Yet... I believe the reasons have been mistaken. I think it is assumed that I pulled away because I just got caught up with Ben, or because I felt like I didn't need my friends, or because I lost interest -- and none of those are the real reasons.
At the point of Ben and I getting together/engaged (we went from acquaintance to fiance in 19 days), I had been living several states away from everyone for six months. During this time, I wasn't really in contact with any of them (except elya, to whom I am so grateful -- she pulled me through the worst period of my life) and emotional distance grows with physical distance, of course. But the initial reasons aren't really important anymore.
Nowadays, my from-before-Ben friends still feel like I've dropped them, and in a way, I have. I have changed so incredibly much over the past two years... and I'm looking for different things in my relationships now. I don't feel comfortable impressing my new restrictions on old friends who are used to my easygoing ways. See, nowadays I require my friendships (the ones that count) to be open and honest, and to share with me more than the superficial stuff they'd be most comfortable sharing. And I require them to allow me to be perfectly honest, and if they are offended/hurt, I require them to tell me what I did wrong and how it hurt them and how I might improve. I believe this is the only way to have a deep, lasting friendship, and I don't want to waste time on a relationship that won't last.
Another way I have changed: I've grown more confident, more secure, due to Ben's constant love. I no longer cling to anyone that I think might give me a few drops of love. I used to do this; I also used to pour myself out for other people who did not give back even half. And that is not a healthy relationship -- healthy is equal, not one giver and one receiver. I was happy with that though, and I don't resent any of my past friends for giving only what they knew to give. But I will not go back into that pattern,
I am only capable of loving on two levels:
1. neutral / smile at and give small talk
2. you have my heart, my love, my life, there is nothing I wouldn't delightedly do for you
I used to love all my old friends on level 2, and now I don't (for some of them), because they can't give that back. I can fake the same level that they want to give, but that is too damn painful and I refuse to do it, because what's really going on is me loving more. Some of the old friends were really used to me chasing them, and when I stopped, they thought I was pulling away -- nope, it's your turn to reach out.
And dammit, we need to have something in common. If all we have in common is a relationship with God, that might be enough, but I doubt it. If we don't share taste in music, reading material, activities, arts... what's there to build a relationship on?
So I avoid some of them, because I'm just plain scared that I'll end up falling in love with them, and they won't be open or love back, and I'll have to laborously make the excruciating climb out again.... or they'll leave me wondering, like Kaylene and Kristy.
That's why I avoid the friends I have and hope desperately to meet someone who is already on my level, has some common interests, has the same views on relationships, and lives in the same damn state. I fucking hate you, Florida, for stealing my Del and Kristy.
Some of you LJ friends I really wish I could befriend in real life, but some of you I feel like I'm too 'vanilla' for and some of you just live so far away! I wonder what you would think, but I don't have the eggs to ask right now.