Last night at Drink Deep we talked about how Americans really don't like making friends. It's something we're just not good at. I've been wondering to myself if TV has ruined our ability to have real relationships.
Here's what I mean. You can watch a television series and get to know a character, their likes, their dislikes, their favorite food, what they do when they're stressed out, you can get to know them really well. So well you've formed a bond with them. When they hurt, you hurt. When something great happens to them, you celebrate (I always think of Friends, when the characters would have ups and downs, how people related with them). In essence you have formed a relationship with that person.
But it is completely one-sided. They know nothing about you. You have zero involvement in their life. To them you don't exist. And I almost think we like it that way. We get the feigned intimacy of knowing someone really well without having to put in anything ourselves. No risk. Even today with Facebook, you can not actually talk to or see someone for a decade and know what's going on in their lives, and you've put nothing into that relationship.
Real relationships are harder. Real relationships take work. One of our core values at FIRE & WATER is Allying, the idea that we need real relationships that are so strong they aren't viewed as a once in a while friendship, you would actually call this person an ally. But to have a relationship that deep, that impactful, that strong, it can't be one-sided. It takes work. It takes time. It takes commitment. We just have to decide if the effort is worth the pay off.
Are real relationships worth the time and effort to you?