When you can’t find deep friendship or connection, try companionship in the meantime.
Companionship is a one-hour conversation over coffee or drinks. It’s a pleasant hello every morning, from a neighbour. It’s knowing you are seen and not invisible. This blunts the extreme loneliness that feeds despair or destructive behaviour.
There’s a Natural Flow to Companionship
Dating algorithms do a decent job at companionship. You’re guaranteed to meet someone new and to have a chat. But you’ve got to reduce your expectations and cease “tightening things to your chest”. You are not meant to meet your soul mate in an hour. So quit feeling disappointed and don’t give too much energy or time to it.
Small interest groups are a good resource too. At the beginning, you may have little in common with those you meet. But you can enjoy the gift of their time and perspectives. Be thankful for the shared experiences and meals. If you find someone to go to the movies with, you can accept the invitation. It’s alright to watch in silence together if you hate talking during a blockbuster.
Connection – a Rare, Lasting Spark
Connection is another kettle of fish from companionship. It’s the aha moments you get in conversations; a sense of deep belonging or coming home; and a feeling of understanding or identification. But, it’s largely in the hands of Providence. Out of billions of people in the world, what are the odds of clicking with a random person in particular?
I find it’s easier to engineer connection when there’s a common goal. For instance, if you volunteer at something you’re passionate about, there’s a good chance you’ll meet someone who shares something in common with you. If I hadn’t volunteered for Enough is Enough Nigeria’s “What About Us” presidential debate, I wouldn’t have connected with Kola who would later become my business partner many years later. Increase your odds of meeting people who matter, by focusing on your passions, instead of attending random networking events.
Ultimately, we all need connection – a small subset of people to do life with. It often happens like a traveling metaphor. First of all, you discover you’re heading in the same direction. Then, you decide to use the same vehicle to get there. Your delight is the companionship you enjoy along the way.
You should seek connections but please manage your energy. If you can only attend events once a month, it’s okay. If you prefer a small group meeting or volunteering, that’s fine. Quality over quantity.
Finally, try to know at least one or two people in your neighbourhood. And be there for people. Trust me, you need emergency contacts lest your corpse be found four days after you die, with no Jesus to raise you. Others need you too.
I sincerely pray you find genuine connection. May the algorithms work in your favour and may you meet destiny partners to co-build with. When you look for quality conversation, you will find it. And when you walk into a room, you will truly be seen. You will not be nameless and faceless, or doubt your worth. Your contributions will be valued and you will be wanted.
My very best wishes.
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