Friday, February 3, 2012

Friends For Life?

I recently read the article Is that Really You? on one of my very favorite blogs, MWF Seeking BFF

The article (which you should read, it's really great) talks about expectations bloggers have of their fellow bloggers when they meet each other in real life.

And how many times people have met after writing for years and been disappointed that the person they thought they knew was much different in person from what they expected them to be. 

I have had a real-life experience with this type of situation when I was in my teens.  I was one of those crazy, letter writing, pen pal keeping teenagers back in the day.  Not gonna lie, I spent literally HOURS writing LONG letters to many different girls across the country.

And LOVED it.  And they seemed to love it too.

Only one thing mattered to me.  I wanted to make a friend.  No, LOTS of friends.  I have always been obsessed with making friends.  And I have absolutely NO idea why. {grin}

Except for that I'm just one of those people that NEEDS friends to survive I guess.  Good friends.  Friends that I can talk to about EVERYTHING whenever I want to.

Friends that I can lean on when I'm having a bad day.  I just plain ol' need friends.

And I'm one of those people that will do almost anything to make a friend.  Even though I am REALLY shy at times and shake out of my boots when I meet new people, the friend-loving in me takes over and makes me run over to the first new person I see as a potential friend and say hi.

That's just how I am. {I am just kinda awkward at it.  Wish I could change that part about myself}

Now, back to my original story.

I wrote to a lot of fun gals when I was a teenager.  But one in particular stuck out.  She happened to like writing as much as I did.

I was elated!!  Every time I would write back, she wrote back just as fast.  She was the only letter writer I wrote to that I didn't have to write about ten times before she would reply.  I cannot even describe how excited I was.

Here was someone as excited about making friends as I was.  Maybe she could be my BFF?

The most exciting thing was that our parents were almost as into this as we were, so they decided we should meet.  Ahhhhh!!

And we did.  And we hit it off like we'd known each other forever.  We talked for hours about our teenager dreams and hopes and promised to keep writing just like we always had.

And we did.  And we had just as much fun as we always had.  Until SHE went to college.  Then something changed.  I'm really still not sure exactly what it was.

But when she got to college, she still wrote, but there was something missing.  She'd put things like LATER on the bottom of the letter instead of LOVE.  No big deal I guess.  But different.

I happened to go to the same college the next year.  I was super nervous.  She and I were going to finally be at the same college and be able to see each other all of the time!!  We could finally be the friends that we wanted to be all along.

What could be better than being in the same dorm after all?  Seriously, I LOVED dorm life.

I got to college and excitedly as soon as I could, I ran to my friend's room and gave her a big hug!!  Imagine my surprise when she nicely said hi, but acted like she wasn't really that excited to have me there.  I could tell there was a problem from the beginning.

Immediately I thought of myself and what in the world could be wrong with me?  Was I not wearing the right clothes?  Was I not cool enough for her anymore now that she was at college?  I mean, after all, I was a college girl now too.

I was devastated.  REALLY devastated.  But nothing could be changed.  This was the way things were going to be from now on.  The momentum was gone, and my would be BFF friend was GONE.

And what was worse is that she didn't seem to care.  AT ALL.

 To think that ALL of these years I wasted writing to someone who eventually wouldn't want anything to do with me, was just plain awful.  Why didn't she tell me that she didn't like me in the first place?  I could have saved us both from all of that hurt and grief if only I had known.

To this day I have absolutely NO idea what happened.  If I did something to her that made her mad or if she decided she just wasn't interested anymore.  No IDEA.

I just know it hurt.  A LOT.

Ok, so maybe I am blowing all of this out of proportion as I often tend to do.  Maybe.

Do things like this ever worry you when you write to people in bloggy land?  Do you ever worry that if you met someone you are friends with online that they may not like you in real life?

Maybe I'm the only one.  Maybe I'm super self-conscious.  I don't know.  Maybe I get in too deep with my crazy friendship making escapades.  Ha! 

This brings up an important point in Rachel's article.  Are we really portraying ourselves as we REALLY are on our blogs?  I like to think I am.  {But then that gnawing feeling that I am more shy in person than on my blog takes over for a minute}

What do you think?  Have you ever met up with someone you made friends with online? Were they as you expected them to be or way different and just plain disappointing?

Here's another thought.  Are our expectations of people just a little too high maybe?  Do we forget that our online friends are people too, and prone to making mistakes just like our real-life friends are? 

Maybe we expect too much from our online friends and forget that it might take a little time to get to know the "REAL" life person.  And that that person may be just a little bit different than the online friend we pictured in our minds...  After all, we all put our best foot forward on our blogs and don't really bare our mistakes to everyone, right?

None of us are as perfect as we may look on our blogs.  Ummm, did I just say that?  Yep, I did.  {Or maybe I'm the only one that's not perfect.}

I would love to know what you think.  And I hope if I ever get the chance to meet any of you in REAL life, that you give me a chance.  I may not be perfect, but I would love to be friends.

That's one thing I DO know for sure.

I'm going to leave you with these quotes I absolutely LOVE about friendship.

This one is the BEST... 

Happy Friday!

1 comment:

Starr said...

I have fostered many online relationships into real-life meetings. Some romantic, some platonic. I've realized that many people present their best selves in writing--there's plenty of time to think about what you have to say about yourself (should I *really* tell the world how much I love Justin Bieber???). So a real life meeting is incredibly intimidating since self-editing has to be so quick.

Another thing is that sometimes you've already shared so much that you can't figure out what else to say when you finally meet. And then, of course, there's all the stuff you never said, like how you managed to re-do your kitchen into something awesome, but you had to sell all the living room furniture to pay for it because you're broke. I can think of worse things I have yet to even think about discussing online--it's not all unicorns and rainbows...and what happens if your online friend only expects unicorns and rainbows??

Anyway, your post hit home for me. I've always been someone to actively reach out to others--friends and strangers alike. And I want folks to love me, warts and all! Is that too much to ask?

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