February 2018
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questions: deep friends, being in love

recently an LJ friend of mine asked how many friends I have according to Shakespeare's definition: "A friend is one who knows who you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still gently allows you to grow."

and I said that most of you fit that description, because I am fucking lucky, and created my own definition which is a bit more demanding:

my definition of a deep friend:
"A deep friend is one who loves who you are, understands who you have been, always seeks to learn more about you, supports you when you're low, and continually encourages you to grow."

and I want to ask:
1) do you have / have you had deep friends? do you value friendships that have a focus of growth (rather than fun)?
2) what does it mean to be "in love"?

connecting: , ,

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mourningdoveava ══╣silence╠══
1) I have much fewer now than at any point in my life. It's a little sad, but I've found it in my best interest to become a bit more guarded about my heart in general. I'm not as open as I used to be. But, in my deep friendships, I demand growth. It isn't an option for me. I don't do well with "just fun" friends, or perhaps it's best to say that "fun" friendships for me are never "deep" ones. Mutual growth and challenging is necessarily part of that label, although it's important to say it does exclude fun, and a lot of times I believe both can happen, simultaneously.

2) For me being in love is actually an active, cultivated process of heart and soul. I have, in the past, attributed it to feelings only - when you have passion and desire and connection you're "in love," and when you're not you've fallen "out of love," but I don't really believe that any longer, since even cultivating those feelings within any sort of relationship takes some time and willing openness and effort. It's not a passive act for me, something you can fall into or fall out of, but something that you deliberately build upon, ACTIVELY, once you've manifested some kind of connection. Nothing irritates me more than passive love, actually, and I'm not so sure that isn't some kind of contradiction in terms anyway. That said, in order to build an active willing love, that being in-love, I think a connection does have to exist initially someplace, and that's where the more divine or out-of-my-direct-control aspects enter for me.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
thanks for the answers!
adamantplatypus ══╣╠══
1.) This is an interesting question, to me. I think a friend is someone that's still standing around when you fuck up - especially if the fuck-up isn't your fault.

I've had friends influenced by others, friends that elected to stop being friends with me because apparently their history with me and myself as a person meant nothing to them.

I was accused of something and even though I'd NEVER displayed any signs of doing something that heinous in the past, they assumed that everyone pointing fingers was correct and that made me guilty, even when I tried to speak up for myself.

While I'd like to say I've had "true friends", I don't think that's the case, which is sad.

2.) Love is...wow. Someone that makes you feel good. Not only because of the way you feel around them, but because you're excited about the person they are too. I guess there's a lot more to it, but my thoughts fizzle out about this point. I'll have to think of a way to word it.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
thanks for the answers! this is food for thought.
wolfmare ══╣╠══
2, first... For me, it's hard to describe. When I love someone, I'd willing to put their comfort before my own. In love? It's usually the same, but deeper. I put their happiness and wellbeing before my own, to the extent I'd put my own life on the line for theirs if need be.

1, yes, I've had true, deep friendship... A friend of mine, nearly 4 years ago, was driving my car. We ended up going off the road, and in the split second he had to make a choice, he swerved the wheel so that the tree we were heading for struck on his side... He died, I managed to crawl free and live. Knowing him, both in life and how he died, forced me to grow mentally and emotionally more then anything in my life ever had or could, I think.
sripali ══╣╠══
wolfmare ══╣╠══
I actually broke bones in my left hand, and to regain use of it, taught myself to draw with it. Not great, and actually tends to be weird creepy stuff, but I now know losing either hand wouldn't leave me stuck.

And my eyesight's been steadily failing for years... It's part of why I love to draw and paint and just see things that are beautiful, it makes me appreciate what I have while I have it.
sripali ══╣╠══
wolfmare ══╣╠══
I tend to see beauty in places where nobody else might notice. A good example is, we have a rosebush. No idea who planted it, and it's a scraggly, pitiful little thing with almost no leaves and someone chopped half of it off before we moved in. And yet, a couple weeks after we moved here, it bloomed. One single, perfect bloom, even though I can tell it was having a hard time simply surviving after being hacked down halfway like that.

But it was stubborn enough to bloom! Life is that way, beautiful through sheer tenacity.

