Wanted: Friend for fun, must accept extreme awkwardness.
Today’s topic is….the magical and mysterious art of friend-dating – stick with us, because you’ve almost definitely done it too.
Ok class, today we’re talking about how we (possibly unknowingly) try to woo our new friends. We’re exploring why do we do it and what about our ‘isms’ is so scary we feel we need put a filtered version of ourselves out there, even when there’s no happily ever after at stake.
The meet-cute – Friends-style
Picture the scene, it could be at work, or in a social scenario and there they are (slo-mo, eighties music montage a plenty). This person shares your interests, has read the obscure book you’ve raved about for years, only for your existing friends to roll their eyes every time it’s mentioned and quite frankly, you’ve already decided you must have them (and by that we mean, in your life, on your social media feed and in your diary for coffee dates). Now.
We’re all adults, we’ve made it this far, and we assume throughout this post you have some friends already, but sometimes we meet a human and our animalistic, primal…’YOU’ shines through and we all but pee on them to mark our territory as their new friend. But WHY, do we end up treating these situations like romantic encounters? A best photo angle here, a considered, but not too needy text there. It’s like we forget we’ve successfully made other friends as testament to our human interaction credentials.
Let me entertain you…
Maybe you’re cooler than this, maybe you’re one of those unicorn people who can say ‘take me as I am’ and mean it, if so, bravo to you, you’re a hero. Don’t get us wrong, we don’t want to change who we are, and we do not advocate assuming some mysterious new identity to woo a new mate, but we admit there’s some definite preening and pruning of the awkward, a little focus on not-oversharing right away – don’t want to scare them off, right?
We know it sounds a little contradictory to say we’ve done this, when we created Flawkward to celebrate our weirdness and not hide it away, but it’s important we’re open with you and oh boy have we done all of this (we spent way too long trying to impress each other….until we realised that we’re basically the same person, even down to our unbelievably niche anxieties).
If you’re really honest with yourself and trawl through some of your origin stories, you’ll see the signs of when you ‘dated’ your mates. It might be that moment of smug joy when you saw the friend request, or when they suggested you grab a coffee that first time, but we’re telling you, those moments happened and you were putting those peacock feathers out there even if you don’t remember!
It happens, but let’s be real…
Chances are, by this point in this post, you’ve recognised the signs. Now we can talk about how bloody weird it is we do this? If you have done it, you’re not alone, but now it’s time to focus on the fact YOU. DON’T. NEED. TO. You’re amazing. The friends you already have clearly think so, you’ve made it this far. If you’re passionate about something and someone shares that, chances are they’re as desperate for a chance to wax lyrical about it, so go nuts! Talk to the new person, win them over with the full, director’s cut.
We’re all just human, but we elevate others to godly heights when we’re unsure or uncomfortable and those feelings tell us to tone things down a little, or second-guess every word and if we’re really unlucky give us a nice healthy (read: chronically unhealthy) dose of social anxiety. LET’S STOP THE MADNESS.
Next time you meet someone and you think OMG FRIEND, be brave, mention that thing you also like that they just brought up, invite them to the thing, send the bloody request, because if it doesn’t work you’ve lost nothing and if it does…….HEY FRIEND, let’s eat tacos in our pjs and watch every episode of Gilmore Girls.
So, friend dating is a weird thing most of us do; we hold in some of our stuff for a while, but in short, we shouldn’t. Find your people!!! (Also, if you’re reading this, we’re you’re people too.)
Let’s all be FLAWKWARD together, deal?!