Last week I made a new friend.
At least I think they’re a friend. I’m unsure whether we’re just friends. I can’t tell if we’re flirting over message or simply making conversation. The line has apparently become very blurred over the pandemic because the whole meeting people thing was put on hold. When was the last time I made a friend? I’m unsure. When was the last time I made a friend that wasn’t through a mutual friend? Even more unsure. Hence my confusion.
We went for a drink. We had a nice time. Did I feel mildly nervous? Yes. Was there banter and a lot of laughing you ask? Yes absolutely. But was I flirting or is that just how I talk? And was I making them laugh because I like them, or because I live for the ego boost? So many questions. I brought it up with my friends and, in an attempt to straighten it out in my mind, mentioned that I’m not sure where the uncertainty is coming from. I don’t normally automatically assume the people I meet are romantically interested in me.
‘Really?’ One of my friends replied. ‘I tend to assume everyone I meet is in love with me’
‘Same’ another added as she sipped her dirty martini. Calm down love, we’re far more Bridget Jones than Carrie Bradshaw.
So, are my existing friends ridiculously narcissistic or do they just carry the main character energy we should all strive to exist with? More uncertainty.
Unsurprisingly, I am probably just being dramatic. I do think it is just friendship, but it got me thinking about the way in which we form connections and the many different ways in which they come.
When my dog came to stay the other week, I became far more aware of the simplicity of interactions. We didn’t get on the tube without someone starting a conversation and I noticed people constantly reaching down to stroke Milo, almost subconsciously. It is funny that despite the varied busyness of our lives, most people exist with an underlying desire to care for and connect with the people around them. It’s often in a fleeting ‘good morning’, a casual ‘how are you?’ or a quick ‘can I stroke your dog?’ but it exists. Obviously, the past few years existed with far less meaningless interactions, and it’s nice to have them back again. I think that life works best as a balance of the meaningless and meaningful, of the intense and the casual, and, to circle back, a balance of the flirtation and the friendship. I’ll let you know when I figure out which one this is.