If you’ve ever found yourself realising all your friends have upped and left the state (me) and your Friday nights are hanging with your cat (also me), you’ll know the panic of thinking, “I need to make new friends”.
And you’ll also know there’s a multitude of articles out there that give you “tips” on how to make friends as an adult (because it turns out that it can actually be hard to forge connections with other people).
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I went on a year long experiment of trying each one of these so-called “tips” in the hopes of finding my forever people.
This is what I found out:
1. Joining a club is a good idea, but you’ve got to be able to commit.
I tried a book club, where I ranted passionately about the ending of 'The Younger Wife' to a silently stunned group. It was fun (overwhelming everyone with my opinions aside) but then I forgot to attend once, twice, three times… You get the picture.
If you’re going to get the full benefits of joining a club to make friends you - big shock - have to actually attend.
Even if my rant hadn’t scared off these women, my ghosting act didn’t do me any favours. But the thing is, I work full time and study full time. Life can get busy for me. For that reason, joining a club isn’t the greatest way for me to make friends because I can’t commit to a regular schedule. I knew after several attempts at trying this tip, I could scratch it off my list as workable for me. Next!
2. Not everyone has the luxury of “befriending co-workers”.
Whether you work from home, or you, like me, work across multiple locations and don’t know where you might be from one day to the next, sometimes making those co-worker connections just isn’t possible. Every article talked about finding someone at work and then progressing the friendship beyond working hours via a Happy Hour.
I dutifully made tentative connections, asked them to a Happy Hour… then cancelled because I was working across the city on that day and it wasn’t physically feasible to get there. Back to the drawing board.
3. BumbleBFF is more nerve-wracking than regular dating.
I never thought I’d be re-downloading Bumble, but there I was, carefully crafting another profile. Only this time, the stakes felt much higher. I was trying to attract friends, and that meant I needed to be funny, choose pictures that somehow showed how sparklingly amazing my personality was. And then when we matched, come up with a great opener that wasn’t just “hey how are you?”
Look, I’m just saying I started to understand how guys feel on Tinder.
Especially with the ghosting - lord, the ghosting!
Conversations that went for days without a whisper of meeting until they eventually petered out. Conversations where you did suggest meeting up and were met with crickets. I won’t lie, it was harrowing. I went on friend meetups (coined “play dates” by my boyfriend) and thought we clicked, only to never hear from them again. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all grim, but I’m just saying for every person I see who’s saying they met their bestie on BumbleBFF or online, there’s also a thousand go-nowhere conversations and “awkward vibe” meetups out there too.