The Friendship Problem

Finding friends is like dating, except harder. And more necessary.

I had no idea how lucky I was to have people living in the same house as me in college. Living with the girls below was like having constant entertainment and companionship. What I’d give to go back to that big, crazy house…

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When I moved to LA last July, I only had a handful of friends out here. Like any naive college kid with a hefty number of people in her phone’s contact list, I assumed I’d easily pick up more friends as soon as I arrived in my new(ish) city. Having spent three summers out here prior to making the permanent move, I was confident in my ability to find fun people to spend time with in a totally unromantic, strictly platonic way. I thought it’d be easy to make a whole bunch of friends who I could hang out with whenever I wanted, just like when I was in college.

I was wrong.

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Missed Calls

I have a serious problem. So far, it hasn’t been treatable and I have yet to find someone who hasn’t had a similar issue at some point in his or her life as a cell phone owner.

The problem is talking on the phone.

My problem has gotten so bad that my recent call records often look something like this:

missed calls

Mom and Dad are a safe bet. I’ll answer their calls because I know what to expect. But unknown numbers? No. Friends? Oftentimes no, mainly because I’m worried they’re calling 1) to give me terrible news or 2) to give me amazing news about something that has happened to them that will make me feel shitty about my own single, jobless life.

It sounds dumb. It is dumb. But I can’t seem to get past my fear of why someone may be calling me. Texts are often meaningless. Casual checking in or making plans are what texts are for. But calls have become serious. Unless it’s my parents or my grandma – who refuses to learn to text but has finally grasped the idea of sending emails (hallelujah) – on the other end of the call, I know that the caller has something important to say. And usually I just don’t want to hear it. So I ignore it. Because I’m the worst.

What does this have to do with online dating, you ask? A lot. Moving from sending messages online to mobile interaction has become a real-life problem. Since the start of my little dating project, every dude who has gotten my digits has been a valiant texter. No callers here. Until one guy – the one I actually want to hear from – started calling. He’s not a texter at all. And it is terrifying. Every time he calls, I worry that he’s calling to say he doesn’t want to see me again. Because I am insane. But nope. He just doesn’t text. And it’s kinda nice. But also kinda scary,  because of my insanity and all.

I’m starting to get over my refusal to answer the phone, though. I’ve been practicing. Proof is below.

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So what if I’ve only talked to my parents, brother, and aunt in the last week. It’s something. And I am proud of my ability to talk to more people voice-to-voice. Chivalry isn’t dead! We should talk on the phone more often. Call me to force me to practice. Really. I need all the help I can get. It may be what breaks my weirdo phone phobia. I promise I’ll try to answer when you call, rather than throw my phone on the floor and cower in fear, as if it’s about to detonate.

Maybe.

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