Dear Papa Bear,
One of my dreams is to be fearless. I want to understand the difference between rational and irrational fears, and the extent to which I should fear them.
Let me explain.
I want to rid myself of any irrational fear, and learn to not overreact to rational fears. Over time, I've discovered that my number one biggest fear is losing my friends. I don't know if it's co-dependence, or just obsession, but I love my friends more than life itself. I've told them before that I'd give it all if I had to, to make sure they are safe. Now, one of my friends, 2 Gryphon, has told me that I AM obsessing too much, and that a friend is simply someone I get along with and can share common interests, and someone I enjoy being around. In fact, he made the comment that what I'm looking for is actually a mate. This is not true because I'm asexual, and just not interested. But it got me thinking.
Am I putting so much devotion into my friends, that the relationship I have is more of a marriage than a friendship? Am I placing my friends so high on my list, that they may feel uncomfortable sometimes?
And that question, on top of the original fear, is what led me here.
All of my friends are used to how I act around them, and they know all my little quirks. If I just change that, and become a more casual and simple guy, will they still like me? That sounds stupid to ask, and I know if they don't, then they weren't good friends and all that, but they are. The person I call a friend is always someone I can put my faith in, otherwise I wouldn't be willing to give it all. So I know my friends wouldn't abandon me, but then why do I fear the change? Am I just too used to how things are already? I want to be a better friend, and I think 2 has the right idea, because he's never told me anything that turned out wrong in the past.
The thing is, I fear losing my friends, but I also fear losing who I am. I am a person who makes friends out of people he can truly invest it, and I spend all my time seeing how they're doing, or if they want to hang out, or what I can do to help out in this, that, or the other. If I slow down, just talk to them about common interests, and every now and then, ask how their day's going, how do I maintain that deep connection? If I can't, then how do I know who to befriend in the future?
I fear losing my friends more than hell itself, and I fear losing who I am in trying to be a better friend the way 2 explained it. I don't know what to do, or even if this is comprehensible to the human mind...excuse me, bear mind.
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It's really impossible for me to generalize how all of your friends will react because each one of them is an individual and will react to things that you do or say on an individual basis.
First, when it comes to mates: it's not always about sex (even though that is usually an important component). You can have a mate and, if you're both asexual, for example, be perfectly happy together without sex. This can happen in other cases, as well, such as when people are quite old and really not that interested in sex, or when one or both is ill and incapable of sex. The point is, they can have a close and loving relationship without it.
Friendships, too, come in degrees. I've had friendships with people with whom I've been pretty casual and noncommittal all the way up to Friends with Benefits. Even then, just because I've had sex with them, doesn't mean I want a partnered relationship.
Treat each relationship as unique and special. Some friendships will grow and blossom, others will whither with time over the years, you'll lose friends, but also make new ones. But the friendships you make will be much more genuine if you present yourself as who you really are (hmmm, that sounds like a reference to something recent...) rather than what you think others want you to be.
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