What's fake vs real

I’m talking about connections with people. Real genuine connections. Throughout my 25 years of life, I’ve run into all sorts of people. But I’ve never been able to peg down who’s my friend and who’s not. Who I can trust and who I can’t. And it gets even more complicated when you start needing to define what exactly friendship means. What is a friend? And because I haven’t found these answers I’ve been pretty damn lonely.
I currently have the impression that if someone likes you, they will make an effort to talk to you or see you. You will cross their mind every now and then. Maybe that mindset is flawed perhaps? But this has led me to believe that I actually have no friends. Because right now my definition of a friend is someone that has your back. Someone that can be there for ya whenever. And someone that equally trusts you to be there for them. But I just haven’t come across this. Or even been given the opportunity to create such a connection. Am I being unrealistic? Am I wrong? Am I overthinking?
I have never had a problem speaking up about my problems to someone I trust. But I also have NEVER been on the receiving end. There is not a single person that has confided in me. So then I start having these thoughts: Does that mean everyone I’ve come across just doesn’t see me as trustworthy? Is there something unlikable about me? Or rather everyone I’ve come across just isn’t good at opening up…everyone…
Anyway you see my dilemma. I know I’m not alone in this. I’m just looking for answers.


I feel like a lot of people in our age frame are in a really busy time in their lives, and so it’s harder to find friendships that could be as genuine as some that started as kids and are lifelong. And I don’t mean that as to give people an excuse to not give a someone their all. Yes, you have to be that same person to them too - and that’s wonderful if you are, because it’s a two way street. But I would say hitting it off with someone so well and letting them into your life as a genuine person could unfortunately be more of a rare occurrence than we want it to be.

I have been lucky to still have several childhood friends who I am still so so close with today, but as we have grown up, college, military, relationships happen, etc, I’ve sometimes felt similar in wondering if i’m still doing my part in the friendships. They are understanding as I am too, but I hope this can encourage you to keep having that patience and run into those genuine people when it’s meant to be. Go out, be productive, and go to group events that have to do with your passions, I have learned to be outgoing right off that bat and I meet alot of people and they generally sort themselves out. I did not used to be this way!!!


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Unfortunately because of the way our society based on money, status, power etc. You have a right to feel the way you do. All we can do is do the best in the best of our abilities. We have to be careful there are good people but there are bad people we just have to use discernment.

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I think it’s helpful to remember that everyone has different expectations in life. What some may expect from their friends, like reaching out every so often, others may not expect. For example, I have a friend who I don’t talk to very often, but when we do reconnect neither one of us is mad at the other for not connecting sooner, and we still enjoy each other’s company greatly. I can also trust her completely even though we don’t talk often. On the flip side, I had another friend who completely disowned me because I didn’t give her enough attention. Everyone is different, and everyone needs something different.

One thing I found helpful for me is getting rid of social media, or even just using less of it if you don’t want to get rid of it completely. I learned rather quickly who was genuine or real when I removed Facebook/Twitter/Instagram from my life and my relationships. I now have my friends narrowed down to the phone numbers in my cell phone, and that is it. If I want to talk to them, I just text them. It feels lonely at first not having 100+ friends on social media, but those people were never really my friends in the first place, and using social media was making me miserable. Also, getting rid of social media helped me recognize the “real” people in my life and appreciate them more. I hope this helps! <3 you are not alone my friend.


I don’t think that secret keeping is a very good metric for how good or deep a friendship is. Just because you are getting a secret doesn’t mean that you are someone’s friend and just because you aren’t being told secrets doesn’t mean that aren’t someone’s friend from their point of view. It also doesn’t mean that they find you untrustworthy or that you have a quality that they don’t like. If I had to guess, I think it’s that you share your secrets with them and that you measure closeness by secrets. You tell your secrets and are overeager to be told secrets. This doesn’t make you a bad friend.

