Where Do You Find These Friends, Anyway?

There are always articles in Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire on the best places to meet guys. Never have I read one on the best places to pick up friends. And yet, it seems that would be pretty helpful.

Long before I started this blog I would talk to family members or close friends in other cities about my idea for a “search” and it always ended with me asking, “Where am I supposed to find these friends anyway? At yoga? The bookstore? Awkward.”

It was from that kernel of an idea that this blog was born. And since then I’ve made some discoveries. Like that yoga isn’t the best place for friending (people go to the mat for quiet internal reflection or for a get-in-get-out workout), and that meeting someone at a bookstore is plain impossible (try going on a Tuesday morning when every female customer is attending storytime with her kid. You’ll make it one lap around the children’s section before you book it for fear of being mistaken for a child predator. Or maybe that was just me.)

Places that work better:

1) Volunteer work. I did One Brick, a fabulous no commitment volunteer organization. That worked best for my busy schedule, and there’s a social outing after each project. You might want to sign up for something that involves more commitment to ensure more consistency with your potential friend—your call.

2) The Internet. Online dating caught on, online friending must not be far behind. My Internet classified came in the form of an online essay. Perhaps yours would be on Facebook or Twitter or Craigslist (I’ve heard quite a few Craigslist friendship success stories, but be careful, please). When I wrote my essay I got emails from tons of women in the same boat, and just last night I had a girls’ night dinner with 7 of them. Success.

3) Classes that meet often and require you to be vulnerable. This might be an acting class or an improv class or even a religious group. In my case it was improv.

4) Restaurants. I made a new friend because she was my waitress and I left her a note. She emailed me back and now we’re buddies. You can do like I did and leave her a “will you be my friend?” note, or, perhaps less terrifying (and more expensive), you can become a regular and chat her up each time you’re there. I’ve found that people in the food service industry are talkative and like to meet new people.

5) Running group. When you’re training for a race, there’s not much to do during those long runs other than talk to the folks running next to you. Those kinds of talks for miles at a time every week can add up to real friendship real fast. I haven’t done this personally, but I know plenty of people who’ve made new friends this way.

Your turn. What did I leave off?

11 Comments

Filed under The Search

11 responses to “Where Do You Find These Friends, Anyway?

  1. I’ve made a few friends at the gym. I also knit, so that enables you to go to the yarn store, and knit nights, and make friends. Pretty similiar to a book club I guess. At least with knitting, you can chat and knit at the same time, and you almost always have soemthing to discuss, ie knitting and yarn.
    I guess try some hobby things out.

  2. Book club!! I met two of my bestest friends there. I also have made other great friendships there or through the people I’ve met at book club. I have a super book addiction, so I made friends who shared my book problem, which just made the friendship more cemented.

    And also, I definitely agree with the internet. I’ve made new friends and reacquainted myself with people through blogs and facebook.

  3. MDG

    I joined a local woman’s club years ago and it has been a great way to meet ladies my age in town. There are so many types of woman’s groups/leagues/clubs out there and often these clubs have a focus on volunteerism and giving back to the community. There are Junior clubs too which are great for the 20-40 year old crowd.

    http://www.gfwc.org has contact information for clubs within each state.

  4. Megan

    I know this won’t work for everyone, but most of my friends are from church.

  5. Sam

    It is so hard to make friends! Luckily for myself, I’m still in university so I meet people through classes. It still wasn’t easy. Work can be somewhere to meet friends too, depending on the atmosphere of your place. A little bit harder though.

    My Growing Obsessions

  6. Amalia

    I have had some success with a church. A women’s small group that I host weekly. The running I’m not so sure of. When I run I can barely keep my breathing intact. Defiantly no conversations. I need all my oxygen to keep my feet moving. Would love to find some deeper friendship in the Chi suburbs.

  7. Book club gets my vote too. I’ve found I make lasting friendships with those who share my interests.

  8. Niki

    The dog park! I’ve met a couple of good friends through my pup striking up a friendship with theirs. Most people at the dog park aren’t doing much besides watching their pet play, so chatting doesn’t feel intrusive, and asking about their dog is a great icebreaker!

  9. Lorrie Paige

    Outdoor summer concerts, festivals, expos are all good places; you already have something in common just by being there.
    Parks.

  10. Lily

    Some where between #1 (Volunteer work), #3: (Classes that meet often and require you to be vulnerable), and #5: (Running group) is roller derby.
    My local roller derby league is completely skater owned and operated and, therefore, requires a huge volunteer time commitment.
    Despite its tough appearance, roller derby requires exceptional vulnerability and trust in your teammates. You must rely on girls to move opposing players out of your way and literally lend you a hand to whip you around the track.
    Besides, nothing says “get to know me” like slamming your butts into each other while working up a sweat.
    Since I joined my local roller derby league, I have met 100 new women and am working on the next step to turn acquaintances and teammates into BFFs. I’m very interested in your posts which explore this next step in friendship-making. Keep blogging–I love reading!
    Support your local roller girl!! http://wftda.com/

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