When Things Keep Repeating Themselves (Relationships)
September 3, 2018
Author: Bianca Yang
A friend and I recently agreed to take a break from our relationship. Some trust issues had emerged and we no longer enjoyed each other’s company. Any attempts we made at mending the relationship strained it more, so we decided it was best to wait things out and see if time could heal this wound.
Just before we initiated the break, I noticed that my friend had been repeating himself a lot to me. Nearly every time we met or spoke over video call, he would reiterate his values, his motivations, and his goals for the relationship. I would nod and acknowledge receipt of his message, but somehow he would keep trying to relay the same information to me. Each time, I would receive the information as though I was receiving it for the first time. There were days when I preferred to not hear him talk about his goals for the relationship, because I didn’t share those goals, but I never interrupted with: “I get it. You’ve said this a million times before.”
That realization, that he had been repeating himself a million times to me and that we had been stuck in this loop for several months drove my to finally call for a break. There was a communication gap between us that probably would never be resolved.
Looking further back on our relationship, I’m not sure I was ever truly honest with myself about whether I enjoyed the friendship. He was a nice friend, someone I could rely on as a weekend outing companion or as a conversation partner, but I’m not sure he was ever the kind of person I wanted to commit to beyond that.
I’m glad we ended so amicably, but I wish I was more rational and honest in assessing the status of our relationship. The repetition was a big giveaway that there were serious cracks in our relationship, but it was so late by the time I noticed it.
My goal for my other relationships is to be honest with myself about whether they are worth my investment and to invest deeply in them if they are. People are all too willing to let you fade into the background under the premise of “they’re busy building their career” or the related “they’re busy with sets and academic pursuits”. By the time you have some free time, your relationships with the people you care about will have become so thin that it will seem pointless to try being with them again. Our relationships with others fuel our happiness. Let us remind ourselves daily of their importance and allocate our resources correspondingly.