Dear Future Friend,
Hi! I thought it might be helpful to share a little bit about myself, seeing as how we don’t yet know each other. I realize that my intro letter cannot possibly be comprehensive, but I thought I’d give a little heads up of what a friendship with me may entail.
It’s important to let you know right off the bat that I’m loyal. When we’re firmly established friends, I’ll be 100% on your side. I’ll think you’re awesome and let others know how awesome you are. I’ll cheer on your activities and accomplishments. I will want to hang out with you relatively frequently (at least once a month, which, if you’re also a mom or have a job of any kind, you understand the reality of time constraints and know weekly get togethers are challenging to sustain). However, I’m not great at regular communication. You may not hear from me for a week or more because I’ve gotten wrapped up in other things (like writing or my family). Not hearing from me doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with our relationship. Feel free to check in more frequently. I will respond, I just don’t always think to send a random text.
In case you’re wondering how you get into the firmly-established-friend category, here are my criteria. We have had at least one lengthyish conversation where we both shared things about ourselves that are more than just surface information. This could mean we’ve talked about dreams or goals, shared present or past struggles, or prayed together (or all three). Actually, if we are both able to geek out about books, then that works equally well to establish a connection. So, one of those two things.
I’m an introvert so I prefer one-on-one time, especially if we are going to talk about things that matter. I don’t bear my soul to a group so, if you want to let me know that you’re interested in developing the friendship, ask me to do something solo. I don’t mind group gatherings but know I’ll probably do more observing than talking. The larger the group, the less you’ll hear from me unless I am able to single out someone for conversation.
Here are conversation topics that I can chat about relatively comfortably (in alphabetical order): books/reading, cats, chocolate/desserts, consignment/thrift shopping, exercise, faith, hiking, marriage, Marvel movies, moving, parenting, personality tests, prayer, speaking/learning Spanish, travel, used book stores, and writing.
Here are conversation topics you are unlikely to hear much about from me although this doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t like them (also in alphabetical order): beer, British culture, camping, cars, celebrities, coffee, cooking, country music, dogs, farming, fishing, home decorating, magazines, MLMs, photography, politics, reality television, and wine.
Neither of these lists is comprehensive, but they should give you a better feel for my interests.
Words of affirmation is my top love language so once we’re friends be prepared for random notes, texts, and emails of encouragement. It’s just something I do. Do not expect phone calls. I only call to set up appointments and talk to people who live out of town, and that only occasionally. If you call and I answer or return your voicemail with a call back, it’s proof I like you.
What I hope for in friendship is someone I can talk with about life. I like having fun – roller coasters, concerts, food, pedicures, escape rooms, movies, hiking, etc – but I need more than just adventure and small talk to stay invested in a friendship. As a wife and mother, I only have so much time I can give to other activities and I prefer to choose ones that make me feel encouraged and refreshed. Having real conversations with another person helps me feel more connected to a community which I know is essential to a quality life. When I feel seen, understood, and accepted, I am bolstered to handle challenges that come my way. Community is a life safety net.
This may sound a little intense. You may say, “Megan, we just met. I don’t even know if we have anything in common and you’re throwing this on me? It’s a lot to take in.” I realize that. I’m not saying every person I meet will become a close friend. In fact, I can only handle about three. What I am saying is that I’m serious about investing in others and growing a good community of friends. I realize that it will take time, but I want you to know that I am going to be intentional about getting to know you and seeing which category our relationship fits into – acquaintance, casual friend, or close friend. All are good options. All are needed. Right now, we may be just acquaintances, but I hope there’s potential for more.
I realize that I’m being interviewed for a position in your friend group as well. I’m going to try to be unapologetically and unashamedly me so you can accurately gauge our compatibility. I’m not a hair/makeup/clothes kind of person but I will like that about you and be impressed by your looks and outfits. I don’t mind shopping excursions, especially to thrift stores (and super especially if they have a book section). I don’t drink things that I think taste bad (*cough* coffee *cough*) but I’m still willing to meet you for a hot chocolate at Starbucks or the local coffee shop you frequent. I will probably show up to wherever we’re meeting with a book because I read when I’m early or waiting. I’m not very artsy but am in awe of my friends who do wonders with a brush, camera, fabric, or the walls of their house.
I may occasionally show up with baked goods so feel free to tell me if you’re not a chocolate/sugar/gluten person. I like to plan so please don’t be alarmed or feel pressure if I ask you about an event or activity that’s a month away. It’s just how I roll. However, I’ve also gotten a lot better at last minute plans (I’ve stopped cramming so much in my schedule to allow for spontaneity) so don’t hesitate to ask me about this cool thing you just heard about that you think I might like. I might be available. But I also have kids, so I might not.
I am excited to meet you and get to know you. I hope I didn’t scare you. I’m not always serious. I like to have fun, too (I hope humor was evident in my writing). Also, my normal facial expression tends to skew serious so I’m probably not annoyed, just thinking. Come say hi. I’ll be grateful that you approached me. If I’m reading a book, you may need to tap me on the shoulder as I tend to zone everything else out and probably won’t notice your presence.
I’m so glad our paths have crossed. I look forward to the fun we will have together!