Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Photo bombers

Yesterday I was catching up with a friend about another friend. I asked about the most recent guy she was talking to because I didn’t know anyone was in the picture. She replied, “Well, he was in the picture but he wasn’t the picture. It was more like he photo bombed.” We busted out laughing and went back and forth another ten minutes or so joking about different guys over the years that had “photo bombed” our lives. It tickled us, but maybe you had to be there. The point is it got me thinking about this relatively recent phenomenon where strangers just insert themselves in your pictures without permission. What is that about?


I tried to think of reasons people might do that. For some people, they know it’s wrong and they know they aren’t invited, but it’s part of the thrill to do it anyway. For the majority of others though, it’s probably more about being playful and wanting to be a part of the fun. Either way there’s a subtle but clear understanding that there are some who are actually meant to be in the picture and others who are not.

When you apply this idea to dating or any relationship really, it gets even more interesting. The contenders, as one friend says, are those who have serious intentions in getting to know you. They have expressed genuine interest and corroborated their intent with an honest pursuit. The pretenders, on the other hand, might have a casual, fleeting interest, or perhaps they are genuinely curious about who you are, but they have not taken steps to really know you on any deep level. That might be perfectly okay. Not everyone is marriage material or a BFF. The problem is when pretenders masquerade as contenders and get access to your heart space. Both of the friends above and myself can attest to the crappy feeling of realizing after the fact that someone struck an emotional chord even though they never should’ve been there at all.

So what do you do if your life has been photo bombed? Realize it happens to the best of us. Once you realize someone’s not supposed to be there, wrap it up and move on. Or if they leave first, let them go. Embrace that every detail of your life is divinely appointed, but especially relationships. Some are casual, some are seasonal, and a few are for the long haul. If you misjudged someone’s role in your life, who cares? Live and learn. Give them a funny nickname as my girls and I are in the habit of doing and find those connections that are meant to be in the picture. And next time just be a little more aware of potential photo bombers. It is beach season after all.  

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