Hey! VINA does one of the hardest parts of friend-finding for you: it finds people. With the app, you’re suddenly connected to a number of awesome women outside your regular network.
So you meet up with a new vina. She’s great, you have a blast, and you want this to last. What’s next? How do you grow and maintain a deeper friendship?
There are countless “How to make friends” guides out there, but in my experience they’re all woefully long and complex. When it comes down to actually meeting someone you like and wanting to deepen a relationship, the most essential ingredient for success is to be yourself. If you can’t be yourself around someone, you’ll have a hard time reaching the deep honesty and trust of true friendship. But even the best ingredients don’t make a cake by themselves, so here’s a simple recipe you’ll need to bring that vina from “someone great I met” to “my good friend.”
Listening is the first sign of respect in any relationship. With your vinas, it’s especially important. Everyone needs to be able to talk and feel heard and cared for, and you can jumpstart a healthy friendship by offering your vina the opportunity to do just that. It won’t take her long to figure out that she can trust you and that she needs more of you in her life.
What makes you a good listener? You care. You want to hear your friend out. You want to get to know her. Relax; smile; look at your friend’s eyes and face and notice what she’s feeling. Ask questions about her life, how she felt about what happened, what she likes, what she hopes for. If you can follow up from conversations you’ve had in the past, you’re a pro – “How did your big presentation go?” “How are you and your mom doing after that fight?” – Or if she said she’s not feeling well, send a text a few days later to check in. No one wants to be friends with someone who doesn’t care, but everyone needs friends who do.
CHAT IT UP
On the flip side of listening, you have an important responsibility in your friendships to talk about yourself, too. Talking is how your vina will get to know you on a deeper level, how she’ll start to feel connected to you and feel invested in your life. In true friendship, both vinas care deeply about the other, so give her a chance to care for you. Be honest. Take risks. After all, you also need to feel safe and supported in this relationship. And if you’re worried about exposing a part of yourself that will make your soon-to-be-friend think poorly of you, remember that only honesty leads to trust.
There’s a healthy balance between listening and being listened to, and eventually (hopefully soon), you’ll reach a point where you feel like you’re doing both at once because the exchange is so natural. That’s when you know you’ve found gold – and when you know your friendship is going places!
GET OUT THERE
All this listening and talking can build strong emotional and/or intellectual ties between you and your new vina, so now it’s time to share life in action. Especially if you’re an adventurer, activity is a vital part of your friendships, and even if you’re not usually one for much beyond long, candle-lit chats, you’ll get to know your friend in a whole different way on the road.
I’m not saying you necessarily need to take long trips together right away – although that can be a blast! But you should build variety into your budding friendship, keep things interesting, and perhaps most importantly, show your initiative and creativity by suggesting new ways to enjoy each other’s company. A lot of us want to be better planners, but life can be crazy, so help you and your vina along by getting something on the calendar soon (and take a look at some ideas for making scheduling even easier). Be confident. You got this. And you’re about to make a really fantastic friend.
What are your tips for going from acquaintance to friend with a vina? Let us know in the comments!