How to Make Long Distance Friendships Last

How to Make Long Distance Friendships Last

If there is one expression I have found to be true over the years, it is “distance makes the heart grow fonder.” Getting older means that your circle of friends broadens and goes from those friends you grew up with to friends from college, friends from work, friends of friends, and a thousand other unique situations. This is both a wonderful and difficult thing. Adults are far more mobile than childhood friends. Some of us move far from our hometowns. Others travel, or get relocated for work. The likelihood of some distance being put between you and some of your friends is most likely, unfortunately, inevitable. Continue reading

Advertisements

There’s a good reason you haven’t hung out with that old friend…

BRIDESMAIDS (Image Credit: Universal Studios)

BRIDESMAIDS (Image Credit: Universal Studios)

We all have that one friend from back in the day who we think was so spontaneous and so much fun. Every now and then they pop into our lives, and we make plans thinking it will be a great time. After all, we haven’t seen each other in months (or years) and we’ve been friends forever.

We talk our old friend up to our new friends like he or she is the epitome of a good time and reminisce about all the wacky memories we’ve made together. And when the day arrives of the scheduled hang out we’re totally pumped for what will be an amazing night.

Old_Friend_001

We expect to be completely in tune with our long lost bestie…

Old_Friend_002

And that the night is going to be awesome.

Old_Friend_003

Then our old friend does their first questionable thing of the evening…

Old_Friend_004

Like greeting everyone with highly offensive language, and you’re left like…

Old_Friend_005

You think maybe it’s just a fluke. You can forgive a little colorful language in the name of old times and having a good night.

Old_Friend_006

But then the next thing you know your old friend is throwing back drinks like it’s about to be prohibition…

Old_Friend_007

And disgustingly making out with a random in the middle of the dance floor.

Old_Friend_008

Before you know it, your new friends are confronting you all like, “I thought you said this person was awesome,” and you’re like…

Old_Friend_009

So you pull your old friend aside and you try to calmly explain this kind of behavior is not acceptable.

Old_Friend_010

And you think you have things under control until you get back from the restroom to find your old friend standing on the bar making insane proclamations.

Old_Friend_011

And all your new friends are like…

Old_Friend_012

Then you start to remember why it’s been so long since you hung out with your old friend…

Old_Friend_013

And all the memories of how they’ve caused chaos in your life in the past, like the time they drunkenly threw up on your roommate’s bed before taking your keys and driving over your foot,  come streaming back as your frustration level hits overdrive.

Old_Friend_014

So you try one more time to get things under control,

Old_Friend_015

But your old friend just laughs it off between shouting out inappropriately wrong lyrics to the song blasting in the background…

Old_Friend_016

At that point your new friends decide they’re going to “check out another bar”…

Old_Friend_017

And you and good ol’ days aren’t invited to come along.

Old_Friend_018

But even though you’re mad you kind of get it…

Old_Friend_019

Until you realize you’re stuck dealing with this disaster on your own…

Old_Friend_020

And even you feel like you need to bail…

Old_Friend_021

But you stick it out watching with secondhand (and personal) embarrassment…

Old_Friend_022

Because you’re not the kind of person who leaves a friend hanging…

Old_Friend_023

Until your old friend starts to pick a fight with the bouncer and you finally can’t take it anymore…

Old_Friend_024

And drag your old friend to the uber you called when they weren’t looking.

Old_Friend_25

Then when you finally get them home, after arguing non-stop about whether or not Sushi City is still serving and having to stop for them to get sick several times, you bid your old friend a fond farewell…

Old_Friend_026

Knowing you have no intention of ever seeing this person again after what they’ve put you through… at least until some time goes by and you forget what makes them so horrible all over again.

Old_Friend_027

How to Make New Friends as an Adult

Friends

For a large portion of most people’s lives, making friends comes easily. As a child, your parents can set up play dates with your peers; when you get to be a bit older, you can explore friendships and social circles on your own in school to see where you fit in; and in college, you probably have a roommate or two that act as automatic friends, at least until you meet others. After this point, though, forming new friendships doesn’t always come easily. Unfortunately, many people already feel secure in their social circles and don’t necessarily go out of their way to meet new friends, making it difficult for the ones that do. However, there are also a ton of adults out there who are in the same boat and are eager to form new friendships; you just have to find them! Continue reading

5 Television characters I wish I was friends with…

Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope in PARKS AND RECREATION (Image Credit: Colleen Hayes/NBC)

Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope in PARKS AND RECREATION (Image Credit: Colleen Hayes/NBC)

I love my television friends. Wait, what? Am I really calling those fictional characters friends? Yes I am, and I’m not even ashamed of it. Think about it: why do we love television series? We like them because we recognize ourselves and our own lives in them, we like them because they’re great entertainment, we like them because they make us laugh and cry, we like them because they’re a way of escapism. But we LOVE them because we feel a strong bond with the characters. The characters become our friends. That’s why we are devastated when one of our favorite TV shows has come to an end: our friends are taken away from us. Luckily, we are able to watch series again and again which gives us the opportunity to fan the fire of our fictional friendships.

Below you can find my list of “TV characters I wish I were friends with” and why this is the case…

Continue reading

How to Deal with Difficult Roommates

(Image Credit: Wave Break Media)

(Image Credit: Wave Break Media)

Roommates are always a kind of scary prospect most of us face in life. Maybe you’ve never had roommates or have had bad experiences in the past, but moving into a new place is a fresh start with different people. Here are a few pieces of advice to follow when you begin your new journey as a great roommate.

Come up with some rules

When you first move in, have a meeting with your roommate(s) and set some ground rules. Establish that you don’t want to take the trash out every day and you’d like a rotation or something that helps you all work together. If you want to come up with a chore chart, bring it up and see how the other person feels about it. Don’t do too much, though; no one wants a lazy, messy roommate, but no one wants an overbearing one either.

Don’t be afraid to confront them

If they’re not keeping up their end of the agreement, don’t be scared to talk to them. If you’re nervous to speak to them in person, texting or posting notes somewhere is an alternative. But confronting them is absolutely necessary. If you try to ignore the issue and hope it solves itself, you’ll end up angry and resenting the other person. Communication is key to successful living conditions!

Get management involved

If your new roommate is just absolutely crazy or dirty or anything in between and you’ve tried communicating the issues, your next option is to get the staff of the apartment/dorm involved. Go to the office and ask to speak to the manager or someone that can help you. Explain the situation and see what options they can give you. If anything, they can move you to a different room or help you sublease your apartment to someone else.

When you’re faced with completely new people, things can be great or insane. It just depends on the person. So be forgiving and patient as you and your new roommate(s) get to know each other’s habits and preferences. But if your living situation is causing you a ridiculous amount of stress, confront the issue and do whatever you can to solve it. Be a great roommate, but don’t be a doormat! Now go forth into your new living arrangements and may the odds be forever in your favor.

Why are High School Friends so Hard to Keep?

(Image Credit: william87)

(Image Credit: william87)

Friends are hard to keep. And all those friends you made throughout primary school and eventually graduated with always seem to be the first to go.

As everyone gears up to take on the next phase of their lives, whether that be going to college, starting their career, or taking a gap year; all the old friends that roamed their high school halls together seem to fade apart. And, interestingly enough, this eerie little situation is expected. Why?

In my research and personal experience, it seems that there are three main reasons:

  1. Opportunity, Not Preference

People often choose their friends based on who is the easiest to connect with the most often rather than who we like the most. Sociologist, Gerald Mollenhorst, surveyed men and women between the ages of 18 and 65 about their friendships and then re-interviewed them seven years later to find that only 30 percent of original friendships remained. The main reason for this a disruption in social context. And this change in social context tore friends apart regardless of the closeness of the relationship.

Basically, almost all of us feel this change in social context after high school graduation. We are no longer forced to attend the same school every weekday, thus our opportunity to be friends with people from primary school is hindered. And research shows that, even if this person is our soul mate, there is about a 70% chance we will dump them because it’s harder to connect with them as often as we need.

  1. Personal Growth

But let’s say your social context hasn’t been so disrupted. Maybe you go to the same college as a friend, or your breaks happen to fall on the same weeks, or you both still live and work in your hometown. Why does it still feel like your drifting apart?

Many people account this to one’s growth as a person. Interests, passions, and hobbies change, and at a rapid pace in 18-22 year olds. As this happens, old friends can find they have fewer connections to each other.

For example, one blogger references mocking feminism with one of her friends, but now is a feminist herself. Or how she used to bond over sports with another friend, but now they don’t live in the same area so getting together to play can be difficult.

