Friends and acquaintances
Discourse around relationships often seems to focus on the value of friendships: the right number, the right quality, the right trajectory.
Dog ownership has made me much more amenable to acquaintanceship. My relationships with the fellow dog owners I meet are usually casual and based around our one shared interest, and most likely won’t survive a change in geography or circumstance.
But they provide community and support and an understanding that they do not need to extend beyond what they are. It’s an appreciation I’ve taken into networking, which I used to find phoney and excruciating. Instead, approaching with a mindset of acquaintanceship opens up the idea of a casual work community that can exist in and of itself - coffee meet-ups, conferences, panel events - but does not need to be manipulated.