About once a week (usually on a night my boyfriend is busy, and I have nothing to do), I come to the realization that I basically have none of my own friends, particularly girlfriends. By “my own”, I mean people who I didn’t meet by default through my boyfriend, or in some cases, through their boyfriends. I’m talking besties, girls I’ll go for a spontaneous coffee with, and who I can share every detail of my life with.
Now, I don’t want to offend anyone who considers themselves one of my close friends. But let’s be real, if we’re not checking in on each other or seeing each other very often, then we’re not that close. And I don’t mean when I am messaging or calling you. I’m talking MUTUAL checkups.
So parallel to my whining about not having friends, the boyfriend and I sometimes catch ourselves hypothetically considering moving to Australia. Isn’t Australia great? Firstly, their seasons are all upside down which would be such a bonus for me since I’d FINALLY be able to celebrate my February birthday by a pool or at least outdoors (although this year Toronto hit a record high of 13 degrees Celsius day of, so I got to run around in a sweater). Not to mention their lack of a real winter (during our summer), where they really only see temperatures as low as 6 degrees Celsius, and even then, just in the southern parts of the country.
If I were to suddenly move to Australia, not say a word to anybody (except my family and my boss, of course), not post any evidence of the move on social media, how long would it take for somebody to notice?
How many times do you catch yourself keeping up with friends’ lives through their Snapchat Stories or Instagram posts, or where they checked in on Facebook? When is the last time you found out about that cool thing your friend did through a conversation over coffee, where you asked genuinely open-ended questions, and took the time to listen to their amazing stories?
The other day, a girlfriend of mine (whom I unfortunately only see a few times a year) and I got a chance to go to our local coffee shop, with no time budget for our outing. Before we knew it, three hours flew by, our creative juices were flowing more than ever before, and we both knew each other’s short-term and long-term plans and goals. And that’s all it took. We got to share our future travel plans with each other, our ideas, and a cup of coffee. And I got so much more out of those three hours than I would have spending those same few hours scrolling through social media to “get updated” on the lives of tens of people.
So now I get some small satisfaction out of not advertising my plans on social media. I make sure not to hint at my upcoming travel destination on any of my channels, and I disclose the information only to those who are genuinely interested in my life.
And I get it, we are all narcissists deep down, and care about nobody but ourselves. But if we want to build meaningful relationships with other people, it’s going to take a little effort and a lot of authentic interest.
So tonight, or tomorrow, or this weekend, take the time to call up a friend who you value, and just take a few hours to really catch up with them!
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