Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Pledge of allegiance
I've been thinking a lot about loyalty lately and how it relates to our relationships, romantic or otherwise.
When we make lists of what we "expect" from friends or lovers they usually revolve around hopes for "companionship and kindness."
But almost always we utter one truly important word...
It goes without saying that people expect their boyfriends/girlfriends/husbands/wives to be loyal and because of this cheating seems to be one of the most common "deal breakers" among couples.
But what do we make of friends who fall shy of the loyalty standard?
For them, the line between what is acceptable and what isn't doesn't seem so black and white.
Looking back, I think it's easier to hope for loyalty in a friendship than to actually find it. Maintaining a friendship seems to be a group effort, with many opinions and feelings to consider. Those of each other, but also those of others you meet along the way...
If your friend is betrayed by someone, are you supposed to hate that person along with them?
If your friend is hurt... do you always take their side?
We spend our lives making lists of our expectations for our lovers, but rarely do we hold our friends to the same standards.
And while the people in our experiences will sometimes disappoint us, unlike our family, we choose our friends.
We invite them into our lives because we desire their companionship, their kindness.
But while that may curb our loneliness from time to time...
Does it mean we're entitled to their loyalty?