Lots of people experience this. The well of shared interests and activities slowly dries up between people until, eventually, there’s not a whole lot left. It can be saddening, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Growth in yourself means your progressing more to who you’re meant to be, and your good high school friends helped lead you on this path.

  1. Titles Change

I go to college in a different state with no one from my high school. But, naturally, I’ll tell stories from back home and reference people from my hometown. Often, I give them the new subtitle: “Friend from High School,” when they used to just be “Friend.”

It’s a small change, but these words work furiously behind the scenes.

Because I’ve given them this new moniker, they have become someone from my past rather than a present friend who is actively a part of my life. I feel less inclined to talk to them every day and have come to expect not see them very often at all. Soon, when I used to see this person a certain amount of times per week or month in order to maintain them as a “Friend,” I feel that the occasional message on Facebook does the job for the “Friend from High School” relationship we have now.

A change in someone’s title, even without a disruption in social context, affects how one treats them. I mean, why do you think some people are so opposed to being called a “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”? There are certain expectations and behaviors that come with the monikers we give to people. These social pressures work on us whether or not we’re aware.

Humans, man. We’re social creatures.

All in all, high school friends are extremely important. They give you some of your first adult memories. They lead you onto the path your on today. Some can be people you cling to for the rest of your life for guidance, confidence, and company. And there are tons of articles out there dedicated to giving tips to those trying to maintain their high school relationships.

But it’s also imperative to know that it’s OKAY to lose your friends from high school. Lots of people do. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you, it just means your social context and personality are changing which is a good thing. Life wouldn’t be fun if you weren’t progressing through it, going on to bigger and better things, and meeting new people.

Accepting that Not Everyone is Going to Like You

As a woman navigating life in my late twenties, I find myself constantly excited by new experiences and relationships. I haven’t quite settled into any monotonous routine. My weeks are governed by school and work, I still have a fair share of freedom to roam wild at my leisure, and my weekends are still open to spontaneity. However, the unique challenge is that so much open space gives rise to opportunities for meeting new people and having relationships that often times leave you baffled or even heartbroken.

So, how do we come to accept that not everyone is going to like us? It’s a tough task that might dumbfound even the most meditative of minds.

There are so many different kinds of relationships, so I listed two major types to dissect in the hopes that we can attack issue at hand: accepting that we are not everyone’s cup of tea.

Romantic Relationships: It’s all in the Science of it

This is probably the relationship most folks think of when they think of someone not liking them, and while it might be the most personally painful, it also might be the least damaging in the long run.

I come from the perspective that independence is crucial to my happiness within a romantic relationship, but eventually vulnerability creeps in and the walls come crashing down. So how do we move forward from love that’s lost? What happens after you realize that your partner no longer cares for you?

Many of us have been in several relationships that have ended on these terms, but while the result is inevitably a breakup, the cause of the split varies dramatically. This takes me back to high school chemistry, as I find people and relationships as functioning formulas. Sometimes the elements combine and run smooth as water, but sometimes they combust, burning down a house filled with love within their licking flames.

The important thing to remember is that we all love differently. While my Romeos loved me to their capacity, our goals and values didn’t add up to what either of us wanted. These partnerships are no judgment of these people, but rather an assessment of the danger when our elements combined.

Relationships ultimately teach us something about ourselves: that high school chemistry does come in handy in the real world, that we are valuable as an independent source outside of that association, and that we can survive and thrive when relocated amongst other elements.

It’s also OK for your previous partners to move forward. Jealousy is natural, but just remember that one man’s fire is another man’s water, both necessary for life, so share the warmth and quench your thirst.

Friendships: Sticking with the Pack

It can be argued that this category is the umbrella term for many different kinds of relationships, but I personally find the term “friendship” much more intimate that that. It is the only term that combines two interpersonal statuses. Both “friend” and “relationship” work to create a new experience that differs from other connections. This becomes a pack interested in the well-being of the whole.

I am such a girlfriend girl. I love dinner dates with my girlfriends because I don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing or nervously sweating through my dress. I would always prefer a night in watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s and binge eating ice cream with a cheap bottle of wine to free drinks from scheming creeps in the club. I crave the laughter that accompanies their validation of my emotions when a date goes awry and the comfort they offer when life gets hard.

Nothing compares to a tried-and-true friendship. So, how do we reconcile the devastation that occurs when a friendship is lost? People are constantly changing, and sometimes the bond breaks. How do we move forward from a friendship that ends because the two of you have grown in different directions, and your friend ceases to like you?

