Single Again… The List

By Kenneth Stepp

In the crazy sea of singles, things have changed. Many of us are adrift and find ourselves isolated from people we never dreamed we would be. Those who were a constant in our lives are now just part of our past or pictures in our memories. It’s a sad reality.

I have a list. On this list are the people I want contacted in case something happens to me. I made this list back in 2015 when I realized how detached I was from some of the people that mean the most to me. Once I wrote it, I never thought it would need to be altered.

This morning I pulled up my list to look through it. Twenty one names and numbers with a brief description of who they are to me. My kids and brothers are there. I have 5 best friends, they are there as well. I also have a few people who mean something to me. 

As I added two to my list this morning, I realized that I must subtract one. A 30 plus year relationship with a person I thought was my very best friend in the world. We were young when we met and very different people that we are today. We met, we loved, even lived together back then. I never thought something so deep could ever change. 

Relationships of all kinds require effort. Caring doesn’t just happen, it is, like real love, always in motion. A deep friendship is a two way street. Last year I began purging one way relationships, she was the first of what has added up to 10 friendships. 10 People I cared deeply for who made no effort at all. I believe this is a snapshot of what is wrong with the singles community today.

I have a background as a celebrity bodyguard. I recall my friend gave me a call one day. She wanted to go to Dubia and work with a group fighting for women’s rights. She wanted me to go as her bodyguard. I told her we would die there but I’d go anyway. She meant that much to me. I always got the calls from her when one of her new boyfriends needed legal help or a fundraiser, or anything else. 

She collected men without jobs, cars, or a driver’s license. She’s smart and beautiful. I never understood her taste in men other than they all looked like models. I use to message her about once a month, hey, let’s do lunch. I always offered to come to her town, I’m a gentleman, I always buy. I always made it as easy on her as I could.

When we did talk, we always said, I love you before hanging up. One day she called and said her new man heard our last goodbye and had a problem with our friendship, so it ended. I could tell he was listening. Then my Facebook memories reminded me it had been two years since I’d seen her Wow! It hit me. I decided to clean out my toxic friendships. It’s so hard but worth it.

It was 10 months later that her newest boyfriend called me and asked if I could help him get his driver’s license back. I blocked him after saying no in a nice way. How does a person discount a close friendship to this degree? I went from saying yes to laying my life down for her to hoping she loses my number. 

I’m not bashing my old friend, I’m trying to make a point. To have a good friend, be a good friend. To have a great relationship, work for it, put in the effort. I’ve lived with my roommate for 2 years and 10 months. We work at making a difference in one another’s lives. In any relationship that you value, give it your time, treasures, and talents.

I believe relationships have changed many times over these days. But the core of any relationship remains the same. If it matters to you it will show. If you tell another person they mean something to you, your effort will tell that tale. The world is a darker colder place in the fast paced internet world. Don’t allow that to change how you love.