Tuesday, November 29, 2011

No commitment necessary

"It's not you, it's me."  We've all heard this before.  Heck, I've probably used the line myself a few times just to lighten the load of a break up.  It's not fun being on the recipient side, but it is a part of life and it happens more often than we prefer.

My daughter alone has gone through three best friends since she started grade school.  It wasn't like that for me, but every generation is different.  Which brings me to the main reason for this topic: No commitment is more common than a solid connection these days.  I find that I have somewhat better relationships with those I don't have direct relationships with (via Twitter for example) than I do with friends I've known for over five years.  I find that the effort to extend a "hello" or "how are you?" are too far in between conversations and getting together for dinners.  Friendships are lost because there's too many cyber connection options and expressive phone applications that folks just don't want to exercise their energy with real people, but rather with people that are lost in space.

How did this happen?  I bet if Steve Jobs were still alive today, he'd have something to say about it. Despite his successes with Apple, he was a real person who left an impression on people, not just because of what he did professionally, but because he connected with people.  I mean, really connected with them.

I'm not perfect.  I have a lot on my plate these days as well, but it seems as if when I make the effort to reach out, it's more warmly received by someone whose face has not appeared in front of me once, and yet still wants to know what I think of a wine or why I go into coffee shops so much.

I ended the relationship with my so-called best friend over five months ago and I still struggle with that.  I know my reasons for cutting ties were valid, but it still boggles my mind that she chose to put what she viewed as "unstable disciplinary values" over how we connected.  Why does that concern her in the first place?  When you make a new friend, do you ask them how they feel about politics before determining whether or not you could be friends?

So this is it.  The age of "no commitment necessary".  The times when we get lost in our own bubble and neglect to make time to share flavorful food, great wine and intriguing conversations with others we care about.  That's cool - I get it.  It's not me, it's you.  And for all that's worth - I hope it won't be too late for your sake to come back into the picture.

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