Imaginary friends don’t rank very high on the list of things adults want to talk about over cocktails. The same person who thinks there’s nothing weird about writing fake text messages to appear aloof at parties would probably be hesitant to mention the summer she spent writing letters to a character from her mom’s favorite soap opera. But the truth is there are upsides to being the type of person who plays well with (invisible) others.
A recent study conducted at the University of Oregon dispelled a ton of make-believe friend myths, finding that kids with imaginary friends tend to be more outgoing and empathetic than kids who don’t. Does that sound familiar, lady who recreationally defends heartbroken celebrities in Internet comment threads?
If you’re still wary of labeling yourself ‘Person Who Indulges in Pretend Relationships,’ know that 66% of the children surveyed confessed to having an imaginary friend. In other words, growing up talking to people who don’t exist is actually a normal thing. Shh…can you hear that? It’s the sound of science validating the six years you spent “talking” to a sandy-haired teenage heartthrob on your parents’ landline.
So spill: Did you spend your tween years "dating" a blue-eyed hunk who worked at the Peach Pit? As an adult, do you obsess over love interests who only exist in the alternate universe known as Hulu? Who’s the celebrity you spent your adolescence making hair dolls for (and knowing what you know now, who would you trade them in for)? Post a picture of them in the comments section, and remember: this is a safe space.
If you’re tired of flesh-and-blood friends you actually have to hang out with, watch Moone Boy starring Chris O’Dowd on Hulu starting July 10.