Some traumas specifically teach us that people are objects to be used. Often, people are in “friendships” for the wrong reasons as a result. When we didn’t get love growing up or if we are shut down emotionally (preventing any healing), we might need people not for friendship but for business. This is at the heart of co-dependency. “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine”. Some, when they first meet people, they scan others for usefulness and then later decide whether they will make a move toward becoming closer. These kinds of relationships might rarely if ever last because at some point, the user, will find a fault or find someone better and will begin deciding on closing the relationship out while gaslighting or shaming the other’s reaction. In short, when the other party is no longer useful, they are discarded without a care.
Real friendships might sometimes be a little messy and have conflict, but both parties are willing to work things out within a reasonable amount of time. This takes a lot of ego and emotional strength. In real friendships, both parties can handle criticizing the other party and equally are able to take criticism. No matter what happens, if love is there, they will work it out and they will get good at genuinely forgiving each other for their faults. In the absence of love, however, it’s a co-dependent relationship where both parties perform duties for each other akin to “friends with benefits”; it’s an unwritten agreement. In other words, they are only around to get their childhood needs met. We most certainly SHOULD have adult needs met in friendships, but the childhood needs should get resolved through trauma recovery instead of implicitly making our partners responsible for the role of the perfect self-less mother we never had.
This is why it is so important to recover from our past hurts? So long as we don’t, our expectations of others might be unrealistic. We might always be disappointed.
I think therapeutic relationships where we have partners to process our emotional pain are an exception to this rule. It is a kind of business relationship and a healthy one at that. At east it is not disguised as a “form” of friendship with both parties saying they love each other like with shallow Facebook “friendships”… though process partnerships could very well lead to a very real promising friendship.
We know the world is getting better when female friendships take off and become real. And I’m not saying I know how to do that. I still have a terrible amount of self-work to do myself. We are all in this together. And making an effort in some way to be better is virtuous.