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What does it mean for you to "bond" with your dolls?

Apr 19, 2011

    1. I've read some threads on people bonding with their dolls, and I've also heard of people selling their dolls due to not being able to bond with them. So I got to thinking: what exactly is bonding with your doll?

      I'm sure many of us have our own definitions and opinions of the bonding process. I have one doll right now and I adore him more and more every time I take him out of his box. He's become an object of familiarity to me and I'm content just looking at and playing with him. I don't think I could love him much more and I can't imagine ever wanting to sell him, so I assume that I've "bonded" with him.

      What's your take on bonding with a doll? :D
    2. For me, it means that I enjoy having that doll around. For instance, if I glance over at my shelf and happen to see said doll, I'll go over and admire it. And when I admire it, sometimes I'll fuss with it by posing it, or changing its outfit. More often than not, I'll shop for stuff to spoil it--wigs, clothes, shoes, eyes, face-up, whathaveyou. And even though its upkeep is running me into the poorhouse, it will still bring me joy and happiness. If I have a doll that I'm fond of, I'd want to do things like create outfits/accessories/furniture for it, take photos of it, join swaps to get more stuff for it and so on.

      I've had a couple of dolls that I thought I wanted but once I had them in my home, for some reason, I just didn't warm up to them. They did nothing for me, even though they were beautiful, and I must have thought so since I purchased them. Whenever I'd look at them, I would see another doll that would probably be 'better' for some reason.

      I'm sure others have ideas of what bonding with a doll means for them...this is an interesting question and I look forward to reading the responses.
    3. I don't really know yet what it will mean to me, so I am subscribing to the thread and eagerly waiting to see what's said! ;)
    4. For me, typically something about a doll just bothers me or turns me off once I have it in my hands. Or I look at it and don't feel inspired. Inspiration is key for me so if I feel no desire to customize a doll and dream up a nice character for them I assume I am not "bonding". I would rather sell the doll to someone who will adore it.
    5. For me, so far, it's two things. One is that I have a warm affectionate feeling when I look at them; I feel like picking them up and making a fuss over them, arranging their hair and making them new jewelry and things, because they're so pretty. The other is more subtle and I'm not sure it would make sense to anyone else, but...with all seven of my kids, early on, there's been a moment when I felt I saw a real expression in their eyes, a real sense of character and personality, and that's when I know whether or not we're going to be friends. If it doesn't happen--if he or she never does "look me in the eye" so to speak--then I just can't connect with them. (That's what happened with my Ringdoll Rebecca; I tried everything I could think of, but ended up having to rehome her after two months. It was like living with someone who won't speak to you. Not that I'm saying the others DO speak to me =) , but, can you see what I mean? I hope so.)
      • x 1
    6. For me, it means how much I got fond of looking at its mug. It's also a level of satisfaction I get from its customization and 'personality.' Sometimes, I might have a beautiful doll and feel nothing for it at all. Like, I once had these Unoas that came from Y!J and, admittedly, they were the most beautiful dolls I had. But compared to my Juniors with my imperfect face-ups and their customized OC clothes, I didn't really feel so much of a loss when I sold them. It instead made me happier knowing that they went to people who would appreciate them more than I would. :)

      I just can't seem to keep dolls that I didn't tinker with myself so I guess that's a key factor in the level of like for me.
    7. To me "bonding" means that I like the doll's looks and as Isenn said: feel inspired to customize him/her.
    8. I don't really feel like it applies to me. I got my first doll nearly two months ago and I'm in the process of buying a second right now. When I opened up my first doll, I didn't feel much of anything for him. The next day, I restrung him, changed his eyes, got a wig on him, and by the time the day was over, I definitely felt like I'd made the right choice. Every modification I've made to the doll has made me feel this even more. 'Bonded' is something of a platonic word, which is unfitting in this situation, but I do like and treasure my doll. I like collecting things, and it brings me joy to improve my collections. My doll is essentially the masterpiece of one of my collections. He is very important to me and I would not sell him. I suppose that if I got a doll which fulfilled none of my collections, I might not feel the same way, which is why I have limited myself to only making purchases which fit into my collections. If I were to sell a doll, though, I wouldn't say that we hadn't bonded, because it would be untrue. If animism is right, maybe the doll liked me well enough, I just didn't feel like it was important to my collecting hobby.
    9. I don't think I "bond" with my dolls. I like them. I'm attached to them. I wouldn't sell them for any amount of money - offer me several million dollars and I'd still say "nope, sorry - you can't have them". But I don't think you can bond with an inanimate object and since I don't fall in the category of doll-owners who think their doll has a soul ... I think I also dislike the word/term "bond" in general (except as in James Bond, Bond Street, etc.) ...Thus, I'd never say I've "bonded" with a doll but rather that I like it a lot or love it. "Bonding" somehow implies that I'm getting something back: I like the doll, the doll likes me. But even though my dolls' faces may change their expressions according to my own mood and from what angle I look at them, I'm well aware they're not REALLY changing their expressions ore are alive in some sense. I can't get anything back from them, they don't like me back, so it's not "bonding".
    10. *cough*

      1. something that binds, fastens, confines, or holds together.

