Many relationships are first formed through the use of a common topic of interest. Be it movies, sports, games or perhaps simply general affairs. However, as much as it binds people together, it separates many. Over-reliance on common interests to form relationships is not something that I would advise. Even though it is easy to do so and honestly, rather common, it usually results in superficial and temporary relationships.
As unique individuals, we all have our own unique set of interests. Some people hold tightly onto their interests and are consistent while others wander around and explore new things when they get bored of their previous interests.
Due to these simple facts, many relationships are challenging to maintain. Or at the very least, that is the case I find myself in, as well as some of those around me from what I’ve observed.
When friends gather around to talk about, let’s say, a new addictive game that one of them found, it runs the risk of separating the group into unequal halves. Some of them may find the game boring and would rather stick to the game they’ve been playing up till that point. The rest of them would likely delve into the new game in anticipation of more fun times. As a result, a divide may arise.
Those who managed to adapt and enjoy the new game just as much as the old are easily able to maintain the relationships with their friends. Those who could not find it in them to enjoy the new game would end up being left out as the rest joyously discuss the new game in-depth — best ways to play, invest, et cetera.
The appearance of the new game thus results in a lot of pain for those who are unable to enjoy it. No. Only if there is only a singular exception, if there is only one person left out. Only then, it would be excruciating.
With no one else to turn to, the only option is to look for other friends or wait for their interest in the new game to die down and hope they come back to the old game.
No matter what entertainment medium a group of friends may be interested in, be it games, movies, anime or whatnot, there is a constant need to “keep up with the trends”. Games, movies and anime are constantly being churned out at a ridiculous rate. To keep up with the latest and best releases to stay on top of conversations with friends would require a lot more effort as compared to merely indulging in them for our enjoyment.
In the end, these relationships are not so much about bonding with the other person as it is “bonding” with said interest, together with others. These “friends” are nothing more than people who want to talk and discuss things they enjoy while being reassured that it is in good taste by those around them.
As long as they share a common interest, the relationship is “good”. If the common interest is lost, or one seems less interested than the other, the relationship fades into the distance and appears to never have existed.
This is how fragile relationships based on common interests are. Since I am someone who doesn’t have many interests and do not indulge in-depth into things, I find it difficult to maintain relationships due to a lack of conversational topics. Even if I find others that enjoy anime, manga and light novels as I do, I can’t find it in me to talk at length about anime, manga and light novels.
It’s because I enjoy them as pastimes, not things that I necessarily want to analyse in-depth and discuss or review like some others who are more intelligent and analytical as compared to myself. Even if I did do so, I would not be able to hold a conversation about it. At most, I’d formulate my own (shaky) opinions in my head and think about it on my own (to avoid criticism/opinion wars).
As a result of all these factors, I’m horrible at maintaining friendships. Friends come and go to the point that every time I make a new “friend”, I naturally assume that one day, my ties with that person would disappear. Not because they are bad people, but because I’m a very non-committal person. Just like my interests that are continually swaying between reading, watching shows, subbing videos, writing, sleeping and picture editing, I grow bored of others myself. Especially, when their interests and opinions diverge too far from my own that I am unable to engage in any social interactions with them.
The only way I believe that people can form long-lasting friendships with others based on common interest is when it is their passion. Only when both parties are willing to dedicate themselves to said interest such as art, animation, music or any field of work, will they be able to form long-lasting friendships due to their shared desire to become better at what they are passionate about.
Unfortunately, I have yet to find something that I am really that passionate about that I can enjoy with others. Thus, my solitary path for now continues. Not that it’s a bad thing. There are some things better understood upon dwelling on it alone. Also, not everyone needs to have someone else to move forward doing the things they have to or want to do.