Mutual Investment in Relationships is Key – "Best Friends" Not "Best Friend"

The best relationships are when both sides invest equally in it. Both sides equally care.

This is true, I think, for any kind of business partnership, but I’ve noticed it particularly in personal relationships. When one person is way busier than the other, it’s a weaker bond. When one person is way less interested in the long term resilience of the relationship, it often wavers.

If one side thinks a relationship receives equal mutual investment, and then is proven wrong, it can be quite hurtful. This happened to me once. I misjudged how invested the other person was. I thought we were closer than we actually were (in the other person’s mind, at least). It hurt.

There’s a reason why the term is "best friends" and not "best friend." If one person considers you his/her best friend, and you don’t think that way about him/her, then you’re not "best friends." It cuts both ways.

(On a somewhat related note, 25% of Americans have no one to confide in.)

3 comments on “Mutual Investment in Relationships is Key – "Best Friends" Not "Best Friend"
  • That’s very relevant to me at the moment, in more than one way. And you’re right, it does hurt.

    Only I think maybe I’m the one who’s not “investing” enough.


  • Ben,

    This is a wonderfully vulnerable and honest post. Thank you for sharing it.

    I’ve considered this before and have looked into the hurt. For me a few things end up manifesting.

    First, I have to be careful about letting the experience direct and create my future. I end up almost narrowing my view if I start to look for and respond to “signs” that I’ve seen in the past.

    Second, I realize that the hurt is about me and my ego. I’m making their actions and our interactions mean something to me. I’ve found that I am letting them, in some way, dictate how I feel.

    Finally, I try to look at it through the lens of love and compassion. Whatever has occurred in any relationship has two or more individuals involved who live with conditioning that is different than mine. Compassionate undertsanding of the conditioning leads to their light of love that all of us have.

    Awesome post dude.

  • Ultimately, each of us is the sole person responsible for our half of a relationship. While reciprocity is nice, it’s not guaranteed.

    That’s why I prefer not to have an agenda or goal when it comes to making friends.

    Maybe the person will turn out to be a very good friend (or even a co-branded fellow blogger:

    Or maybe the person will just be someone I say hi to from time to time.

    Best friends also change over time, as do the circumstances. People grow up, grow apart, move away, get married, and a whole assortment of other things.

    The best thing to do is to invest the amount you want to invest, and let whatever happens, happen. As long as you don’t feel (irrationally but naturally) betrayed if someone doesn’t reciprocate enough (or too much–also an issue!), things will work themselves out.

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