Psychology of Friendship
Photo Credit: John Tsang
My girlfriend is currently attending mortuary college, she loves it and although at first she was set on becoming an embalmer, she recently showed interest in becoming a counselor for grieving families. She's really wonderful that way, always trying, and wanting, to help others in anyway she can - often in ways some people can't or just aren't willing to.
With a sympathy towards strangers like she has, you would think she would have an abundance of friends. But she'll tell anyone who asks, its no secret, she has no desire for a close "girlfriend," or anyone to spend any sort of time with. She thinks of them as a hassle, or a distraction from her 'workaholic (studyaholic?)' lifestyle. She does have a "best friend," but with the transition from high school to moving away to college, she's just let it fall to the wayside. She's still there as far as someone to talk to when her friend needs it, but when we go back home to visit she's usually not interested in making the effort to go see her. To me this is sad, but it doesn't seem to bother her.
As I'm sure you would understand, this causes a few problems in our relationship that I don't know how to handle (or even know if I can). For one, she doesn't have many people she can talk about her problems with. Most of them seem to be unloaded on her mom, or me. Which please don't take this the wrong way, I'm nothing but excited she chooses me to confide things in and discuss her day, but although I do my best I really feel like there's times that I can't relate, or can't tell her things the way a really close girlfriend could.
Another problem is that because she doesn't feel like she wants or needs friends, she can't fully understand why I or anyone else needs them. I'm not someone who ignores her for friends, I'll see them for a couple hours once every two weeks or so, But when it comes to things like spending an evening with the guys, I can tell it bothers her a little cause I'm no with her.
I've talked to her about it, but I can't come up with a reason why she just wouldn't want a real friend to just talk to. The only thing I can figure is her strong independent personality may keep her from it. Her entire life she's taken pride in the fact she's never needed help from anyone. Always had a job since she was old enough and bought everything she wanted without any help from anyone, even saving 10k because she wanted to be able to pay her own way through college. I can tell that the fact I pay our bills right now because she goes to school too much to have a job makes her feel so bad it makes her cry sometimes.
So are some people really just natural loners? More comfortable with no one but their family (and in this case a man)? I'm just a little worried about her because I think everyone needs a friend.