He's just not that into you. She never calls back. Your friend is not really your friend, more like someone who needs you to do things for her when she's really stressed out. She never calls just to talk, only when she needs a favor. He never calls for companionship, only for sex.
Sound familiar? As we traverse the expert level slopes of the rough mountainous terrain of our lives, we encounter users, emotional vampires, narcissists, immature brats in fifty-year-old bodies, manipulators, liars and cheats. It's tough. Our very souls ache for real connections, authentic relationships, trust, deep laughter, meaningful sex and shared experiences.
Particularly in the two-second sound byte world in which we now find ourselves, authenticity has become a rarer commodity than American drilled oil and vastly more valuable. In the facey-spacey world of quickly "liking" something your "friend" said and moving on, we have come to think of each other at times as bits of visual information to rapidly acknowledge and dispatch.
My stand is to take a stand. Stand up for authentic relationships in your life, even if that means that you only have a precious few. By beginning to become aware of which people in your life will really care if you experience a crisis or a joy, you can start to separate the fakers from the real friends, the game players from the loyal partners.
It's not easy. Not only due to the fact that our own ideas and needs may be so overwhelming that they can never be satisfied; but also because it can be very difficult to tell. The best advice I've ever gotten is to trust your instinct, give what you can and, when it begins to feel wrong, it usually is.
Because human beings are intuitive, feeling creatures, we are able to use and manipulate each other on very deep levels, so feeling things are wrong is not flighty or esoteric; it's accurate. Sometimes people are manipulative and fake without even realizing it, driven by their own insecurities and desire to achieve, they can forget to connect, to check in with themselves or anyone else, losing their deeper authenticity in the process.