When do you become friends with someone? Do you have to spend a certain number of hours with them? A certain amount of sharing of personal information before you feel comfortable? A certain amount of text, phone, and Facebook messages back and forth?
These are the kinds of questions I ask as a shy guy. As my husband is quick to point out, making and keeping friends is something I have struggled with most of my life. This past year has been one of the loneliest of my life. Why is that?
There are a couple of explanations. First, my Mom died about 2 years ago. She was my friend, and I miss her every day. Tensions in my family over their support of President Trump, have made me leery to be around them at times. Then a few of my friends have died too or moved away. Or just drifted away. I am still friends with my Janet and Madonna friends, but their letters and emails are fewer and farther in between.
So that brings me to today. I go to work and watch my co-workers have their daily little lunch clique. These people seemed to have come together so fast and so easily. Meanwhile, it would probably take me 10 years of knowing them to be considered an acquaintance.
So back to the original question. How do you know when you have clicked? I can’t pinpoint the date or time that I “clicked” with the friends I had. I really wish that I knew the secret or the steps I need to take to make some new friends. Because right now, I feel pretty alone in this world.
That’s not to say I am sitting at home being bored. We get invited to different social events, but they are all about small talk and not about really getting to know each other beyond a surface level. I like to say I would like a friend that would hold my hand while I was crying. And right now, other than my husband, I don’t feel that I have that. I look at the friends I do have and wonder if they actually care about me and our relationship.
In my quest to improve my friend chances, I am taking a few proactive steps. One is registering for a site called “Friend Match” — so far it has brought me nothing. And then I am trying an app called We3 — that looks like a glorified video game. Plus we are in a new small faith-sharing group with one of the 3 churches we go to. But the people all seem to know each other, except for us. So we’ll see about that one.
I do hope that I can experience more “clicks” with potential friends in my life. Till then, I will try to be patient and open to new experiences coming into my life. And I will practice my gratitude mindset to be thankful for those that I have clicked with.
KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.