Friendmaking Services

Over the last couple of years I’ve tested out a number of friend-making services. You’d be amazed how much is out there, and how not-awkward they are. It occurred to me this morning that I don’t have these different sites/organizations in a comprehensive list anywhere, and that some of you other BFF-seekers might want to give some a try.

So here it is: THE FRIEND-SEEKING DIRECTORY

Girlfriendcircles.com: “The only online community that matches women into small local groups to meet potential friends in small, safe, effective and fun ways with others in the same area and age.” GirlfriendCircles is sort of like Match.com for friendship. But you don’t have to peruse the site and ask someone out if you don’t want. Most people go the ConnectingCircle route, where five or six women are matched and meet at a local cafe or restaurant. GirlfriendCircles also hosts speed-friending events. (CEO Shasta Nelson came up with my go-to friending formula.)

GrubWithUs.com: “Grubwithus is a social dining network that facilitates friendships by bringing awesome people together over delicious food.” I attended the first-ever Grub meal and I loved it. It’s like OpenTable but instead of reserving a table you reserve a seat at a table with others. When you show up you’ve got 12(ish) new dining companions, and you get a well-priced family-style meal at a local restaurant. Food! Friendship! Yum. (There’s even an MWF Seeking BFF meal group forming in Seattle. Go join!)

Mac ‘n’ Cheese Minglers: Chicago only. “A group of people interested in expanding networks – social, professional, romantic – come to a home for an evening of food, drink, discussion, and low-key, no-pressure connection-making.The one caveat?  Everyone comes solo!” Local entrepreneur Saya Hillman does a wonderful job organizing these meet-new-people events. I met some cool and fascinating people. 

Meet Joe: Chicago only. “Joe is a regular guy who introduces you to new friends in the city based on what you tell him about yourself and the kinds of people you want to meet. If you’ve ever stopped to wonder how many great people you’d know and like in Chicago if you just had an opportunity to meet them, then Meet Joe is for you.” Joe Drake is basically a friend matchmaker. First you meet him to explain what you’re looking for, then he matches you with a couple of people from his extensive network.

Meetup.com“The world’s largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face.” I tried a cooking group, but you can find local book clubs, running groups, knitting circles, webmaster clubs, theater groups…literally anything that interests you, there’s a group for that.

One Brick“One Brick brings volunteers together to support other non-profit organizations by adopting an innovative twist to the volunteer experience: we create a friendly and social atmosphere around volunteering, and after each volunteer event, we invite volunteers to gather at a local restaurant or cafe where they can get to know one another in a relaxed social setting.” I absolutely love this organization. The volunteering is no-commitment, so you can sign up for one-time events around your own schedule. I worked at a local garden, and made a friend, all in one day!

Rentafriend.com: “RentAFriend.com has friends from around the world available for hire. Rent a friend to attend a social event, wedding, or party with you. Hire someone to introduce you to new people, or someone to go to a movie or a restaurant with. Hire a friend to show you around a new town, teach you a new skill/hobby, or just someone for companionship.” Listen, it’s pretty weird, but it exists. I did it.

I’m going to post this list to make it easily accessible, and add to it if I try out new things. I know there are a lot of services that aren’t included here, and that’s because I haven’t tried them. If you have other suggestions, comment below!

12 Comments

Filed under The Search

12 responses to “Friendmaking Services

  1. Anonymous

    Hi there. Thank you so much for your message. I will try these services. I appreciate it!

  2. headsortailsofidioms

    i just signed up for mac and cheese and the grubwithus! pretty cool i think / hope:) thanks for always enlightening us.
    xoxo Jordan

  3. Samantha T

    What about Girlfriend Social – http://www.girlfriendsocial.com? I found your friendship website because of it! :)

  4. Kudos for being brave enough to try what many of us are too afraid to do!

  5. This is so honest. While I often lose friends I don’t have time/energy to keep, we always find a way to keep the diamonds, don’t we? And yet, it’s really up to chance how we find more of those. Thanks for the resources!

  6. Thanks for these resources. They all seem a much more legit way of finding someone to go to the movies with you than my idea of trying to bribe the theater concessions guy.

  7. Thanks for the great information – do you know if any of these are available in Canada? I was invited to join a group of ladies from work for a once-a-month dinner & loved it. Unfortunately, the group disbanded last Christmas due to everyone’s extremely busy schedules & changing lifestyles. I’d like to do something like that again & meet new people in my newly adopted city.

  8. quetzalcotl

    Wow, it never occurred to me that such services would exist! I wonder if there’s any available in the Philippines where I live.

  9. Thanks for the mention Rachel! And lovely to see how well you’re doing!

    For all of those who are wondering if there is something like the services above in your city, if there’s not, you should create one! That’s how ALL of Mac ‘n Cheese’s opportunities came about.

    I was sick of bars for meeting guys, traditional networking events for meeting clients, classes for meeting friends, and most of the other options didn’t appeal, so I decided to create my ideal situations. Eight years later, with over 1000+ Mingler attendees, 96 Fear Experiment participants, 120+ Potluck! (A Smorgasbord of Ideas) guests, that formula has worked beyond my wildest imagination! The reason? We’re not alone in our desire to create genuine relationships in comfortable, affordable, fun and unique ways!

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