do people still “bond” with their dolls?

Oct 12, 2021

    1. I was thinking about this today… do many people still bond with their dolls like they used to?
      Maybe they do but it’s less of a topic of discussion, I’m not sure!
      I thought it was pretty interesting to hear about peoples bonds with their dolls.
      Please tell me your thoughts :0 ! Do you bond with your doll(ies) or are you not that into it? Maybe you just don’t talk about it as much.

      I cant offer much personal input to the topic X_X)… my doll isn’t here yet, but at least he’s in the states now ;3
       
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    2. Bonding is super important to me. That said, I don’t talk about it as much since it’s more like a ongoing feeling as opposed being some empirical experience. For me, it’s expressed as excitement to do projects, take pictures, or just generally have them displayed. I’ve been overhauling my collection for the past year and despite there being so many dolls that I could see myself owning, only a handful really drive that spark of inspiration in me. That’s really the difference to me, what dolls stick in my mind.

      I think bonding is still a pretty big component in the hobby, the doll collectors who I know personally each have a relationship with their dolls that goes beyond just finding them pretty. I know that I tend to sell dolls that I don’t properly bond with
       
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    3. I do. There will be certain points where I rotate my dolls around and focus on on making clothes for them and such. Who has my most attention is usually on the shelf by my chair while others are in their boxes or on my dresser.
       
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    4. Personally, I have never been into the concept of "bonding" with my dolls. I certainly adore them, and development a sense of attachment and even grow sentimental about a few... but I don't use the word bond.

      To me, bond implies a 2-way street of interaction. Since my dolls are more objects/toys to me, I don't really see it as bonding.

      But different strokes for different folks! Bonding might be the word others are more comfortable with, and it certainly was the coined term back in the day so I don't really care either way. :)
       
      #4 Dybbuk, Oct 12, 2021
      Last edited: Oct 12, 2021
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    5. I think it's less discussed than it once was because, well, it's an expected aspect of the hobby. We tend to talk more about unexpected or surprising elements, than we do the mundane. And, when you pour so much time and effort into not just the doll itself but the character, how can you not bond in some way with the physical object?

      Heck, I have a doll that's just a blank, eyeless, bald head right now, and I love him. I'm bonded already! And that's because of the character he's going to represent. I could've packed him deep away into one of the storage boxes, while we await his now in-transit body, but he's been sat in the little box he was sent in. By my pillows. On my bed. Every night, since he arrived a few months back. His character is precious to me; I don't fully know why I've bonded so well with him, but I have. So, I just had to find a doll to represent him; a physical symbol of his importance. And I have another doll that I've poured so much time into already, and still have much to do [when I get round to it...], that I couldn't imagine my display without him. I moved him a while back, for a short time, and it was... bizarre. Eerie, being such an empty gap...
       
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    6. For me it's a must! If I don't bond with it, I just don't feel the need to do anything for it, so I end up selling them. I just don't want to have dolls I can't bond with!
      Even if they're just sitting there, I need to be able to feel happy when I see them.
       
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    7. As someone who doesn’t have friends irl due to extreme social anxiety, i use the word friend instead.

      It’s more of a company to me as they make me feel less alone. No one gets left behind in their boxes of course since theyre a friend!
       
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    8. Some do, some don't.... and some of us, even back in the "old days", never did.
       
    9. It depends on what you mean by bonding, really. I say I’ve bonded with a doll when I don’t want to sell it, but that’s about it. There’s no huge emotional journey (though these days they were probably a half-painted project for a while).
       
    10. Some yes some no. As long as I have a few where I can answer "yes, definitely", I'm generally content.

      Mostly I like having them around as things I can smile at.
       
    11. I've heard people talk about bonding with their dolls - usually when they're selling. I'll see them say they failed to bond with the doll.
       
    12. I have one that I’ve definitely bonded with, it’s strange because I have not felt strongly attached to a doll since I was little.
       
