Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Bottles and Unreciprocated Love

Today I went on a bottle run with a friend of mine. Bottles are not something I particularly like, and recycling isn't something that is very close to my heart, but the particular situation I am in requires me to deal with the bottles in the town where I live, and recycling seems to be the approved-of method. Not that I have a problem with recycling. It just seems that a car-full of bottles should be worth more than $30.00.

On the way to the bottle depot, my friend told me about his difficulty in getting over a girl. He's been battling with this for a while - their relationship was always muddy (are they dating? are they friends?) but it has been over, in her mind at least, since the summer. He still refers to giving her space and I don't know how to respond. You give people space when you are in a cooling off period, right? Not after breaking up. Part of me wants to slap him up the side of the head and tell him, look, it's over! Get over her already! Because she is getting over him, and he can see it and he doesn't know what to do.

How can I give advice to a friend when I've never been in his shoes? I don't think I can. And I don't want to either, because I happen to be friends with her too and her side is a lot easier for me to understand. I always come out of these conversations with him confused. I think he just wants me to just listen but I'm never sure how to.

Part of me wants to be able to help him, to say something so profound and wise that it will aid him in his quest to free his heart, or whatever it is that keeps getting stuck when he sees her, talks to her, works with her.

I'm realizing that relationships are complicated and I'm not sure that the perks outweigh the hard side of things. Relationships with people in a small town certainly don't seem to be worth it. I came here with the decision to keep romance out of the equation and so far that has been the case although I can't claim all the responsibility on that one. Even though sometimes I wish that I had the option of being a couple, in my saner moments I don't think that I could handle it.

Which doesn't help my friend much but hey - it does help keep the bottle pile under control.


Andrew Simone said...

The problem is that he feels one of that she owes him something, namely love (because it is unreciprocated). There is an old Wilco song (album: "AM")which encapsulates the problem well: "I don't think you understand, I thought I held you by the hand."

This is his problem (and my question): ought we to love and expect it back?

Pru said...

If it's true, honest, pure love, then there shouldn't be expectations on it, should there? Except that we humans regualarly screw things up.

Andrew Simone said...

Yep. I think what an old college buddy has to say on the subject.