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?