I just gotta ask, and you’re not the only person I’ve heard this from. But like how can you be sure how your friend is feeling when you guys don’t ever talk? This concept of going years without communication, but then reuniting like you just saw them yesterday, it’s so foreign to me. I mean I know for sure I’ve never had a bond that deep with anyone so I have no opposing material. But I just can’t seem to understand. I’m sure part of it is trust. But there’s gotta be more than that??

Hi Lee,
When you say, “I know for sure I’ve never had a bond that deep with anyone”, how do you know for sure? Is it perhaps because you are feeling emotionally disconnected from people? I just don’t want you to discount the people in your life that might feel like they have a deep bond with you, and maybe you just don’t see it or feel it in the same way?

I wish I could help you more, and I wish I had some answers for you. But all I can think of is that sometimes people spend their entire lives finding a significant other that works with them, maybe this can be applied to friendships as well? Maybe you just haven’t found your solid friend bonds yet? Some people get married to the love of their life when they are 50+ years old! Everyone’s life is different! Or perhaps you have solid friends already, and your current emotions are just not living up to your expectations of your emotions? Does that make sense? I’m just trying to help and respond the best I can! And I hope you find some comfort in my ramblings :slight_smile:

Hey Panda, please by all means ramble more! You are helping a ton!

I guess I don’t know for sure where my bonds have stood throughout my connections with people. I also would hate to discount the people that feel they have a strong bond with me. However, unfortunately I am the type of individual that unless told otherwise, I won’t assume anything. So therefore, I either have to ask, (which I think most people see as socially awkward and unacceptable and probably won’t respond), or they have to specifically tell me they have a connection (which again, most people probably would not admit how they feel due to it being socially awkward). Even if it successfully gets to that stage where they have said something and they have told me how they feel, I struggle to believe them and require a lot of justification. However that is a “me” problem and has more to do with my own personal trust issues. So that I think is a different matter and something I must solve on my own.

And perhaps you are right about it being a waiting game. Maybe I just need to be even more patient. And it also may be the case of my emotions as well not living up to my expectations as well. Because I hold friendship in such high regards. And maybe if I did not hold it so high, things would be easier. But I can’t seem to lower the bar for friendship.

Hi Lee,
I am so happy to help! It sounds to me like you have a good understanding about how you are feeling and how to cope with it. You sound like a very logical and intelligent human being based on your responses! :slight_smile: Also, I think you might be surprised at the responses you get from people if you do decide to reach out and ask them some questions. Saying things like “…which I think most people see as socially awkward and unacceptable and probably won’t respond” is a negative assumption that your brain is making up. While it is true, some people are not as nice as we would like them to be, I think most people would be open to talking with you and provide encouragement. I am frequently surprised by people’s kindness (especially on this site!) and I think that if you need someone to chat with they could be lingering in the background of your life, you might just not feel comfortable enough talking to them yet. As you note, you have trust issues and I totally get that, sometimes it takes people a LOOOOOOOONG time to get close enough to someone to trust, especially if that person has been hurt before or has trust issues. (It took me 8 years to process/feel ready to disclose something really personal about my life to my best friend/future husband). I found that sharing this really intimate and scary part of my life was so unbelievably liberating. It also provided a means to create a really solid bond between two people, because I was finally able to trust, confide, cry and be loved. I think it’s a good thing to show others vulnerability too, it makes you realize that you are human, no one is perfect, and sometimes we need someone to lean on, and that’s okay! There is nothing wrong with asking others for help/guidance, if anything it shows you value them and their opinion. Again, I know it’s not that simple and everyone’s life is different. Perhaps you haven’t found that person to confide in yet? Or perhaps you are just not ready as an individual. Be kind to yourself, know that you are on the right track and everyone’s definition of friendship looks and feels different! Same goes for romantic love too :slight_smile: Try not to put so much pressure on yourself (I know easier said than done!) :slight_smile: Stay strong friend.

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