Sometimes I admire someone more than they admire me. Sometimes it’s the other way around. We aren’t bad people (usually), we just don’t match quite as well. Sometimes we simply make mistakes about someone’s potential in our lives.
I have been thinking a lot about making new friends. It’s harder when you are older- even harder when you’re married with children. I generally don’t have reasons to go out and be social when I have my couch, especially when the people I like most exist within a very small radius of that couch. When I was a teenager all I ever wanted was my own space, to do whatever I wanted, and to be able to make out with my boyfriend. Turns out all my dreams came true at a very young age.
In our twenties we went out most nights. Dave was always playing, and the bars in our town closed at 4am. We worked jobs that required us to show up nights and weekends. Our friends were mostly musicians who we had known a long time, and friendship was easy. These people are still friends, but they all live somewhere else.
So we moved to Michigan in our thirties- along with a child, and autism. If we are being truthful here, that last factor plays a huge part in who qualifies as a potential good friend. And as we get older, our friendship requirements become much more specific in other ways, too. In fact, I don’t think the friends we are looking for even exist. Guess we start making more road trips back to Illinois.
People I connect with fall into two categories: those who share my sense of humor, and those who I could stay up all night discussing topics that make our heads hurt.
Humor is easy. If we find the same things funny, our friendship is also going to be easy. We are alike, and we laugh a lot. Having the same sense of humor is crucial in a friendship.
Occasionally I let someone in who doesn’t share my sense of humor, but shares my passion to think about things without answers. While those friendships can actually make me a better person, it can be tricky if the humor match is off. But after a few drinks, we can probably talk until the sun comes up.
Once in a while I find a friend who falls into both categories. If you are one of them, I am sorry we don’t spend more time together. You will be someone I love for life. I want to meet more people like you.
If you fall into neither one of these categories…. that’s okay, too. We need a wide variety of people in our lives who we call friends. We may never be as close, but odds are there was something that made us acquaintances in the first place. Something or someone we share in common. Maybe we just don’t know yet how much we are alike- but let’s not overwhelm each other with expectations.
Don’t think too hard about why I didn’t comment on that Beatles post clearly meant for me, and I won’t unfriend you because you forgot my birthday.
Now how do I translate all this self-awareness to the real world outside my door? Guess it’s time to get a sitter and start going out more. There is a hole to fill since we moved away from our inner circle.
We need to keep moving forward.