    13. Well. I hear it mostly when people sell dolls, like @ZaidaBoBaida mentions. But like @Dybbuk i see bonding as a two-way thing. I'm fully aware that they won't love me, they don't depend on me either and they're a lovely chunk of molded resin (or vinyl) and nothing more.
      I still have an emotional connection to them and some more than others really. My first very yellowed boy just illicit a more caring side im me, were as my Soom Ai might as well be air to me. I also tend to remember the names of the ones i favour over the ones i tend to forget i even own ^^; Which has made me decide to do a hecking culling this or start next year and get rid of the ones i never use. Might as well get something for my already spoiled dolls with that money :P
       
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    14. I do, though it's more in an "I'm so attached to this character" way, not in a friend or family way. The dolls give me endless hours of happiness, but I don't think of them as friends, since they don't fulfill my need for social interaction like real people do. Most of my playing with dolls involves other people, either at meets or writing stories/working on characters together. If I don't enjoy writing my doll's character, I'm not going to bond regardless of how pretty the doll is.
       
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    15. I have to feel a bond with my doll. I do what I can to facilitate it both before and after receiving one. For that reason I try to limit the number I have. They're a creative outlet more than social. fun for both my hands, in crafting , and my head , in storytelling. they each have a story to me.
       
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    16. What @chrstphrl said! Storytelling is so much a part of what makes this hobby for me, that if the resin kids don't "speak" to me in some way, I can't begin to do the whole business of faceups, clothes, etc. Most of my dolls now are shells of characters in my books where my "bonding" with the characters was long since established. OTOH, while I might someday do some photos that are essentially illos from the novels, what I find fun with the resin-manifestations of those characters is how they interact with me in my world. All my photostories are of that nature, not chronicles of some alt-universe story.
       
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    17. I do. I likely won't be able to bond with my new heads for a few months, since without a body, the form of bonding I have is painting, and the weather just won't permit... but I bond with my full dolls by posing, photographing, dressing up, and cuddling them. Sometimes I'll just hold one while watching a movie-- especially when a new doll comes in. Not all of my dolls are equally 'cuddly', but they have all had a period of just being held in my lap/arms when new, having their joints messed with or little hand held while I get used to their weight and how they handle.
       
    18. I'm of the camp that I wouldn't call it 'bonding'. For me personally, 'bonding' is more something you do with a living thing, such as another person or a pet.

      I have dolls that I'm very fond of as they are modelled after characters I RP, so I feel a close connection to them as they inspire me when I write and I tend to play with them more often than my other dolls. I also like having them close by, but I wouldn't call it a 'bond'.

      I also have dolls that I got simply because I like the way they look and I think they are beautiful. They don't represent any particular characters for me, and I guess I treat them more like display pieces, but I also don't like them less than the dolls I've assigned characters to. I just like them in a different way.

      And I think it's good that there seems to be less emphasis on 'bonding' with your dolls now as I remember seeing a number of posts before of people who are newer to the hobby feeling pressured to 'bond' with their dolls and being troubled that they don't feel this 'bond'.

      I say just enjoy your dolls however you want! They are your dolls, not someone else's! Play with them in the way that brings you joy and that you are most comfortable with. This is a hobby and it's supposed to bring enjoyment, not stress!
       
    19. I totally feel the emotional connection to most of my dolls and I do call it "bonding" but I mean I suppose it really isn't truly bonding. I also do not feel this with all of my dolls and I do love those dolls much less than the ones I'm "bonded" to. Some people don't feel anything at all and that's fine too! Whatever makes you happiest is best and no one is required to feel a bond with their doll.

      Like namika said, I think it's best we don't put such an emphasis on "bonding" so people don't think there's something wrong when they receive their doll and don't feel like they expect! Also it sounds like the definition of bonding is different for everyone so there's no reason to worry about not feeling what other people on an online forum say they do.

      Edit to add: I do not shell characters. I had shelled characters in 2 of my boys and forgot the characters existed eventually. Characters make no difference in my attachment to the doll, but the happiness I feel when I look at them does very much. Some of my dolls do not even have names and yet I feel extremely attached to them. Even to the point that if they broke, I wouldn't replace them because the doll would not be the same chunk of resin I love.
       
      #19 nyaaain, Oct 13, 2021
      Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
    20. I feel attached to some of mine more than others because I've cultivated a personality for them or, more recently, because I've done projects involving them. Even restringing them makes me feel a bit more attached. But I wouldn't call it bonding personally because I don't even have names for most of them yet and just call them by their sculpt name etc.

      I think being attached to them is something that will take time and may not happen with all of them.