Thought about writing this for a week or so and just kept a rough outline in my phone.
By giving a fuck, I mean caring about someone. I don’t think I need to explain that but whatever. This applies to platonic and romantic (potentially as well) relationships the same. Each stage encompasses all of the previous stages. This goes for how much you give a fuck about someone and also inversely to gauge the level of fuck that is given about you. Personally, I generally start off at stage 3. I’m an all-in kind of guy. Either you’re in the circle and I feel strongly about you or you’re out of the loop. Not that I think is the way to be but I can’t help how I am. You’re either significant to me or you’re not a part of my life. And it generally doesn’t take me long to figure out where you fit. I keep my circle tight. That said, I want the best for everyone. Well most everyone. ;)
Stage 1- You want them to stay alive. Pretty self explanatory. You care that the person is alive and healthy and reasonably happy and want that to sustain but make no effort to contribute to their life. This is better known as human decency with anyone that you even consider an acquaintance.
Stage 2- All of the above but you also want to associate with them. You want a relationship of some sort and a level of communication. You not only want them alive but you may even play a role in keeping them happy and healthy. Whether it be physical or mental health. This would be my first stage of caring except that so many dolts think that what I have listed as stage 1 actually constitutes giving a fuck. This is a casual friend or when you’re friendzoning or being friendzoned.
Stage 3- This person is significant to you. It encompasses all of the above but the person is potentially a major part of your life. This person is a confidant most likely. You go out of your way to keep them happy and improve their quality of life because of how much they mean to you. This is a close friend or someone that means something to you beyond friendship. Not a person you talk to once a month but a platonic friend that you regularly associate with or someone you are dating/want to date. You’d be more than a little bothered if this person disappeared from your life.
Stage 4- Your happiness is at least partially dependent on them and theirs on you. Codependency is almost never a healthy thing but anyone that has a really good best friend or a significant other that they’re serious with will admit that their happiness is affected by their best friend or partner. Of course all previous stages are enveloped in this stage as well but there is something extra there. You rarely do anything without this person by your side and feel incomplete when they aren’t around or if there is an extended amount of lack of communication.
Stage 5- You’d take a bullet for this person. Literally or figuratively. You’d kill to protect them. This is going to be reserved for a serious spouse, lifetime friendship or family. You’d do anything to make them happy. You’d take away their sickness or sadness and put it on yourself. To put it simply, you put them before yourself when it comes down to it. It’s not very often that you’re going to have to actually prove these feelings but it’s obvious if they’re present.
Where do you stand? Where do I? Lots of times these mismatches lead to a lot of feelings of betrayal and disappointment in platonic relationships and serious hurt feelings in romantic relationships. Don’t forget to always look out for your star player and that’s you. If there’s a mismatch, address it.