Nothing Kills a Potential Relationship Faster

Momentum.  The lack of it can kill a relationship quickly.

A romantic relationship would never get off the ground if the two of you went out for a date, then ended the evening saying “That was fun… we should do it again next month.”

When it comes to love, we clear our calendar for possibility. And yet for friendship it somehow seems normal to only see each other every couple of weeks or months? We schedule her several weeks out, even if for him we’d make it 2 days later. The irony being that the women you meet for friendship have a higher likelihood of actually being in your life longer than most of the men you date.

momentum

Relationship success depends on momentum-- both initiating and following-up.

We understand momentum clearly in romance.  But why not for friendship? Is it for lack of prioritizing our female friends as important? Is it because we need the assertiveness of the testosterone to initiate? Is it because we don’t know how?

Why We Lack Momentum

My guess is that it is partly due to priority and partly due to fear.

The priority part is easy to see.  We are inundated with wanting to be chosen by a romantic partner our entire lives.  We will give up almost anything for “love.” We think there is someone out there who will complete us.  We are accused often of neglecting our friends once we start dating or get married.

But the other part is fear, I think.  Almost every hesitation in our lives can be linked to our fear of being rejected in some way, a fear of not being totally loved and accepted. No one wants to feel embarrassed in any way.  Therefore, we erroneously think that to have time/desire to meet you again next week might somehow communicate that I’m desperate, lonely, needy, or unimportant?

Oddly enough, if a guy were were interested enough to see us next week again– we’d be flattered.  But we’re unwilling to give that same gift to a platonic friend.  We don’t want to appear more interested than they seem to be.

Interest Is Contagious

But here’s the honest truth: we like people who like us.

With romantic dating, we know how to flirt and show interest.

With friend dating, we all too often show up with a reserve that says “Prove that you’re interesting first.”  We put up our guard until they appear valuable to us.  And if they mirror the same wait-and-watch attitude, then momentum rarely happens.  We feel judged because we’re judging.

What would happen if you showed up without fear?  If your self worth weren’t attached to how a stranger responded, or didn’t?  If you could show up– give love, interest, compassion and kindness before they “earned” it?  We all want the other person to be that way, but few of us are willing to be it first.  Remember the golden rule.

How You Can Contribute to Momentum

If you’re in the GirlFriendCircles.com community, receiving invitations to ConnectingCircles, one easy way to contribute to momentum is simply to RSVP immediately.  You would all completely laugh if you saw how many customer service emails Maci receives from women waiting to see if anyone else is going to RSVP to an event before they do.  Imagine a bunch of women all waiting for 1-2 others to sign up before they feel safe doing so– and it getting cancelled because none of them actually took that risk.  (And what’s the real risk anyhow?  You’re in a community where the only people who can see it is other women who are also signed up to meet new friends!)

The worst case scenario? You sign up and no one else can– the event gets canceled. But that isn’t a reflection on you– except that it shows you’re confident, and willing to actually put a wee bit of action behind your intention for meeting new people.

And the best case scenario is well worth the risk of the worst case, in my opinion. For what usually happens is that as soon as a local event has 1-2 women signed up… the rest of it fills up.  And now, because you started the momentum– 5 or 6 women have the chance of starting a friendship.

This plays out true whether we’re talking about ConnectingCircles or any other events.  Be the initiator!  Don’t attach your ego to it…. write again, invite for a different date, follow-up.

Our friend dating doesn’t have to look like our romantic dating where we schedule something every 2-3 days for several weeks… but can’t we at least give 20% of that same energy and intention to people who actually have a higher probability of being in our lives a year from now?

Give the gift of momentum to one of your friendships.  What you crave is a meaningful and comfortable friendship.  Put in the momentum to get there!

This entry was posted in Consistency, Difficulty & Challenges, Fears, How To?, Making Friends, Our Mistakes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Nothing Kills a Potential Relationship Faster

  1. Lindsey Denison says:

    Could you have put it any better?! This is precisely the problem I have with my friends, and the reason I joined Girlfriend Circles. Thank you for a blog that really hit the nail on the head!

    • ShastaGFC says:

      Lindsey– thanks for taking the moment to write a comment. And the good news (or is it bad news?) is that you aren’t alone. We all seem to want meaningful relationships so much but don’t seem willing to put in what it takes. I guess a few of us modeling something different could help? 🙂

  2. Sara says:

    I am SO happy I found you Shasta!! These articles are EXACTLY what I need. I always seem to be initiating everything and wonder why others are so slow to respond. Thanks SO Much for clearing a lot of my misunderstandings up…you put it so well and SO right. THANK YOU!!! I want to be that kind of friend that you talk about!

