Relationally tired, adj. – a feeling related to tiredness, when you can no longer do the things necessary to sustain a relationship
For the past few weeks, I’ve been feeling very relationally tired. There are only 2 or 3 people outside of my family that I (want to) talk to with some sort of consistency. Everyone else just feels tiresome.
Last week, a friend from college called me to catch up. We chatted for a while but I had another commitment that day so we had to cut things short. I told her I’d call later that week. So all last week I tried to carve out time in my schedule to talk to her. In truth, time didn’t need to be carved out. I spent 3 days at home alone watching Netflix and not writing the final exam for my summer class. But doing nothing was so much easier than calling my friend and talking on the phone. I also spent that week not responding to a text message from another friend so… yeah, I’m pretty relationally tired.
One of the reasons I think I’m tired is that I’m trying to make good decisions about where to invest my time. This may sound funny since I just admitted to spending days watching House and Scrubs on Netflix but, believe me, it’s true. It’s something I always think about, but after talking with a friend a few weeks back about friendship stuff, I started thinking more about how my friendships would look going forward.
I have one major criterion for close friendship consideration: the ability to have a random hangout/small talk/catching up conversation evolve into deep, interesting, meaningful, important conversation. This isn’t necessary in every interaction (that would probably be tiring in its own right) but it is something I’d look for in a good number of conversations with a close friend*.
The two friends that I didn’t talk to last week, but kept telling myself to contact, actually meet that criterion. However, the first friend will be spending the next year in the UK, which makes me wonder how often we’ll ever even be in the same area, and the other friend is someone I’ve never completely clicked with, though we do have fun when we talk.
All of this is why I think I’m relationally tired, but when I think about it, I also think I might be relationally wary, spiritually tired, and lacking in mentors. I hate thinking about how certain relationships could be and noticing that they’re just not quite there. I hate looking at underwhelming relationships and wondering what to do to make them feel better. And I wonder if other people feel the same way about me.
Sometimes, I hope they do. I hope that people are as disillusioned with their relationships with me to just call it quits. Don’t even let it fizzle, just totally end it. But then other times, when those same people send me a text or FB message, reminding me that they care about whatever it is we have/had or they think we have/had, I’m happily surprised.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been much more willing to let a friendship go; in fact, I encourage others to do it! But sometimes, I wonder if that willingness is based in a true knowledge of the relationship or if it’s just the result of my relational tiredness.
This post is just a smattering of thoughts, tangentially related to a conversation I had a few weeks ago with my only Pway friend, who often fulfills my criterion for close friendship. A post about the conversation, or really, conversations, would probably be more helpful for centering the blog post but that would take too long to write and it includes things I don’t want to put on here and I’m tired, as evidenced by the title of this post.
*Clearly, I’m now accepting applications for close friends. Danielle is an equal opportunity befriender.