Friends, Lovers and Others

I have posted a number of essays about friendship.  I have also written about the two great loves of my life.  This new essay is based on the lessons I have learned in my seventy years on earth regarding friendship and love.  I am lucky to have gained the knowledge and ability to create a life that makes me ridiculously happy!  I have learned to live a joyous life…one that not only makes me happy, but one dedicated to add joy to the lives of everyone I care about and to those I do not even know.

Looking back on my life, I realize that my personal growth, my understanding of ME and also of humanity as a whole, has been huge.  My journey of learning is not over.  It will never be over.  I have gained so many insights and skills that have carried me along on this journey called LIFE.

People often comment on how friendly and “social” I am.  I do have many friends.  I am very social.  I love to be with people, to get to know them and their stories and learn how they became who they are.  But I also know how important it is to have time for myself, by myself.  This “alone time” is necessary for my happiness.

Friends…yes, I have many.  But the type of friendship with each one of them is different than any other.  I AM a people person.  I can get along well with almost anyone as long as they are not mired in negativity.  My closest friends are not necessarily those I see most often.  We all have those friends with whom, even though we don’t get together frequently or even speak with very often, we have a deep, emotional and sometimes spiritual connection.  We totally “get” each other.  There is nothing we couldn’t talk about or share with each other.  And we know that if our conversations are confidential, they will always remain that way.

There are other friends who we see all the time.  Sometimes they are also very much connected to us in the same ways as the friends I mentioned above.  These are the people who we laugh with and who make us joyful.  We look forward to seeing them because we know that we will have FUN.  We can’t imagine life without these people.

Then we have “acquaintances”.  These are people whose company we enjoy but we don’t confide in them.  We may not have as many things in common.  These people are a very important part of our lives, and with time, they may become close friends.

The main lesson I have learned about friendship is that people come into your life for a reason.  They stay in your life because both of you want this relationship.  There is no “need” in friendship.  People are in our lives because we WANT them there, not because we need them.  Those who don’t stay, for whatever reason, were not meant to remain with you.  Do not hang onto them.  Recognize that the lessons you learned, the experiences you had, were beneficial, but they are no longer what either of you desire.  Smile when you remember your times together and move on.

Now, onto lovers.  I must admit that I have not had many.  I must also admit that it is wonderful to have that someone special, the person who you love with all your heart and who feels the same way about you.  I had my share of “boyfriends” in high school and university.  I thought I was in love with them at the time.  Of course these feelings were based on what I knew then.  With me, I didn’t have a “lover” in a sexual way, until I was twenty-three.  Back then, in the 1960’s, this was very unusual.  It was the “hippy” generation, everyone espousing “make love, not war”…the “free love” generation.  I guess you could say I was a “late bloomer”.

I didn’t know what love really was until I met my husband.  He was the first man who taught me what love was all about.  He was kind and patient and even-tempered.  I thought that he was passionate…but then, I really had no one to compare him to…lacking any real experience.  Things were very good with us…until they weren’t.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was celibate from the time I was 40 until I was 65 years old.  Then I found the second great love of my life.  This is where I learned what passion really was.  I learned how to express my own passion and accept his.  This was an amazing experience.  This man knew how to make me feel cherished and loved and satisfied in a way I had never experienced.

Lovers, when they really love you, are wonderful.  I feel so lucky to have been able to experience real love.

I have been “single” for the last fifteen months.  I now have “Others” in my life.  These are the people who confuse me the most.  These are the men in my life who I can’t quite figure out.  Why are they here?  What do they want?  Are we friends?  We are not lovers.  I may never know the answers to these questions.  Then again, maybe I will.  And maybe it doesn’t matter if I ever do.

What I do know is that I love my life.  I have such an amazing group of friends.  I am busier than I should be.  I am never lonely.  I do not NEED a man in my life.  But it sure would be nice to feel loved and cherished again.  I will not lose sleep over finding him.  I am not going to continue with on-line dating websites.  They are not for me.  I found my true loves…twice…how lucky I am.

Cherish your friends and lovers…as for the others…just know that they are there for a reason even if you don’t know what that reason is.


2 thoughts on “Friends, Lovers and Others

  1. Erin says:

    Ellen, your words about friendship and relationship are perfect. In the first chapyer of my life I felt hurt a lot by friends- then In the 2nd chapter I realised that I CHOOSE whether they stayed In my life. The moment I moved on from certain relationships wAs the moment my self love increAsed as did my happiness. You and I are so very similar and I’m very blessed to call you a friend… even though we haven’t “seen” each other for over 10 years. You have used your life well- continue enjoying and spreafing that sweet giggle you always have

  2. Olivia says:

    This is so relevant to me as well on so many levels – another reason I cherish our friendship so much because our lives seem to run parallel in a lot of ways! I feel like I’m in this limbo of not really knowing where to place my “others” either. I thought I met someone recently who had true potential to be the love of my life but as it turns out, I fell harder than he did. So it goes for me, quite often. I am learning to pay more attention to myself and give myself more love because I feel lonely all the time if I seek it externally. (Not to say I don’t still want it, because I definitely do!). I agree too, that at the time we often think we are in love with people and yet we look back after the fact and see that it wasn’t love at all. How I wish I could have that clarity at the beginning instead of the end!

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