And yes... A lot of people look, but so few know how to *see* what they're simply looking at. I realized, those years ago, to appreciate what's around me and what I have, because there's no promise that it will always be there, even for another day.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
okay, we definitely have to meet. You just get more and more amazing every time you comment/post!
wolfmare ══╣╠══
lol! I have my moments. My own journal ends up being mostly mundane stuff, but the places I decide to comment are when something's caught my own interest.
belenen ══╣blossoming╠══
wow, that is really the most amazing gift... your friend must be such a wonderful person, and I can only imagine how growth-inducing that would be!
wolfmare ══╣╠══
Well, before one can grow from such a thing, first one must heal. And there was a lot of pain in that process, both inside and out. But yes, knowing that forced me to grow in ways I'd never even considered before.
sripali ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
thanks for the answers!

here's the link that tells how to join: http://community.livejournal.com/curvygirls/782325.html
queerbychoice ══╣╠══
1. By that definition, or my understanding of it, I'm not sure I've ever had any friendships that weren't deep friendships. I'd call any other kind merely a friendly acquaintanceship rather than a friendship.

2. To be in love is to want to maintain a deep friendship for the rest of your life, usually but not necessarily including a desire to express one's affection through physical/sexual contact.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
thanks for the answers!
sidheblessed ══╣╠══
1. I think by that definition I have a handful of deep friends both in person and online. I find it hard to find someone who believes as strongly in the element of growth as I do. Most people I know want to be friends with those who love them and are fun, rather than love them and want them to grow.

2. Being in love is an active process. Being in love involves a willingness to think of another's needs, sometimes ahead of your own if their need is clearly greater, it involves the conscious decision to keep doing nice/helpful things for that person each day and it involves unwavering compassion, unconditional positive regard and lots of affection.

belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
thanks for the answers! I'm not sure what my answer to #2 is so I like seeing all these varying responses.
kiwi ══╣Loves!╠══
1. Yes, I do and yes, I do. Friendship is about so much more to me than fun - any sort of relationship is, in my eyes, about growth, trust, love, support, and compassion. "Fun" is icing on the cake.

2. Being in love means you wake up and the first thing you think about in the morning is that person...and the last thing you think about before you fall asleep is that person. Being in love means only a part of your heart is in your body - the other part is in the hands of your love, and vice versa. Being in love means TRUSTING that other person to not drop the part of your heart they hold and to care for it with their life.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
thanks for the answers! I'm not sure what my answer to #2 is so I like seeing all these varying responses. ;-)
thatbestkept ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
haha, I like your answers, thanks!
storeyphoto ══╣╠══
1. Yes, I am fortunate enough to have two!

2. At one point in my life I thought I knew, but as life has progressed (and you know the story), I really don't know anymore. Maybe I never really did.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
hm, yeah, I can imagine that it is a hard thing to know after the experiences you've had...

and yay for having deep friends!
kmiotutsie ══╣╠══
hmmm... growth and fun are pretty much synonymous to me it seems; the friendships i find myself in that do not involve growing together aren't so much fun! I feel like one is necessary to accommodate the other. Though it's proven really hard to keep friends because of this. Josiah is one of those rare people who can change and who I can change with and we still love eachother and I feel like Cheyne will be one of these people too, and then my sister (of course) but very few other people, mostly due to my lack of patience i think.

annnnnd i have no idea what it means to be in love. i think it may have something to do with giving your heart to someone else. i feel "in love" when my heart is with someone elses's spirit, but I don't know if this is a healthy thing, and I don't know if it's true
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
I really loved reading your answers. ;-)
kmiotutsie ══╣╠══
I've thought about it since I wrote that and had some different ideas.

You know how I feel about love; true love is when you care about a person exactly as much as they care about yourself. it's extra-special when the feeling is mutual, and I've experienced that before. If you care about another person more than you care about yourself, that's not healthy at all, and if you care less then that's not "true love" even though affection and care can still exist.

Anyway, i think the reason that being IN LOVE terrifies me so much is because i always imagine that being IN LOVE is being IMMERSED in caring about a person more than you care about yourself; i think of IN LOVE and i think of obsession and all manner of unhealthy things. that's why being IN LOVE terrifies me, while just LOVING is like breathing to me.

idk, just brainstorming ;)
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.