Friday, August 26, 2011

I'm not 5... although sometimes I feel like I am =o)

It was so much easier as a kid. Making friends. We both liked dogs or swinging or maybe our parents were friends or we were the only two kids in out class with only brothers. Making friends was as simple as one common denominator between you and me. I know it wasn't always that easy and I know that there had to be something more to stick it out longer; to become good or even best friends.

How does it work now? Sometimes it seems effortless, like sharing a room with someone when you're on vacation and talking until 3 am (or later) or sitting on the floor of your living room singing Bohemian Rapsody into hairbrushes (I told you, I'm younger thanmy 31 years!) but sometimes... just sometimes... do you ever meet someone and think to yourself, "I want to be friends with them."

I've had that a few times lately, and I'm almost at a loss of how to go about getting to know these people better. I think it would be easier if I was in... I don't know... the same stage of life as these people? If I was married, if they were single. There would be more common denominators, maybe? But what if the only common denominator that you could think of is their love of God, their deep faith along with how much you both like (uuummmmm) cute headbands?

Sure, there's facebook, but as a friend recently blogged about facebook, twitter, technology isn't necessarily real friendship. I think that's why I have given it more and more of a back seat or even trunk location in the car of my life lately. How can you get deep with people and really get to know them across the interwebs? Can I, as an adult, go up to someone and say, "hi! I know we're facebook friends and we see each other at church sometimes... I know you're ________ (married/kids/in school, fill in the blank), but I'd really like to be real life friends with you".

What if I just wanted to see if the limited knowledge (i.e. facebook knowledge) I have of them could turn into something more meaningful."

Would I need to end that with, "I'm not a stalker, I promise"?

Why does this feel so much trickier as a 31 year old?


G Money said...

The art of friendship making is much more difficult now, isn't it? Finding that common ground of liking the same cartoon or simply living a block away isn't enough for most of us as adults to start a genuine relationship with someone else. In our expanded knowledge of the world, we now think we need more similarities or shared experiences before we call someone friend. Have we simply become too picky about who we get to know? Perhaps we fear our time investment won't have a solid return. But isn't it that the shame? Because if we were being really honest with ourselves, that's part of the problem. We want guarantees that things will "work out" now that we're older. We don't want to be burned by a friendship that may not stand the test of time.

I've actually been where you're at with having the thought of "I'd like to be friends with that person over there." And I'm pretty sure I've over complicated the matter in my own mind about how to approach the adult-awkward situation of going up to someone and basically saying, "can we be friends?" Maybe it can be as simple as "I'd like to hang out with you sometime and get to know you better." Though I fear many people wouldn't actually know how to respond. But those who do are ones who deep down also want what you want.

As for social media friends, save for a few people, those I interact with frequently on FB and Twitter are not those who I consider my inner circle. Those friends still remain in the real life category of communication, whether it's phone calls or in person time spent together, and perhaps the occasional deeper than normal email conversation.

I'm not sure I have an answer to your blog post, either directed to you or for myself. It's one I know I struggle with at times in various iterations and forms. Thanks for putting yourself out there on this one. It definitely got me thinking.

Marla said...

Well said. I feel like - I should be an adult...I CAN be my age and I can open my mouth and talk and say what I am thinking - but, I don't. I can't.