Instant affinity

laelene Post in general blog
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Sometimes you meet someone and you’re instantly drawn to them. This has been happening to me a lot lately and I can think of many people over the course of my life like that.

Today I was volunteering at a Special Olympics Volleyball Tournament and met a nice man named Jim. He was helping with ref work because his daughter was volunteering as part of her volleyball team. At first it was a few quick exchanges that were friendly. After a few of those, we found ourselves having a conversation around our involvement in the event and our minimal knowledge of volleyball. We exchanged nice to meet yous and continued with our day, only saying bye when things were wrapping up.

There was a certain sweetenness and beauty to the ephemeral interaction we had. I will always think fondly of it and maybe we’ll encounter each other at another event, but there was no need to stay in touch beyond this. Strange how much peace that brings me.

On the other hand, I met a woman in another graduate program a few weeks ago and we hit it off immediately, after only talking for 2 minutes. We got in touch with each other and grabbed lunch together recently. Somehow I knew just 30 seconds into meeting her that I wanted to be friends and I could tell she felt similarly. How do we make these snap judgments? It’s fascinating to me.

In the microcosm of school, we’re able to get in touch without feeling like it’s creepy, but in the greater world it’s often a lot harder. Somehow people aren’t as comfortable and get spooked if you come on strong. It’s an interesting dynamic to contend with. I’m not sure how I would have reacted if Jim had asked to stay in touch. I certainly would have been open to it, but it may have been too much.

Have you had these kinds of encounters too? What do you think about them?

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