I see this discussed on DoA a lot. It refers to an owner’s response toward her BJD. Sometimes a person sees a doll, develops an infatuation, HAS to have the doll, gets it, is happy. Sometimes a person sees a doll, thinks she will like it, then gets it and doesn’t like it. Out it goes through the Revolving BJD Door. Sometimes a person gets a doll, doesn’t like it at first, then learns to like it.
I have no idea why people say that they and the doll aren’t bonding. It’s odd to pay sooooo much money for something and then put it through the Revolving BJD Door. I paid like $650 for Zephque. In my mind, that alone forces me to learn to live with him and appreciate him and, yes, if you have to put it that way, bond with him. If I don’t, then it’s a silly expenditure.
I think that people who do not bond with dolls are inexperienced. Either they didn’t take the time to select a doll they saw lots of potential in, or they didn’t give the doll they had enough time to be manipulated, customized and otherwise made into something interesting.
It also seems sometimes that people who do not “bond” with their dolls were expecting the dolls to somehow entertain them in a way that the dolls don’t because the dolls aren’t independent! The doll doesn’t magically start tap-dancing so as to endear itself to you! You have to imagine face paint, clothes, fashions, relationships, stories and a life for it! I suspect that not bonding with a doll may also point to a purchaser’s failure of imagination.
Of course, there are some dolls that we just don’t like. And we try to like them, but they just don’t appeal to us. But usually these are much cheaper 1:6 dolls, much less of an investment.
With BJDs, my attitude is that if you’re going to make an investment like that, you also make a commitment to at least try really hard to appreciate it. Plus BJDs are customizable, so they’re begging to be personalized so that you can “bond” with them. Given the $$ involved and the potential for making the doll into something that you can enjoy, I really wonder about “I just didn’t bond.” Well, didja try? :p
On the other hand, in 1:6, sometimes I try and I try and I try and I try, but I can’t get no, no no no, hey hey hey — that’s what I say. I have owned several CG01 sculpts [Kat, Jet, Sky], and I’ve really tried to appreciate them, especially looking at others’ repaints and reroots. However, I just really dislike the CG01 head, and I never formed an attachment to CG01 characters in my collection the way I did to, say, CG02 characters [AJ, Blaze, Destiny]. I redressed them, customized them a little bit, but I still couldn’t like them. I finally got rid of them.
If I didn’t “bond” with Zephque…well, I don’t think that would ever happen because I wouldn’t have gotten him in the first place. But…anyway…when he actually came, I was very surprised. I had been drooling over certain pix of him. I expected him to be just like in the pix and also much bigger. What I got was a small, pale, skinny, heavy thing with a small head, huge eyes and very pale facepaint. Me: “What’s THAT?!”
I still haven’t really gotten over this discrepancy, so in some sense you could say that I haven’t really bonded with him or appreciated him fully. But there’s enough of him that’s unusual and fascinating [The removable eyeballs! The changeable hair! The big size!] to keep me interested.
I think it also helps that I exported a dormant piece of my personality onto him: the part that’s interested in magic, morbidity and graves. I’ve linked him with my interest in cemeteries, which is why the Soaps contain him hanging out by actual headstones. He’s a nice excuse to take dramatic pix of gravestones. So I deliberately MADE him into something interesting. 😀