      –verb (used with object)
      21. to connect or bind.
      26. to establish a close emotional relationship to or with (another): the special period when a mother bonds to her infant.

      I cut out the other 23-or so but I figured these were pretty relevant. I know 26 uses a human example, but I definitely form close emptional relationships with some of my dolls. When they break I am sad, when they look beautiful I am happy, I worry about them being locked in the dark all the time, even though I don't believe they have a 'soul' or 'spirit' or anything like that.

      For me, my bond is to look at a doll and say "you're for me, and you're staying". I buy and sell a lot because I'm quite fickle, but I am gradually getting together a core group of dolls that I would only part with under severe circumstances. The dolls I bond with are the ones I take out to meets a lot, the ones I like to look at most, the ones who get treats like new clothes etc. I do get an emotional attachment to them, but then I do that with a lot of other things too. Precious artwork that holds pleasant memories, an old ornament I've had forever, my childhood teddies... you know?

      I think it's actually quite normal to bond with inanimate objects :)
    11. For me, bonding is forming enough of an emotional attachment to have developed a solid character that I really like. If I don't like the character I set out for the doll, I won't do well with it. The only doll I've sold had a boring character, and I'm really horrible at changing that sort of thing- I couldn't stop seeing him as that character. So, he got sold...but my other dolls have characters I love, so they won't be going anytime soon, because I'm quite attached to them- even the newest, and I've barely done anything with her.
    12. Ah..bonding and "speaking to you". I have been in doll collecting for over 25 years and those two terms were some of the first doll terms I learned. I think bonding and a doll speaks to you are very true. I have found a few dolls that spoke to me initially and quit speaking to me later. For instance, I purchased a "Gladie" antique doll at auction that I always thought I wanted. That doll entered the house and with-in a week I had him posted on my Etsy site. Didn't bond. I have a one of a kind bjd from a Japanese artist. She has a very sad, other worldly look that my husband finds unsettling, but I love her. I have bonded and I think I would find it very hard to part with her. So yes, I feel that some dolls move us emotionally in some way that is unexplainable and we bond.
    13. Bonding for me is when I like them as well (or better) when I finally see them in person as I did on the company website. If I don't they go, usually sooner than later.
    14. I bonded with my first doll so strongly that I couldn't wait get home everyday from work to see her. I had to stop my self from bringing her everywhere. I felt so happy when I looked at her. I imagined what she might be thinking, I talked to her, asked her questions. It was like having a daughter who adored me and just wanted to be near me. Sometimes I would sleep with her and fall asleep just looking at her beautiful face. I knew it was strange and my family thought it was weird but I didn't care, so made me so happy!! I personified her immensely, which helps the bonding process. To me she was real, My husband even said "maybe we should have another baby". I was like, " No way" my doll doesn't cry at night doesn't wake me up, doesn't poop in diapers, and I don't need a babysitter when I want to leave her somewhere.
    15. Ya, that's it. Look her in the eyes and imagine what she or he is thinking.
    16. For me, to have the right bonding with my doll, it all beings when I first see her and hold her.
      I know if I've bonded with my doll when I could not imagine being without her/him.
      Lastly, certainly not least.. I know I have a strong and loving bond with my doll when I share
      my cookies with them..
    17. For me personally, it is when I can imagine how the doll/character would act and react to different situations. Sometimes I enjoy just imagining 'what if this happened' and I picture that Howell would say this and Kaleb would do that... If I can not think how a particular doll/character would react then it just means I am not bonding with that doll.
      I will generally try a few different names and characters before I will give up on a sculpt for good. ;^^
    18. For me, it means feeling a special sort of connection to that doll. For instance, my first doll and I connected right off the bat, but my newest one took a bit of work to bond with. He was a floating head for a while, so I figured it would just take a body for me to really connect with him. Then I got his body and I was still having trouble bonding. He didn't really fit what I wanted his character to be, nor did he fit in the style of clothing I wanted for him, and he was in general being hard for me to really... I don't know, appreciate? Fortunately, I decided to rewrite the character a bit to take in more of the vibes I was getting from the doll (More angry teenager than suave villain) and now not only does his character fit in better with my story, he and I have majorly bonded. He is actually sitting on my arm as I type this ^_^