A Strange Line of Questioning

Whenever I talk to people about MWF Seeking BFF, I’m surprised, always, by the most common question: “So, did you actually make any friends?”

It’s not, “Did you find a BFF?” which is the question I’d expect. It’s “Did you actually make any friends?”

The reason I’m so shocked by this question is, well, of course I did! How could you go on 52 friend-dates, and meet upwards of 100 new people, and not find a single one who becomes a friend?

The question speaks to the pervasive idea, still, that a person can’t seek out friendship. That if you’re as deliberate as I was in my search, it’s not going to work.

It’s been almost two years to the day since I decided to embark on a friend-search. Which means I’ve thought seriously about friendship—how we create it and maintain it, what motivates it, which parts are hardest and which come most naturally—every single day for the last 24 months. And these days I’d argue that we all seek out friendship.

Most people don’t do what I did. You might not post your BFF want ad, or rent a friend, or perform in an improv troupe in hopes of meeting your friendship soul mate. But you might join a book club. Or a knitting group. You might socialize with someone new at a party. You might let your friend invite someone you’ve never met to your weekly dinner outing.

This month, when people ask me if I “actually made any friends,” I tell them about my cooking club—eight girls who are spending New Year’s Eve together in a couple of weeks. Or my coworkers, with whom I traded holiday gifts (I got a Justin Bieber singing toothbrush!) last Tuesday. Or my new Saturday morning dance-class pals, who I catch up with over the phone sometimes. Like actual, “Watcha up to? Just calling to say hi,” phone calls.

So while we’re inching up on the new year—and new year’s resolutions—consider embarking on your own BFF search. You don’t have to go on a date a week (it’s exhausting work), but you could try one a month. Or try making a point of following-up with those “we should totally get together!” pals. Or join one new group. 2012 could be your friendliest year yet!

What’s your New Year’s resolution?

MWF Seeking BFF comes out tomorrow! There’s still one day left to pre-order (and get a friendship bracelet — just email me). You can also read the intro and  first chapter or check out some exciting recent press, including mentions in O, The Oprah Magazine, Self, New York Post and Chicago Tribune.


Filed under The Search

5 responses to “A Strange Line of Questioning

  1. You’ve definitelly inspired me to make the effort to spend time with women I’d like to know better. And it does work! Looking forward to your book.

  2. I’m moving again next year, and I’ll be continuing to implement my own #1 rule of friend-seeking: say ‘yes’ to any invitation involving a group if I can possibly manage it. One-on-one friend ‘dates’ leave me paralyzed with anxiety, but as long as there’s more than two of us I’m fine and can connect socially. Even one other adult plus our combined kids works for me to take the pressure off. I came up with this about three years ago and it’s worked really well in building relationships.

  3. Ana

    I’m trying again on my resolution to do one social activity each weekend…I found myself going many weekends in a row with just my husband & kids—while its nice, especially after the hectic week—I definitely missed talking to friends. Of course to be able to sustain this, I’ll have to make more friends… (Ooh and I just got an email from Amazon that your book was shipped today, can’t wait!!)

  4. Yeah that’s great that you made a lot of friends this year! You’re right in that all it takes is to put in some effort to meet new people. Signing up for some sort of class or group activity seems like a good way to go. I made some good friends in my community college classes this year, especially swing dance. All it took was for me to go up to them on the first day and say hi and introduce myself. And I’m very glad I did! I will be doing this next semester too with new classes in hopes of making new friends, and maybe I will join some sort of local group or club. Great job with completing 52 friend dates in a year, that does sound exhausting to arrange all that! Glad it worked out well though and was a great experience for you. Happy Holidays!

  5. Most of my friends now are my dance friends which is funny to me because I started line dancing on my own and now we text and check in with each other to see when we’re going…even though most of us go a few nights a week anyway.

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