    • ShastaGFC says:

      Wow! What a super sweet comment. Huge thanks Sara. And I’m so glad you found this blog, too! I looked at your blog– it’s fabulous and gorgeous. Love your photo talent! Looking forward to connecting more…

      • Sara says:

        Oh thanks!! I’ve just started building up my blog and it’s a ton of fun!! 🙂 So glad to have a blog that helps me with friendships because they are so difficult to maintain sometimes….:)

  3. Suzannah says:

    This may sound strange, but when I make a new friend, no matter how enjoyable the time we spend together… if the lady calls every other day or more ( this only applies early in the friendship)…the relationship is normally short lived…my closest and longest friendships took a while for our comfort level to get to a daily relationship. A new friend can make me feel smothered or put on the spot if she initiates too much contact to fast.

    • ShastaGFC says:

      That doesn’t sound strange! We’re not advocating stalking each other. 🙂 I’d feel that way even in a dating situation…. I just know that to get to that “comfort level” takes 7-12 interactions so if we spread them out to 1x a month then it will take a year before you feel close to her, whereas if you connected weekly you’d feel closer within a couple of months!

      I’m sure we’re all in agreement that no one wants to be smothered. I wonder how much that happens though? It seems everyone I talk to always wishes the other initiated a bit more? What do the rest of you think? Is it the fear of smothering or is it actually happening? hmmm…

      Always glad to have your comment participation Suzannah.

  4. Suzannah says:

    I absolutely know I worry about smothering others, more than I should. Actually one of the greatest blessings of growing older has been the realisation I am not intruding on others to just see what’s up.
    I have meet ladies, who show friendliness by making daily phone calls, to just see how some event went…which I can appreciate in theory, but tends to feel like an obligation to me..returning the call or taking the time to chat. But I, by no means, think others ladies intend to be smothering, their intentions are absolutely to connect.
    A weekly get-together is perfect to me, long enough to have new life developments, but short enough not to have to catch up! Shasta, long ago you posted about open hands, I do not seem to be able to locate the post…it spoke to me during a very hard transition in my life.
    You are gifted and such a gift!!_
    Suzannah

    • ShastaGFC says:

      Thanks for writing back in– your insights are so helpful and they make perfect sense. It is a hard line where we all want to be “wanted” and yet we don’t want to feel the obligation. I just think that we too frequently error on the “let momentum die” side for fear of overdoing it on the other? But the hesitations you mention make sense!

      I’ve had others ask for that old post– I’ll plan when I’m on vacation later this month to re-post it on this current blog page! I love that you liked it! Hugs!

  5. Suzannah says:

    Just another after thought, I 100% look back and see relationships that just kinda sunk because of fear of smothering or maybe I mean appearing needy or desperate, just risking to say I would like to be friends!?@!
    One sweet lady and I talked few times, but then we just naturally didn’t bump into each other, so the momentum was lost. I regret that, and would prefer to regret that I caught her at a bad time to talk.. than to regret I never reached out.

  6. You really have an amazing amount of insight and authenticity in your writings! I do not know where you gained all this knowledge but keep it up. I am constantly surprised at all the good healthy stuff you come up with!

    • ShastaGFC says:

      oh thank you so much Annette. I guess we all have an area where we’ve put in our “10,000 hours”… and personal growth and relationships would definitely be my area of study and growth. I’ll offer up what I can, grateful that others can do it in different areas that teach me too! Thanks for taking the time to give me feedback– it’s always encouraging to hear if/how what we write is received in meaningful ways.

  7. Sara says:

    Ok, so ladies I need help with this one. Susannah, I am the one who doesn’t know the balance AT ALL!! I want SO badly to get to know ladies and make REALLY good friends, so I am definitely more on the “smothering” side of things. 🙂 But it is SO hard because it doesn’t seem like anyone else likes to initiate, but when I do, they think I am smothering? Does that mean that I should just forget it and move on? I try SO hard to read people, but to me, if you want to make friends you are supposed to be friendly and ask people to do stuff with you. I am also a “friend for life” type of a person but most ladies seem to be “scared” by that philosophy. Seems like they want to be just surface friends and I like to be close, but then I scare them away! I’m just SO sick of being surface friends with everyone! I would like some CLOSE girlfriends, but not sure how to go about it. Would appreciate knowing what the solution is!!

