I guess the thing about life, and human interaction is that it is all about balance. We strive for it I think, in all interpersonal relationships, however messed up in practice those balances might be. Most times the best way to achieve balance is by limiting oneself, friendships at work, classmates, that annoying taxi driver who wont stop talking, but always gives you a cheap rate so you put up with it. There are acceptable and unacceptable things to talk about, actions and reactions, behaviours which fit in, those which are different but accepted, and those which are out of place. I think intimate relationships, whether close friendships or even love, rely on being able to remove these boundaries, being more 'open' with someone. But that brings in new issues, where there is conflict, which can be glossed over or dismissed in more superficial relationships, has to be dealt with in some way. Capitulation or compromise. Either one side 'gives in' or both come to some sort of mutual understanding, if not acceptance. This is where my problem lies, and if you'll excuse the rather roundabout way i'm getting to this point, the reason why I am struggling right now. The truth is, i'm fine with relatively superficial relationships, or at least once i'm certain of the rules. I can get annoyed about a bad refereeing decision in the football, talk about the good and bad TV shows and films i've seen recently, about the computer games i'm looking forward, and complain about the wold weather. I can bitch about the stupidity of my manager, when they expect us to have targets memorised, but can't work out 9*7 in their head, smile and be interested at the hundredth customer in a day's request for a particular product, and tell moderately offensive jokes about almost any subject. But I can't manage intimate relationships. The short version as to why, i'm ridiculously needy. The long version is, once I get to the point with someone where a real close friendship is developing, I find it hard to know the new 'rules'. My underlying instinct is complete openness, for no more reason that I know that I really feel like I need validation. To be accepted, understood, to feel worthy, which is an instinct I share with about 100% of the human race. But that causes conflict. I don't mean direct conflict, arguing or fighting, but more a clash of different individual, social and cultural norms, everything that makes us up as people. The complexities of it defy words, but to try and explain it simply, think of it as going to the cinema with someone. As I described earlier, the outcomes are either capitulation or compromise. Sometimes you get lucky, and you both want to watch the same film. But often you don't, and either one person can go to see a film they don't want, or both can go and see a film which isn't their first choice, but they will still enjoy. Anyone who knows game theory knows what i'm trying to say. Usually what happens is something sensible, like alternating choices, or compromise based on recognising the level of importance attributed to a particular choice. But this is where it goes wrong, and while I might be stretching the analogy a bit, that's where my thoughts seem to be going, so let's go with it. Let's say you used to go to the cinema with someone else, and really enjoyed yourself, and so did they, but suddenly they stopped wanting to go with you. It happens again with a couple more people, and you realise that it's that you are going to the cinema with someone, rather than the film itself, which is important. So, the next time you start going with someone else, that voice is there saying just to go with what they want, just in case they wont want to go again with you otherwise. So you do, and they keep going with you, so the reinforcement is there, that's the right thing to do, so you keep doing it. But after a while, that doesn't work too, because if you capitulate too often, and that balance isn't there in a relationship, it still fees untenable. So eventually the whole thing explodes, and bang, you're left feeling alone and shitty because you gave everything to try and make things work, and things still didn't. This is where the analogy ends, because this is how I feel about talking to people on that level, that because of this, I end up feeling like crap, whatever the outcome. And then because i'm so scared of fucking up every single outcome, I end up sabotaging myself, distancing myself completely, even putting myself in hospital... I guess that's a bit of an exaggeration, I did that because my mind is screwed up, and with all things it's far more complex than that, but the point still stands, and is one that i'm dwelling on right now. I'm ridiculously needy, have no self-esteem, and have been stung so many times before trying to talk to people that i'm pre-sabotaging it. Some days I think the only solution is to find someone else just as needy, and infinitely patient, and find some sort of completely dysfunctional but balanced relationship. I'm not talking love or anything, just friendship seems too small a word for that sort of intimacy. But most days I think why bother, and end up hurting myself. Clever huh, destroy myself mentally, and then do it physically too. The problem is, and has been for a long time, that because of this I feel like my life is untenable. I can't handle living the hermit's life, people are social beings, but superficial friendships feel unfulfilling, and I can't be me, and be in the sort of relationship I need. So, excluding some sort of seismic change in who I am, and the infinitesimal chance that someone else exists with such matching idiosyncracies, suicide seems like the only option. It's certainly something i've thought about for long enough, and i've plotted and planned in detail how exactly I would choose to do it, so I guess the only difficult part is making that conscious choice to go from thinking about it, to actually doing it. And I guess I mustn't be decided on it, otherwise i'd just be doing it, rather than talking about it. I don't know quite what i'm waiting for, or whether i'm even expecting anything in reply to this, as I know it's long and convoluted. Just wanted to see where my thoughts took me.