I feel the need to talk about what I’m calling “survivor relationships”.
For me, a “survival relationship” is both a type of friendship and a shorthand for describing a mental state I (used) to be in about friendship in general. I’m having difficulty putting together a useful definition, so instead I’ll share this anecdote:
When I was in college, I made a conscious effort to “make more friends” after a period of high school misanthropy. Not having much practice at it, I would reach out to anyone and everyone who reached out to me… and because I thought friendship meant compromise, there was a lot of bad boundary crossing and constant right vs. left political fighting, etc.
After being put through the wringer emotionally all through college, I let my relationships with these individuals wane. I had no idea that this was bad planning, but it happened right before I started both going though a period of unemployment, and living in housing where I could hear the landlord scream at his son through the floor.
And then I got food poisoning.