One surprising thing that might help your relationships.

Lesson Learning: We need each other.

Yeah, you and me. We just do. (If you’re not sure, I may try to convince you of this in a later blog, but for now, just humor me. We do.)

J and I moved to California last October. It’s been six months. While it’s been one of the best places we’ve lived so far in our lives, a common–daily–theme has been solitude. I think everyone we know tried to warn us that this might be hard for us. And we really did our best to listen to them… We’ve definitely realized more than any other time in our lives how much we need friends.

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In case there is anyone else out there who is also spending too much time in solitude, I wanted to write about a few of the small steps we’re taking to make friends. Obviously, I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, so it might be hard to keep it short, but bite size it must be! (Or it has no place on my blog!)

J and I do not yet have the relationships we desire yet. This is, once again, a lesson learning and is not tried and true. Before we can get where we want to be it’s important to have an idea of what we’re looking for. Your list may be completely different from mine, but step one is deciding what we need so we have something to aim for.

I’m looking for:

  • human friends (though I have considered going the easy route and getting a dog, I think this deciding on human interaction is actually really important)
  • people who have time to spend with me
  • people who are interested in bettering their lives (positive, moving-forward people)
  • people who are authentic in life and relationships

Step two is a little easier. Because it shows me the criteria I need to use on myself… I already need to do or be the things that I expect from others. I can’t expect others to spend their time on me if I can’t spend my time on them, people who are positive will want to spend time with positive people, people who are being authentic will know when I’m faking it.

While it’s easy to see that I need to be authentic and positive this is of course the much more difficult part if life is not all rainbows and ponies. When life is happening to you, it may not exactly be the best time to open up every detail of your life with a stranger. I can’t exactly share all my “father-wounds,” if you will.

I’m finding that talking to my counselor has become an important step in making new friends. I’m able to get some stuff off my chest that new friends are probably not ready to help me sort through. Then I’m more freed up–emotionally–to be myself (authentic) and be more positive about life. I know that’s probably a strange conclusion to come to about making friends, but it takes a lot of pressure off of other people and while they might have time, they definitely don’t need any more pressure.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! Do you think finding a counselor is a good way to build new relationships in a new city? What do you think keeps people from going to a counselor?

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One surprising thing that might help your relationships.

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