Cheap Lies

“I wish I could be with you.”

The wish, “I with I could be with you,” is a understood one in our overburdened, overworked, overstressed world.  Parents missing little league games or choir concerts; children missing their friends to practice for them.  Perhaps you have a friend who needs the support, but you live too far.  Perhaps you are stuck in a three hour long meeting that began at 4:00pm and there is no end in sight at 6:30pm.  Whatever it is, the wish to be with someone who is not with you presently is a sweet wish that shows that you love and miss the person who you are not with.  That is not a lie.  That is beautiful and shows that humans have not completely lost their humanity.

That said, the wish can have a darker side too.

After a long, hard day where the boss was riding you all day and no matter what you could produce it simply wasn’t good enough.  Finally, you reach the end of your day and you brave the elements – and other humans/elementals to get home.  Grocery shopping makes you wish that you had just gone out for dinner.  Finally, home, you deal with your life until you can no longer do so and finally curl up with the phone (or computer and call your best friend – of the gender you’re attracted to).  This friend is not available to be dated, and you wouldn’t date them anyway… really… no… really…

Your friend relates to your day and gripes about their significant other, stating why you would have been a better choice.  It’s nice to hear, but you know it’s just them venting.  Then they say the magic words.  “I wish I was with you.”

Suddenly, that nice sentiment takes on a darker meaning that comes with questions of its own.  What’s the meaning of the statement?  Do they wish they were with you right now so you could commiserate together? Perhaps they wish they were with you instead instead of their significant other?

It’s even worse if they say it a lot.  If their relationship looks like it’s starting to deteriorate and they continue to say that they wish they were with you.  Perhaps they start using other statements such as, ‘another place, another time’.  Is that time coming?  Perhaps you’ll start considering this person as date-able. For the first time… really…

For the person who is saying that they wish they were with you – if you are using it in this context: don’t.  Just don’t.  Unless you are willing to leave your significant other for the person you are talking to – and I don’t mean in ‘another place, another time’ – don’t even bother saying it.  No matter what your intentions are, it’s a cheap lie.

If you wish you were there to comfort your friend, say, “I wish I was there to comfort you.”  If you want to commiserate, say, “I wish I was there so that we can vent in person.”

If you wish that you were with them – to date – then you have to take a long hard look at your current relationship.  Is it the type that allows for outside dating?  Would this person be worth bringing up to your partner?  If the answer to any of those questions is, “no”, then you have even more questions to ask yourself.  Why do you want to be with the other person?  Are the reasons severe enough to break up with your current significant other and be with the other person?  If the answer is, “no”, then don’t say that you wish you were with them.  Don’t repeat it.  Think these things, perhaps.  But, they are not words that you should inflict on someone else.  It’s cheapens the words, the sentiment.  And it hurts the person that you’re speaking to.

I have heard, “I wish I was with you instead of…” more times than I can count. When I realized that it was a lie the first few times, it crushed me.  Why would someone lie about that?

Now when I hear it, it brings out a cynical side of my personality.  “Sure you would.  Lies.”  And I don’t believe them.

If you are reading this and have heard these words before, trust me on this: Do not believe these worlds until the speaker leaves their relationship and becomes single (or you get approval from the primary relationship).  Until that time, do not actually believe the words or think that anything is going to move on this relationship.

That doesn’t mean that the friend doesn’t ever leave that relationship and then date you / marry you / live happily ever after.  However, it does mean that if their relationship falls apart, make certain that they are not leaving for you.  If they are willing to leave for you – then they will be willing to leave your relationship for someone else.

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