I have found that life is unpredictable. It has taken me down paths and introduced me to people that I never thought I would care about, and more strangely, enlightened me to the importance of my ability to occasionally stop caring for them.

As someone who puts great stock in my friendships, there have been times when I have had to decide if I was going to let a person continue to damage my self-esteem or move forward in life to pursue my dreams and aspirations without them as a confidant.

People throw punches because of their personal unhappiness. They find ways to make others feel poorly so they can feel like they’re better than someone else. That’s simply human nature. It’s a power game, and once I was awakened to the strategy of confidence, I realized that it is fine with me if someone doesn’t like me, because the truth was that they might not even like themselves.

If someone chooses to not like me for other reasons, like the fact that we grew apart, share different interests, or don’t talk as much, then their friendship is conditional and not worth being upset over.

In this respect, accepting someone isn’t going to like you as a friend is like harvesting a pack of dogs down to the strongest few. I have a group of friends that, regardless of how long it has been, are my true loves. I tell them that all the time because it’s true! Friendship, much like a partnership, is a relationship that you enter unconditionally, otherwise we’re all stray dogs fending for ourselves in a sometimes harsh world. I find I survive much better in my small but adversity-tested pack.

And They Lived Happily Ever After:

That’s the point here, right? The ability to like ourselves becomes paramount because it helps or hinders our relationships with others. At the end of the day, we have ourselves to thank for the life we live. By losing the unproductive relationships that weigh us down, both romantic and friendly, and instead focusing on the relationships that enrich our lives, we are able to travel so much further.

I hope I have explored the ways different relationships lead to disappointment, while others infinitely benefit our lives and ourselves. By knowing the difference, we progress in new and exciting ways. It’s OK that not everyone is going to like us, because focusing on those that do, those who celebrate our successes and prove push us to be better, life gets so much more interesting and happier. Leave a comment below on a time you accepted that not everyone was going to like you.

Everything I Ever Needed to Know, I Learned from… ‘The X-Files!’

It’s kind of amazing how much The X-Files influenced the television shows that came after it. Introducing us to mythology arcs and shipping, the show was an early staple of geek culture. Now, I may have gotten interested in The X-Files way past its 2002 series finale, but as I found when I binge-watched all 202 episodes (which is a ridiculous feat but one I highly recommend), the show still has a ton to teach us, both television-wise and life-wise. Forget about kindergarten. Everything I’ve ever needed to know, I leaned from The X-Files.

 

Trust No One… Except Your Friends

Ahh, one of the shows many, many mantras. It may sound like “trust no one” is intended to make you a paranoid recluse, but even Fox Mulder, major supporter of trusting no one, couldn’t trust no one all the time. Mulder trusted Skinner, The Lone Gunmen and most importantly, he trusted Scully. It may indeed be helpful to be relatively skeptical of strangers and people you don’t know well. As the show professes, they don’t always have your best interests at heart. But The X-Files also shows it’s important to have a few people around that you can trust.

Stay Indoors?

While binge-watching, I noticed a ton of the X-Files take place outdoors and in remote locations. What that means is you will never catch me outdoors or far off in the woods. I don’t want to be made into a bug cocoon, murdered by part-tree and part-human creatures or get infected by an icy parasite. Of course, based on The X-Files, I don’t want to go to Atlantic City either, so maybe the best place is indoors. Or it would be, if episodes like “Squeeze” and “Orison” didn’t show you’re not safe there either.

The Power of Belief

The X-Files often insisted that Mulder was the “believer,” but if there’s anything you learn after 202 episodes of the show, it’s that Mulder and Scully were both believers, just in very different ways. Mulder wanted to believe in powers beyond his control, but Scully already believed in them. Only Scully thought the powers should be couched in terms of science or religion.

As cheesy as it may sound, one of the major themes of the show is learning to believe in yourself. When Mulder met Scully, he was just “Spooky Mulder” who hung out in the basement and had weird ideas. While working the X-Files, Scully had to reconcile her sense of self with the new experiences she encountered, but she never lost sight of who she was. Whatever method of belief works for you, The X-Files definitely wants you to believe.

