Attachment, insecurity, and jealousy in friendship

Due to my family siuation, as a kid I’ve spent a lot of time in a daycare, with various “aunties”, and alone (when I got “old enough”).  I always had some friends at the daycare but these were very shallow, as it is the case with kids.

I got my first real friend when I was in primary school. Let’s call her “Jo”. She lived nearby so we’ve often played at each others’ houses, had sleep-overs, etc. I often said that she’s my sister. Our relationship was not exactly like that of sisters, but I didn’t see the difference since I’ve never had any real siblings. Still, we were very close.

Around the 5th grade, one of our classmates (“Maggie”) started hanging out more with us. And I immediatelly saw her as a threat to the friendship I’ve already had with Jo. That feeling kept growing for a good 3 or 4 years. I was still all buddy-buddy with the Maggie, but deep down I was very jealous. Why? Because both of my friends shared similar interests, and I was the “odd one out” so I was afraid that eventually I’ll be out of the clique. The jealousy and animosity on my side escalated to the point where I literally said that I don’t want Maggie to join us when we were hanging out in a bigger group of friends.

Naturally, she still joined us and heard about the thing. After that we talked and cleared everything out. I knew that she wasn’t trying to get rid of me, and become Jo’s only friend, so she wasn’t a threat. Instead I gained another awesome friend.

I still had the feeling of being “the odd one out” (I had that for the majority of my school time), but Jo and Maggie always tried to make up for it, so it was okay.

But then I went to high school in another town. And our friendship loosened up. Or rather mine with them. They were still in the same school, and got boyfriends at roughly the same time – so they spent a lot of time together (sometimes just the 2 of them, or them with other friends, or them and they boyfriends together as a 4-person group). And yeah, I was jealous again. Because they had even more things in common, and even less time to spend time with me. And once again I was afraid that I’ll have no friends. But that didn’t happen. Though, they are definitely closer to each other than they are to me; sometimes, I still get this little ping of jealousy when I see how similar/close they are because, I know I can’t compete.

Then came the university studies. Each of us went to a different city/town so the friendship got even more loose. So it doesn’t hurt as much.

I eventually found new friends. This time, they share my interests. We got very close, pretty quickly. They are the best people I know. And it’s honestly great.Except, that I still feel very insecure in this friendship. We joined in the group at a different time. So I still feel like I’m very “new” and therefore that I am a loose end that can be cut off. I know it’s very unlikely, because they care about me too. But I can’t help my feelings.

I have the best relation in this group with a girl, who’s in my group at university (that’s how we met). She’s also the one who introduced me to the group.

But now we’re finishing the studies. And we’re all moving. We still will be leaving close, but not as much as we were. And we won’t be seeing each other most of the days at university. And I’ve noticed that ever since she’s rented a new room, I get increasingly more agitated.

And I started realising that it’s because I’m very insecure about this friendship. I am afraid that if we won’t see each other so often, this friendship will break apart.

(I don’t think that’ll be the case. We have some friends in our group from other cities and it’s working out great. But I just worry.)

I also realised, that I’m jealous of my best friend’s 2 flatmates. They are also a part of our group, and the 3 of them lived together for a few years, and now are moving together. I like them all. And I think I’m most jealous about the fact that they’ll be together, while I’ll be on my own.

I was reading a book on poliamory recently, and there was a chapter devoted to jealousy. And they were discussing different triggers. It made me realise that my trigger is “exclusion”. Even if it’s just imaginary or potential.

I get very engaged into my friendships, so the feelings are in a way comparable to those in romantic relationships (which I don’t have). I’m very attatched to my friends, and the jealousy is also real and strong.

But since I figured out what and why I feel, I think that I’ll be able to deal with that. I think the first step will be talking about the feelings with my friends. The honest communication is the most important thing in any realtionship, afterall.


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