    • Suzannah says:

      Sara- it seems you are the flip sides of the same coin. I also only want close friendships, I am stocked full of aquatainces. so I am going try to give my best advice, prolly not worth much!.I feel smothered by new friends when they invite me places or call to chat, ONLY when they don’t give an easy out..otherwise it feels like an obligation…if I invite a new person to lunch or drinks..at the first sign in her response that it might not be a good time, I say ” we will work out another time soon”..no explanations are needed…and if I call & leave voicemail…I always say why I am calling& if it is nothing important, I say have a” good day & we will talk another time”.
      I have noticed other women will see each other and if there is any awkwardness about an unanswered communication, it is hard for the friendships to progress. so I think early in relationships all communications need to be no pressure…I feel pressured when I check my phone, there is a message that says ‘hey call me back’..then the day gets away from me & I feel I was rude. almost like I owe an apology… But this is just me! I take a long time to develop relationships but they last forever..and I really hate that I feel smothered so easily …I completely recognize that is no one’s intention. I would appreciate your advice in the flip side!

  8. Sara says:

    Suzannah, thanks for your insight! I think making GOOD friends is just plain HARD, and it sounds like maybe you feel the same about it. Maybe I will try the “no pressure” method and see what happens. I guess the part that bewilders me is that I feel (and maybe I am wrong in feeling this way) like my friendships NEVER get past this initial point. No one wants to actually commit to being GOOD friends no matter how long I know them. And since I am a cut and dried person, I take this as an “I don’t wanna be friends at all” vibe. To me, if you’ve known someone for a year or two, something should start changing and making you better friends at some point.

    To me, when someone keeps showing disinterest after that long, it loses the momentum and makes me feel that it just didn’t work out. So how long do people want me to back off before I can actually call and chat and feel like I don’t always have to tiptoe around them so I don’t make them uncomfortable? At some point I want to be able to have a friend that I feel I can call whenever I want and feel like they actually WANT me there. And to me, if I have called or asked them to do stuff with me ten-twenty times and they don’t ever ask me to do stuff, that shows a disinterest on continuing the friendship.

    I will give you a scenario and you can tell me what you think. Ok, so I meet this really nice girl and go over and talk to her because I am a friendly kinda gal. We immediately hit it off, and get along great!! I am thinking, yay, maybe I have a new friend…and get all excited! We call each other sometimes, FB sometimes, and get acquainted on a casual level. The vibes are still there, and we keep having a ton of fun every time we hang out. (Maybe at church or socials…etc.) Ok, so when is the appropriate time to start asking her to do stuff with me? It seems like I NEVER wait long enough (and sometimes I wait MONTHS) to not make someone seem suffocated.

    And when I back off a little to give space, it seems like people always seem kinda upset that I backed off. To me, I guess I am either friends or not, and can’t make people happy either way. Do people just wanna have a whole bunch of friends and just not ever feel obligated?

    I guess my only advice for you would be to make sure to show interest in developing the friendship if you ARE interested. Because if you are feeling smothered, the person may take it as a NOT interested in being friends sign and go somewhere else to find friends.

    Again, any advice you have is appreciated. 🙂

    • Suzannah says:

      Hi Sara, I am sitting here at football practice (100+ degrees
      Yikes!), visiting with another mom..so I showed her Shasta’s website…I read her our previous conversation through the comments…and I think she offered me so much insight…She says the most simple thing! Both you and Sara need to say the same thing. ” I would love to spend some more time with you, get to know you better. I think we could be good friends..let me know/ I will let you know a good time”
      If neither of you follow through then the friendship didn’t have enough momentum to go far..and I just loved her idea of the directness, vulnerability, and honesty…
      Lisa, if you read my comment, which I think you might! I just love hanging out during practice…you make the heat enjoyable! Well almost!

      • Sara says:

        Susannah,
        I will have to try that, thanks so much for the insight! 😉 It is true that if the friendship doesn’t keep going, it is not meant to be. I just always hope that the other gal and I aren’t sitting around wishing we were friends and too scared to do anything about it!

  9. Sara says:

    Ok, and I did NOT mean for that to be a novel!! 😉 Sorry!

  10. Tamisha says:

    Hi Shasta – this is REALLY, really good. Thank you for sharing this perspective! I think as women, we need these types of reminders and urges. I personally would have never thought of this putting this spin on it.

    • ShastaGFC says:

      Thanks Tamisha for taking the time to say hi on here! I just looked at your blog– it looks like you have a deeply good thing going too! Love all the voices that rising up to being soul to our actions. Stay in touch!

      • Sue Fuchs says:

        Thank you, Shasta, for your blog. I enjoyed reading it and found it to be very insightful. Keep in touch!

        Warm regards, Sue Fuchs

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