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Background:

  • I am male, 20 years old
  • Online friend is male, 18 years old

Let's call my friend Dean, we've known each other for nearly 8 years now and have played together on PlayStation pretty much every week since then. We laugh a lot, have the same taste in music, like games and memes. We write each other daily, both problems and funny stuff/memes. I could easily visit him, he only lives like 40 minutes away from me.

Problem:

You could say we're best friends, except for the part that we haven't met each other in real life - although we use Snapchat regularly I simply don't know how to approach him if I see him. We talked about a ton of embarassing things I don't want to mention here and still can talk to each other like brothers - but via voicechat.

He seemed to get quite social over the last few years. I also got a lot more social and talkative but I still have problems talking to people because I simply don't know what to talk about. Simply talking about games all the time isn't that great of a topic. The weather is also not an option.

Disclaimer:

I don't have problems talking with other friends whose background I know well (what their hobbies are, what they do for a living, etc.)

Question:

Would talking about other hobbies and happenings in our lives be weird considering the circumstances in which we're friends?

  • imo, showing interest in his life instead of just his interests is how you go from friend to good friend. I'm surprised you've known each other for so long and haven't talked about each other's life yet, tbh – Pyritie Jan 31 '18 at 10:21
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    Hi there. There are a couple of "too broad" votes coming in on your post. This is likely because of the "What can I talk about" part of your question, which is very broad.. It would be beneficial if you could narrow it down. Perhaps something more like "How can I transition into talking more about dean's personal life with him?" or something fitting of what your intentions are. – Jess K. Jan 31 '18 at 14:08
  • If it is too broad for some people then they should simply not think about it honestly, if i could specify my question more i could think of it myself - which i am not able to. – hopsinat Jan 31 '18 at 14:15
  • Ah i see.. people can click close if it is - in their opinion "too broad" - instead of letting it open for nice people like @Markino. I don't understand the point of that. – hopsinat Jan 31 '18 at 14:19
  • @hopsinat If you ever need help deciphering the close reasons behind posts, visit the meta area and feel free to make a post! Perusing some of the reasons why other questions got marked as "too broad" might help in determining what makes a question too broad. interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/search?q=too+broad – Jess K. Jan 31 '18 at 18:23
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i simply don't know how to approach him if i see him

Is that the problem? Just that?

Then I'd start with something cheerful/funny to ease up the initial embarassement:

Sooo, look who's there [big wide smile, reach for to shake hands or hug]! At last I can finally see you in person! D'ya know what, for some reason I thought you were taller.

You don't even need to get a response here, it's just an embarassement-breaking trick. Immediately afterwards, leverage the fact that you two have

same taste in music, like games and memes

and right away involve him in those things:

So, how's your D&D campaign moving along? Did you get past that beholder?

Heard about Bon Jovi coming to town in 5 months? Shall we get the tickets?

etc. etc.

This way you are putting both of you at ease, in the comfort zone. Conversation will continue naturally and spontaneously from here.

As per your other question:

Is it weird if i show interest in his life besides playing games?

As you defined your relationship to be brothers-like, why should it be weird?

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    @hopsinat yes, well, if the music part is a little more difficult then skip it. Stay on subjects that are common to both of you and easy to materialize. – Markino Jan 31 '18 at 10:24
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I'm no personal coach or professional, but I've had my personal share of experience and watched a lot of therapy videos.

I think your own personal stream of things to talk about won't come from your brain/rational part, but from your emotions.

Process your emotions, ask them what do they want to talk about. You will most certainly talk about the right things.

E.g. Emotion of enjoyment, talk about the latest restaurant you've gone to that you really enjoyed. Emotion of failing at a project, talk about that (yes, people relate when you share stuff like that). Emotion of reminiscing the person, talk about the things you did together long time ago that makes you feel nostalgic. Emotion of shame/pride in a political happening, that can get you going for quite long talking about that political happening.

Also talk about yourself. Your life is unique, nobody knows it better than you, and your friend is interested about it. Use the pronoun "I" more often, as yourself is the only person you can talk about in a credible and accurate way. And let the other persons talk about themselves.

Talking about the weather being really amazing or very bad is okay too to a certain extent, but it should come naturally and not from your brain actively looking for content to talk about. I see a lot of people barring that topic for some odd reason that it's not intellectual enough or something, but this is bull and it's a completely fine topic if you feel like talking about it. It will probably still constitute a small percentage of the discussion in terms of time spent on that topic, but that's fine.

You will always have more contents to talk about if you listen to your emotions. They're as close one can get to your true self.

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Feels a bit like a first date idea, but well, as you share many interests, you can ease things up and invite Dean to some event you're both supposed to enjoy. The fact that there's already some contents to your meeting means there's less pressure for "something to be happening" and less chance for "silence" awkwardness.

I would just add that it is very unlikely but perfectly possible that you won't really like each other IRL (in real life). I think you should remember this, but it shouldn't be a burden to whatever you wanna do.

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