In trying to build a friendship with someone who invests less time, energy -- commitment -- than you, you need something to pull you through the moments of doubt, through the moments of asking "Is this worth it? Worth my time?" Those moments arise due to the existence of certain expectations, at least of reciprocated effort or attention. Attenuating those expectations reduces the moments of doubt, but can't eliminate them, since a friendship is necessarily composed of giving and receiving.
So what is the something that pulls me through those moments?
It's the lesson I've learned through example, and faith.
Lesson learned. I've seen this work. It's worked on me.
And faith? The ability to believe, unquestioningly, in something unperceived and unprovable: the potential for friendship, for an honest, uncomplicated connection between two people.
I figure that even if things don't work out at all -- if the friend-in-the-making turns around and walks away, or becomes scared, or simply loses interest -- I'll still have more faith. And the ability to have faith, in the abstract, will only make me stronger and wholer.
Yes, I've tried this in the past. But I'll try again. And again. And again. Until I can't breathe.