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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Music And Mood Swings

I’ve always related particular songs to certain people in my life. Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” makes me think of my mom every time it hits my eardrums. I think of my college friend whenever I hear “Ridin’ Solo” by Jason DeRulo. Whether it’s a classic rock anthem or a song that I used to dance to while drunk in my dorm room, music has always had a direct relationship to memories for me. So naturally, this is true with my past romantic partners.

My ex-boyfriend listened to Coldplay almost exclusively during our relationship, and I haven’t been able to listen to them without feeling sad since we broke up three years ago. I realize that Coldplay makes people feel sad anyway, but this is more of a nostalgia-type sadness that creeps up and makes me want to change the song.

The same is true for Pitbull and KeSha’s “Timber”. The song sucks. I know that. But the last guy I dated introduced me to the hit about “goin’ down” and it was the first song we ever danced to together. Now, since our romance has kind of ended (has it really, though? I honestly have no idea), I need to turn off the radio every time “Timber” comes on. Which, by the way, is very often.

It’s strange that music can bring back so many memories from your past. I’m 99% sure I had my sloppy and disgusting first kiss to Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop”. I will forever think of that lacrosse player’s tongue licking my chin and his beer spilling on my hair every time that song plays. Luckily it doesn’t play often, and I’m still upset that he ruined my hair with his drunken spillage.

So…what does all this music and sadness talk have to do with online dating?

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Today Is My Birthday

This time last year, I was celebrating my 22nd birthday at college in Philadelphia. I was taking too many tequila shots, spitting brownie pieces at bouncers, and making out with more than one of my gay male friends. Today I am sitting on my bed in LA with little desire to do any of those things. In fact, I barely even feel like getting up to pee. And unlike taking 22 shots of tequila, that’s actually something I kind of biologically am required to do. But alas, I’m here instead.

I’ve been thinking too much lately. This blog has run my brain ragged. I am already an obsessive compulsive person, but this experience has made me so much worse.

I’ve been thinking about what I want for my birthday and naturally, as this blog is on my mind more than it should be, I am thinking in context to this here internet thing.

Today is my 23rd birthday and all I want (other than many cakes and a pair of jeans that make me look super hot) is to know exactly what I enjoy. In online dating, and perhaps real life dating, and even friendship-making, it’s always about what the other person would like. To me, it seems we (or at least my crazy self) are far too worried about liking things that will be accepted by the kind of person I’m trying to attract. I feel like I have to enjoy bands like Radiohead and Arcade Fire to become appealing to the guys who are into music. But the truth is, I saw Arcade Fire last night and far preferred openers Capital Cities and Fitz and the Tantrums. If I feel that I want to attract the nature-y type, I have to say that I enjoy climbing mountains and touching rugged beards. I can enjoy a hike and a climb every now and then, but truth be told it just isn’t my lifestyle. I grew up in a city. I live in a city now. I was raised taking “urban hikes” around center city Philadelphia with my mom rather than going out and camping in the wilderness. And beards are disgusting.

Looking back, both at my online dating life and my actual young life, I feel that I’ve been doing many activities for others. I feel the need to meld into what certain men and friends want me to be. I enjoy many things, but what’s “my” thing? If someone were to create an online profile to attract me and only me, I have no idea what they would put on it, other than an abnormal affinity for chocolate cake (and food in general). Or a disgustingly weird obsession with Dave Grohl. I really don’t know what else defines me in the context of me and only me with no one else involved.

For my 23rd today, I’ve decided to gift myself the opportunity to find out who “me” is and what I really, truly like. Other than food. And Dave Grohl. I need to find out what makes me tick, and I need to remind myself that animal fries don’t count as an answer.

I think it’s a great but scary gift. Plus, it’s the only gift I can give myself because designer jeans are simply too expensive.

Thankful that I matched with Dave Grohl this Thanksgiving.

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