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Combating Loneliness and Building Friendships (PLEASE HELP)
Lately, I have been feeling extremely lonely. I'm the kind of person that people contact only really when they need or want something from me. In all my life, I don't think I've ever had a true friend. I basically only really have my family and a few acquaintances that I see (from university) and we catch-up over dinner or a movie sometimes. In addition, I also had a casual sex partner previously that has turned into a 'casual friend' I guess (let's call him Michael).
Anyways, I find myself yearning for intellectual and emotional intimacy and mutual understanding socially. I feel like I just have 'situational' people in my life, none of whom I really click with and have common interests with. I want to feel important and close to someone and when I was texting Michael last night about it, he basically said that the way he builds friendships with people is to see if they match or vibe with him to see if they are worth each other's time. He said that the people in his life, he can't really say if they are important to each other, but that they are interesting to hang out with and they can learn from each other. I like what Michael said about being worth each other's time but really, I don't want to spend time with people if we both don't view each other as important (because I would feel like a fill-in, like they are just hanging out with me "just because" and don't really care about me).
I want genuine friendships, not just "hang out" or "bitch buddies". I just want someone to talk to, really get to know and be appreciated and loved. I'm going to look up groups on meet-up and places to go and volunteer. Socially, I am a part of a Toastmasters club but not much else. Any tips or comforting words would be appreciated!
Also, I've kind of dissected Michael's message to me in questions to kind of act as a guide socially. Here they are:
1 Do they match/vibe with me?
2 Are we worth each other's time?
3 Are they interesting to hang out with?
4 Can we learn from each other?
5 Are we important to each other?
What do you guys think? Any advice?
I can only speak for myself but for me relationships do not spring up full blown at first glance. Others may have 'Love At First Sight' but I've never found it. Having said that I've actively sought a partner and found one.
I guess it is always hit and miss to start with, either accepting that people will come your way though your day-to-day life or doing as I did and seeking them out. I announced that I was looking for a permanent mate, this of course put many off, but did leave those that were feeling the same themselves. I started with correspondence, first to a few, then to only one. This led in time to a closer aqauntance. By the time we actually met we knew each other pretty well. Things turned out well and we are still together many years later.
I'm mentioning all this because I think there were several things that made it all possible. Firstly everyone knew my intent. Secondly I was in no tearing hurry (much though I wanted to be), and neither was my partner. Third this period was used to size up and get to know the other person at a distance using words. For many words are a pretty true reflection of the writer, video less so as there are too many other things going on, and in person is, I guess even worse.
You would seem to be maximizing your chances with meet-up groups and also volunteering. Although there may be false starts you only have to meet one.
With luck I think your 5 questions will answer themselves.
So - good luck