Why Making Friends is Pretty Much Like Dating

My friend Becky and I were having a good laugh yesterday talking about all of the funny dynamics of friendship and why making friends is pretty much like dating. Here is some of my reasoning:
-You hear some people talk about “Love at first Sight” when some people describe how it was when they met their partner. Haven’t we all had this experience making a friend before? Maybe you were somewhere where you met a friend of a friend and knew within moments that you liked this person and wanted to be their friend? I have had that happen many times when I just knew that I connected with someone instantly.
-Sometimes when you have a connection, you go through a honeymoon stage where you want to hang out with that person as much as possible. You eventually settle into a more realistic schedule of seeing each other not as often but still thoroughly enjoy their company when you do have the chance to see them.
-There have also been times when I maybe didn’t feel instant chemistry with someone, but over time, I eventually grew to really respect and appreciate this friend.
-Like in relationships, sometimes opposites attract. Not all of my friends are like me, in fact, some have very different personalities than mine. I think that is part of the reason that I like them so much, because they see things differently than me and we balance each other (this can also potentially be problematic at times as well).
-It is funny how every once in awhile you just don’t really have chemistry with someone who you think you should. On paper, you have tons of things in common, similar beliefs, etc….but you find yourself running out of things to talk about with them and there is an unspoken awkwardness lingering in the air. I hate it when that happens.
-There have been times when I have met someone who I thought would be “out of my league.” They just seem too cool for school like they would just be swimming in a sea of friends. Sometimes I have been wrong and ended up being great friends with those people but I think there have probably been a couple of times when I was feeling the love more strongly for them than they were for me (and I’m sure the same thing has happened on the flip side).
-I should write a whole different post about making couple friends (and I probably will). Now that can be complicated. Not only do I have to get a long with the wife, but I also have to really like the husband. When you find a good couple friendship, you cherish it, because they are not easy to find.

I have to say that I feel very blessed in the friend department. I have a lot of friends who really inspire me (and many of my friends are also family members). I have friends from growing up and college who I rarely talk to, but when I do, it is like we pick up right where we left off. I have made friends who have been there for me along every stage and journey of my life. I feel blessed to have a solid network of friends in Corvallis. I don’t feel like I get to see most of my friends very often anymore with busy and conflicting schedules, but I know that I could call them in a pinch and they would be there for me. I hope that I do not take my friends for granted and that I have been as good of a friend as many of my friends have been to me.

Megan - October 20, 2011 - 9:32 pm

It was love at first sight of your cute blue Dansko clogs!!! And look at us not =)

Megan - October 20, 2011 - 9:33 pm

look at us NOW!!! (typo above, woops)

adrienne w - October 20, 2011 - 9:45 pm

Oh, Kara, it’s so true! Having recently moved, we are looking to “date.” It’s been tough.
It was “love at first sight” with you, my dear! One weekend together as two guys prom dates and I was smitten! I knew I liked you well enough to plan to be roommates at College. Maybe we were moving to fast, but I think it paid off. You are an easy person to be friends with. Now we just need to talk more often! (Unless this is one of those instances where I was feeling it more than you…;) )

kara - October 20, 2011 - 9:51 pm

Megan,
The only reason you made the freudian slip or writing look at us not, is because we aren’t together enough :). I loved the first time I met you when you came up and told me the shoe incident. I remember going home and telling Chris about a new friend I was going to make :)
Adrienne,
Oh yes, that fateful prom night sealed the deal for us :). Yes, it is funny that we ended up being roommates from that! Ha ha… we did move fast, but it definitely paid off. Oh Adrienne, I would love to talk on the phone more at night… I just need my baby to go to bed earlier so I don’t collapse into bed by the time she is asleep and I take an hour for myself (when it is usually too late to be calling you). Good luck with your dating, I know you will find the right friends :).

Margaret - October 21, 2011 - 8:46 am

Love it. So true. I wish we talked more, but consider myself in the “we pick up right where we left off” category….right??? I think also you (not just you but people in general) make friends with those who are in the same stage of life that you might not be friends with otherwise. Does that make sense? But that is the beauty of it all.

Jasmin - October 21, 2011 - 11:03 am

And making friends once you have kids! Extra hard. Kids have to get along too! Family dating. It is hard! thanks for the article Kara.

Elisabeth@SimpleGreenishLiving - October 23, 2011 - 12:14 am

That’s a good way to put it…and funny too. Like when you told me you wanted to set me up on a blind date with another mom this week, and that we should, “take our relationship to the next level.” Lol, I laughed as I recounted all that to my hubby. You’re funny. I agree about the couple friends, too. I’m so thankful for the couple friends we have in our lives…especially the ones who have experienced becoming parents for the first time in the past year like we have.