Disclaimer: There very well could be apps that are similar to Tinder that allow you to connect with people and stay in the friend zone. But I didn't feel like googling and having all my current thoughts swayed. And then of course the self-doubt of why am I even writing this if there is a solution. Well, self-doubt is annoying and I spend enough time on google looking for paleo treats to bake, so I'm just going with what's on my heart, ok?
My husband and I just moved to California and, including our dog and parents, we know about four people in this new area we are living in. We left an amazing community (more like family) to create a whole new one. Yes, it's exciting! Yes, there is a lot to look forward to! But it's also scary as hell. My husband reminded me the other day that if we stayed where we were it would have been the safe option. By coming out here we are really challenging ourselves - and nothing is worth it without a challenge. I totally agree and that helped to put my mind at ease, but making friends in your mid-late twenties is a whole different ball game, especially in this new digital device-driven age. I sort of feel at a loss for how to do this…
I don't really know the extent of Tinder, but my bitmoji says "swipe right" under the love category so I'm assuming I want to be swiping in that direction for friends. I did also meet my husband online (we are still waiting for our commercial. I'm looking at you match.com) so I understand the online dynamics.
While a Tinder app for friendship sounds appealing (not really though), I want to understand how to meet people in my age range who are fun and cool, without connecting with them on a device first. New mission: Let's make friends without a device!
Ok so here’s how I’m going to approach this: “Hi I'm a 26-year-old married chick who is obsessed with her dog and frequently (always) talks in a puppy voice, and I really want to be your friend.” Of course once I read this back I’m all self-conscious about it. Remember, self-doubt is annoying! And if I’m going to put myself out there without the digital wall of a device, I’m going to be myself. That statement up there is totally who I am and how I am going to be.
So, why at the same time of being super excited about my puppy voice and kick-ass self, am I still not sure if this is going to be a full proof way of making new friends? Maybe its because here in California people are little bit different. They are sort of just in their own little world and not really concerned with connection. Maybe I just need to dig a little bit deeper or maybe just look in different places. I am so in my head about all of this. And the worst (or maybe the best) part is that I am SO aware of how in my head I am about all of this.
Honestly, why do I give a fuck (I'm going to say fuck when we hang out. Most likely a lot.) if “they don’t’ like me” from my aforementioned statement about how I am? This is a problem our generation has created. We know who to be on our phones and in our Instagram feeds. We know how to pose the right cronut pic (guilty), we know what is going to boost those little orange hearts and blue thumbs-up in our notifications, and we thrive on that. But then when we are face to face, maybe even being brave enough to make direct eye contact, we suddenly don’t know what to do and question everything. Sure this doesn’t happen every day, but when you’re in a new place and putting yourself out there it all swirls around in your head and makes you distrust your social abilities in person. At least for me this is the case.
Alright so what I am going to do about this? Sit behind my computer and write about? Well obviously that’s where I’m starting, but I need to get back to basics and listen to my heart and what it needs. My verb for 2016 is “to ask”. I’m asking for help when I need it, asking for love when its necessary, asking for exactly what I want when I want it, asking for all the things, all the feels, and in my true voice that sometimes sounds like the way I think my dog sounds. I’m asking for friendship and connection without the assistance of my iPhone or an app.
Here’s to being awesome, courageous and kicking self-doubt in the face to make new friends exactly the way we are right here, right now. And to leaving our devices at home while we are doing it.