In my few years around the sun, I’ve come up with this theory about relationships. You don’t have to take me seriously because this is wanna-be blogging 101. So here we go. Remember the story of Hansel and Gretel? I’ll admit, I had also forgotten it. Well, in the short version of it was two children get lost in the woods and one of them had left a trail of breadcrumbs to help them find their way back home. We won’t get into how the birds screwed them on those breadcrumbs. The point I’m trying to make is that we can follow people’s breadcrumbs and figure out who they really are.
Well, think about it. When you meet someone for the first time, they either rub you the right way or the wrong way. When the former happens, you tend to spend more time with them, learning their nuances, quirks and general mannerisms. Over time, feelings are developed between the two of you.
These feelings grow as you become closer. You appreciate and value the time that you spend with them. They make you feel like a better, wholesome person. Both of you open up to each other. Secrets, dreams, ambitions and fears are shared. They get to meet your other friends and you, theirs. So you both create this beautiful little world for yourselves. Your relationship is framed by the trust and consideration that you share.
Feelings feed expectations, on both sides. If you become extremely close, terms like “ride or die or “best friend forever” (BFF) start to be thrown around. These are meant to signify their importance in your life and you in theirs. And because of this personal development, the possibility that they will always be there for you and vice versa starts to dance around in your head. There is little that either of you wouldn’t do for each other. Sure, there is the occasional tardiness for a meet up, one person forgetting the other’s birthday, but all in all, it’s fairly smooth sailing. A life-long relationship based on mutual love, shared norms and values and general warm fuzziness, this has become.
Hmmm, where is this going?
But as is always bound to happen in life, they do something really unexpected, that really catches you off guard. Maybe they disappoint you, or they ask to borrow money, or they say something that you would have never expected them to say. Maybe they betray a trust, talk ill of you or even decide that dating your ex is fair game! (Ouch, that usually doesn’t end well). Why would they do this to you? The other question in your mind is how come you didn’t see it coming? Except, believe it or not, you did see it coming. Because if you had paid close attention to comments, quirks and mannerisms, you would have noticed a breadcrumb trail. A trail that would have acted as a homing device showing who they really are. We are not as complicated a species as we would like to think. When we observe someone, even subconsciously, we get an idea of who they are, what they stand for and probably their value system. What they are willing to do and not to do. Their thoughts on what is sacred and what can be sacrificed. Yes, benefit of doubt does come into play, but mostly, human beings rarely stray from their well beaten path. The part many of us struggle with is that we know all this, but are usually too emotionally invested to realize how our friends have “changed.” We convince ourselves that their actions were a minor slip-up. Something that won’t happen again. Except that it will and most likely does. The disappointment really hurts. And all of this could have been avoided, if we had simply followed the breadcrumbs.