How to stop chasing people in platonic relationships, and how to recognize if you’re chasing in a friendship.
Have you also asked yourself “why do I chase someone who doesn’t want me?” – Whether it be in romantic or platonic relationships. Well, most of us have, and I’m here to tell you… Don’t chase people, romantic and platonic alike.
A while back I wrote a blog post sharing one of my own experiences of chasing someone who was toxic for me. In a later blog, I also shared the top 10 ways to stop chasing toxic people. It was all regarding romantic relationships, but chasing toxic people can happen with platonic relationships as well. It hurts no less, and it’s also just as difficult to stop, prevent and overcome it. And in this blog post I would like to address the problem of chasing friendships, and how to identify whether or not you’re chasing someone, and if it’s all in vain.
The blog post I wrote about the top 10 ways to stop chasing toxic people, applies here as well. So check it out after reading this, to help you stop chasing friendships and people who are not worth it. People rarely are worth chasing, if at all. There is a fine line between being bad at keeping in touch, and just not caring enough to put in the effort. But it’s still a very clear line, which you should never allow anyone to cross.
What is a platonic relationship?
A platonic relationship can be anything from family members to friends, without any romantic feelings involved. We often overlook this issue and regard it as mainly a problem in romantic relationships. However, it happens no less with platonic ones, and more often than not – probably even more. We grow up with pressure to always fit in, to be part of a group, to be liked. And many times, we just conform, because that’s what society is pressuring us to do. Which in itself is a form of chasing friendships and relationships.
It can either be colleagues from work, fellow peers at school or university, childhood friends or any other friends you acquired throughout your life. And it can also be your siblings, cousins or even parents. Anyone you don’t have a physical attraction to. You will most likely have deep feelings for them, as we usually do with friendships. But it will not be amorous feelings, or someone you’re in love with. Because that will already be chasing romantic relationships, and not platonic ones.
What does it mean to chase a platonic relationship?
Throughout my life, I found myself struggling to fit in, and not only because I’m a misfit. But also because we are made to feel pathetic, like there’s something wrong with us if we don’t. So we do whatever we can to make friends. And so I’ve found myself time and time again always being a follower. Always working so hard to gain and maintain friends. I blamed myself if a friendship failed. I tweaked and adjusted myself, I pretended to be someone I wasn’t. And worst of all, I lowered myself and my standards.
Chasing platonic relationships, of any kind, means you’re always the one making plans, always the one reaching out. It also means constantly having to beg them to hang out with you. Be the one who has to be flexible and compromise, and even rearrange your whole schedule just to fit them in. When they just don’t show any interest, or stay away from you, but you still keep seeking them out, and showing up. Even when they don’t treat you right, and go as far as insulting and hurting you.
These are the questions you should ask yourself to identify whether or not your chasing friendships:
If you’re not sure whether or not you’re chasing or they’re just bad at staying in touch, ask yourself the following questions. If the answer to most of them is positive, then you’re most likely chasing and need to start taking steps to stop. If it’s only one or two, it may not mean you’re chasing, but it does mean you need to be cautious. Perhaps even have a conversation with them, could very well be they might not even realise it. Either way, don’t ever tolerate someone who checks all of the following questions.
1. Are you the one who’s always reaching out?
This is quite simple, and can most likely be determined easily. Even look at your call-log and messaging history. If you find that you’re the one who is always calling or always texting first, then you’re the one who’s always reaching out.
2. Are you putting in most of the effort?
If you find that you are the one that has to go out of their way on a regular basis just to meet up… The one to make most of the compromises, the one who always has to plan and do all the hard work (like making reservations, booking tickets, etc.) Then you’re the one who’s putting in most of the effort.
3. Do you need to work harder for their affection?
Is it always exhausting to try and get their attention and semblance of tenderness towards you? Do you have to put in a lot of effort just to get them to like you and be kind to you? Are you always overthinking every single move and word when you’re with them? Then you’re working way too hard for their affection.
4. Are you being clingy and needy?
You have to be brutally honest with yourself and consider whether you’re overly attached to or emotionally dependent on their friendship. Are you willing to do almost anything and everything just to please them and make them like you? Do you always need their attention and do anything for it?
5. How do they treat you when you’re together? Both alone and within a group?
Reflect on the way they treat you and how they behave around you, both when it’s just the two of you, and when you’re with a group of friends. Is their behaviour towards you mostly disrespectful and neglectful? If so, they’re likely not treating you right and you should stop chasing them.
6. When and how do they reach out to you?
This is a great way to know if someone is a good friend or not, or if you’re just chasing them. Think back to the times they were the ones who reached out to you, if at all (and then there’s no question). If they only reach out when they need something from you, or when they have something to gain from it, etc… Then they’re not actually reaching out because they care about you or your friendship.
7. Do they always take advantage of you?
This question goes together with the previous one, as they both question the motives behind their actions. When they reach out to you, or when you’re hanging out with them – do they actually show love and care? Do they give as much as you do? Or do they just use you for their benefit? If they’re just always making you do things for them, or just asking for favours, etc… Then they’re certainly taking advantage of you and your friendship.
8. Are they there when you need them?
The most important question of them all. I would even almost go as far as saying that it trumps out the rest. Because if someone is bad at reaching out or putting in effort, but is ALWAYS showing up when you need them, it might be forgivable. Depending on the case and situation of course. But if someone only expects you to be there for them, but never comes through when you need them, then they’re not true friends.
It’s time to be brutally honest with yourself.
It’s never easy to lose a friendship, and sometimes even when someone treats us like crap, we still love them. Or we still just want to be around them, we desperately want to be their friends. But that’s no reason to actually stick around. You need to sit yourself down and ask yourself all of these questions in regards to the person you’re having doubts about. Sure, it’s only natural to make mistakes, and no one can always be perfect and always be the bestest friend. But if you see patterns, if you see that it’s not just a once in a while thing… Then it’s likely you have to let them go.
A huge part of embracing yourself and your singleness, is surrounding yourself with the right people. And removing the wrong ones. You are who your friends are, they impact and affect your mood, well being and overall social life. Which is a crucial part of being a human being. And cleansing your life of toxic people, or bad, unhealthy relationships is an important step in your singlehood journey (and in general). Especially if you want to learn how to love yourself properly, you need to stop chasing people, who don’t put in any effort and are not worth it.
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