11 Oct VIRTUAL BONDS | 6 THINGS I’VE LEARNED FROM 2 YEARS OF INTERNET-SOCIALIZING
Human relationships confuse me.
I’ll start with that. I was never good at socializing, I never had a lot of friends and frankly I cannot actually define the word ‘friendship” for the life of me.
And writing about it gives me a lot of anxiety because as good as I am in doing research, bloody hell, you cannot google “friendship” and expect to get a good grasp on things.
I left my desk and made a fresh pot of plain black coffee.
This conversation is making me uncomfortable.
The past couple of years I voluntarily left my fortress of solitude and escaped my comfort zone to get out there and meet people. For me that meant both in the physical and (mainly) the online world and it came with a lot of drama, wtf-is-going-ons, and is-this-real-life “David after Dentist” kind of situations.
I’ve never looked for romance on line as I’m happily involved in a life-long relationship. I never looked for friendships either to be honest, but it happened.
So here is what two years of online socialization taught me so far:
99% of times it won’t work out.
Meaning that you’ll most likely fall flat on your face and get tempted to conveniently hide under a pile of blankets. Don’t.
The 1% is totally worth it.
It’s quality not quantity that we should be after. Counting heads means absolutely nothing when it comes to real relationships.
There are two sides to each story.
If someone let you down, reverse the situation. Maybe you let that person down too. Simple as that.
It’s not the end of the world.
If things don’t work out, it’s ok. Same goes for all kinds of relationships I suppose. Invest in yourself, not in other people. Learn how to be content and happy with yourself. Do the things you love without expecting anyone else to join you. Live your life to entertain yourself not someone else. So when things don’t go as expected, you can still be content despite losing a friend. Not to pretend that I master at this, I still think about, and terribly miss, everyone I’ve lost so far. Especially the friends that I did not expect to lose. But I’d rather meet you, love you and lose you than never knowing you at all.
Have proper expectations and keep it real.
Don’t expect perfection and do not pretend to be perfect. Show the real you, flaws and all. It’s human nature and that’s not picture perfect. You cannot Instagram-filter your personality and you shouldn’t want to. That’s the most important thing I’ve learned so far and may be the key to success. I thrive on nihilistic thoughts and dark humor. At the same time I’m annoyingly proper and comme il faut in specific areas of my life. I’ll let you know from day one. If you can’t handle my sense of humor and morals and vice versa, we are setting ourselves up for failure, so let’s skip that part and be true to what we are and what we like, to attract the right kind of people.
Being Picky is OK.
Don’t allow anyone into your life to fill the void. Be open to different kinds of people, by all means. But realize you are entitled to pickiness. If I’m not super excited to hear from you and/or be with you and chat with you, and take time out of my day to spend with you, why bother?
I’m gonna need another pot of coffee.
It’s a beautiful mess, human relationships, whether you have a screen in front of you or not: It’s scary. Me, at least, I’m scared to death. Especially when it comes to potential opposite-sex friendships, which complicates things even more, I’m close-to-quitting-scared.
And my fortress of blankets is winking at me, especially now that it’s getting colder. It’s safe and comfortable. But safe and comfy won’t take me places and I’m well aware of that so I’m getting ready to fall flat on my face again.
Or not. Cause there’s always that 1% chance.
Until the next one,