to love and be loved, never forget that truth. love, twix

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From: ᏒᎧᏕᎥᏋ

Hi sid, I’m sorry you have this fear of abandonment and chronic feelings of loneliness. Having borderline personality disorder, I suffer from both of those thing. When you are feeling like your friends are going to leave you think about the facts that validate that fear. Then think about the facts that make this fear invalid. Once you have these, compare the two lists and see if your emotions are still the same. In my experience, my emotions usually calm down some. Usually, when I fear someone will leave me, I will do drastic things in order to stop it. A lot of times, pushing that person away. Nothing good comes from that. ~Mystrose

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From: eloquentpetrichor

Hey, friend! I know what it’s like to feel like you want to spend more time with friends than they want to spend with you. It can be hard to deal with because like you said you aren’t the center of their world and you really wouldn’t want to be even if you sometimes think you would. We all have our own lives and friends come after our own lives and well-being. That’s how it should be. I hope you can focus some of your energy on yourself and on finding ways to be happy alone. I’m not saying ignore your friends but find something that you can do when you aren’t spending time talking to them.

There is nothing wrong with checking in on your friends frequently even if they need space. Just letting them know that you are thinking about them and looking forward to the next time you get to spend together. I do that with my friends all the time. I have a whole group of friends I would love talking to and hanging out with every day (we used to do just that) but lives got busier and now I won’t hear from some of them for days. I still shoot them a “good morning” and occasional messages and they do the same. Send messages saying you miss them while acknowledging their busy lives so that they know you are giving them the space they may need and making sure they know that you are still there and wanting to be their friend. And when you really start missing them ask if you can find some time to hang out sometime soon and try to schedule something.
Those are just some of the ways I deal with my friends having less time for our friendship than I wish. It’s not fun feeling like you care about friendships more than others but there are ways to spend very little time and energy actually maintaining those relationships while giving them space to live their lives and yourself plenty of time to live yours and make even more friends.

And if you ever get to a point where you feel you need to ask if your friends are ignoring you because they are busy or if they don’t feel as committed to your friendship then that can be an awkward question/conversation but can also be so helpful for your own validation and helps your friends know how much you care. I have asked a couple friends before point blank if they are still interested in our friendship when the silences go on too long. It’s a valid concern because sometimes friendships end and it isn’t always obvious to everyone.

I hope you find some ways to enjoy some time alone while keeping these friends of yours close. Close friends you can trust are a rare and wonderful thing and definitely something to cherish and nurture. Keep your big heart open, Sid, you deserve lots of love and friendship :hrtlegolove:

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gonna use just one post to respond to everyone who replied to me, for which I’m immensely grateful btw <3

@mishsim I often do try and keep myself occupied when my friends are away, by reading books and engaging myself with things I like doing, and I’ve given multiple chances for them to convey their boundaries to me - asking them straight up, letting them know I’m willing to listen at any time, and I am always ready to give someone the space they need, it’s just that, like I said, I’m a bit slow on reading people through the internet and have a hard time figuring out if someone does need space.

twixremix: yes, I have been up front about things and asked my friends multiple times if they think I’m being annoying, or if they need space, and even though they’ve reassured me multiple times, I have a hard time being convinced anyway :frowning:

Mystrose: thank you, I will try doing that as well <3

eloquentpetrichor: Thank you for the advice. I’ll definitely make it a point to be clear with my intentions and ask and trust my friends to be clear with theirs as well

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