Rooted in Friendship

Obviously, the relationship between Mulder and Scully is one of the most important aspects of The X-Files. What I particularly like about their relationship is that it’s not always – or even often – portrayed ultra-romantically. But the Mulder and Scully relationship is never a lost cause, whether it’s focused on the romance or not, because the two are simply better together. They respect each other even when they don’t agree, and they work together to get more done. Without Scully, Mulder wouldn’t be who he is at the end of the series, and vice versa for Scully. It’s clear that Scully and Mulder care deeply for each other, and they’re a pretty good pair to emulate in either friendship or romance.

The Truth is Out There

Another X-Files catchphrase, “the truth is out there” was meant to represent Mulder’s quest. Whatever the situation, Mulder had a way of moving ahead, and for that reason, I think the quote contains a great deal of hope. In spite of the many, varied setbacks, Mulder never stopped looking, never stopped hoping. He didn’t get bogged down in hopelessness over his current situation. The truth was always out there, and Mulder wanted to find it. I hope I can remember to do the same.

Fight (for) the Future

How many times did The X-Files get shut down over the course of the show? But Mulder and Scully didn’t give up. They pooled their resources and proved their bosses wrong. Not only did they believe, they fought for what they believed in. The subtitle of the first X-Files movie, “fight the future” doesn’t just mean fight against what’s happening but to fight for what you want. Hey, you might just get a revival of your favorite TV show because of it.

A lot of the time when people think about The X-Files, they only think about aliens or romance, but there’s way more to the show than that. The X-Files influenced many people during its nine season run, and soon, it will get a chance to influence even more. It’s hard to say if the show is coming back due to a combination of hope, drive, belief and friendship, but that’s what I’d like to think because those are some of the values that The X-Files instilled in me. I want to believe. Do you?

A Breakdown of Taylor Swift’s Squad

(Image Credit: Taylor Swift/Instagram)

(Image Credit: Taylor Swift/Instagram)

Alright, alright, alright. If you follow me on Twitter, you can see just how much I wish I was part of Taylor Swift’s squad. Seriously. Taylor has created a group that defines #SquadGoals. But, to be honest, I can’t even keep up with who’s actually in the squad or who’s just a special guest. That is why this article needs to happen. We’re about to give you a break down on Tay Tay’s squad once and for all. Continue reading

To the Friend I Left Behind

(Image Credit: Eugenio Marongiu)

(Image Credit: Eugenio Marongiu)

This is written in response to an article titled To The Friend Who Moved Away. Continue reading

Tara Talks: Episode Thirty Three (The One with Roommates)

TARA TALKS (Image Credit: Tara Robinson)

TARA TALKS (Image Credit: Tara Robinson)

Happy start of a new school year! In this video I discuss the different types of roommates you might encounter. Hopefully you don’t have any crazy roommates this year!!! But if you do, I try to attempt to give you some advice on how to deal with their craziness and try to stay sane throughout the school year! Continue reading

Life in the Linz Lane: Lessons Learned from Goodbye

(Image Credit: Kasto)

(Image Credit: Kasto)

It was only a couple of days ago; I sat on the tarmac waiting for my plane to take off, clutching desperately to a one-way ticket. I looked out the window and searched for a sign, a revelation, if you will. I needed to know I was doing the right thing. Yet desperately as I searched, I was only comforted and briefly saddened by the hazy New York City skyline and the familiar noises of a plane gearing up for flight. While the flight attendants prepared for departure, I scrolled through my text messages one last time. Just then, a message lit up across my screen. I don’t understand why you’re moving so far. Do you really need to leave? Continue reading

Tara Talks: Episode Thirty Two (The One with the Friendzone)

TARA TALKS (Image Credit: Tara Robinson)

TARA TALKS (Image Credit: Tara Robinson)

We’ve all been there! Either having to friendzone someone or having someone put you there. Unfortunately, I have no advice to give you. Sorry there, but hey I can at least tell you to just get over it and find someone who actually wants to be with you and can give you 100%! Continue reading

What You Can Learn from Treating Best Friends Like Boyfriends and Boyfriends Like Best Friends

(Image Credit: Savage Ultralight)

(Image Credit: Savage Ultralight)

Unlike family, boyfriends and best friends are the people you choose to have in your life. For this reason, I have never known how to treat them. How do you treat the people you don’t need to have around, but want to? (Or, sometimes, don’t want to? Or shouldn’t?) I am no stranger to bad boyfriends or bad friends (we’ve all had a few), and I’ve struggled to come up with a way to sift through all the bullshit that comes with either of these strange, tenuous and wonderful brands of interpersonal relationship. Continue reading