Searching Online For a New BFF?

  • SumoMe

Making friends as an adultThe way we interact with our friends has always been a topic I find fascinating.  So, when I stumbled onto a blog by Rachel Bertsche, in which she chronicles the search for her new BFF after relocating to Chicago, I was hooked!  Bertsche has also written a book on the same subject, which provides a humorous look at the difficulty of forming close female friendships as an adult – a subject in which I can totally relate!

After having my daughter, I started taking stock of different aspects of my life.  Things that once seemed so important started to look like unnecessary drama in my busy life.  Over the next few years, I reevaluated some of my friendships.  Look, I am no Mary Sunshine, but I realized I had surrounded myself with some pretty negative and unhappy people.  I may be full of snark, but in general, I am happy with life.  All the negativity and cattiness that surrounded me wore me out.  The solution?  I distanced myself from the relationships in my life that no longer worked.

Interestingly, I realized over the years, I had substituted quality relationships for a large quantity of relationships.  I never gave any thought to evaluating how well my friendships were actually working.  My relationships had not been particularly satisfying for some time; I had just been too close to the situation to realize it.  I didn’t have a best girlfriend, you know, that person you want to tell everything.  To be clear, my husband and I are very close.  He is my best friend, but sometimes, you just need a female best friend.  Brunch, shopping, reality TV – my husband will humor me, but only so far!  Plus, it’s not like I can talk to him when I need to vent about the stupid things that my husband does.  For that, I need a female best friend, or an FBF if you will.

Fast forward to a few months ago.  I am reading one of Rachel’s posts, when I come across something interesting in the comments.  One of her readers suggested Rachel check out Girl Friend Circles (GFC), an online site designed to introduce women in the hopes of forming new friendships.  What the hell?!  Is this online dating for friends?

So I went and checked out the site – in the name of research of course!  There are several ways to meet new friends on GFC.  You can post a classified on the site specifying the type of friend you are looking to connect with.  You can look for events in your area.  GFC will even send you invites to what they call Connecting Circles, small groups of 3-5 women scheduled for a get-together at a local cafe.  I admit, I was curious.  So, I drop in my zip code to see what the status is in my area.  Turns out, GFC is not big in the Houston area yet…we are always last to the party.  They offer me a free membership in the meantime to troll their site.  I sign up, of course!  Why not?

After a few weeks, I get an email from GFC.  I have been invited to a circle in my area for 32-44 year olds.  Do I want to go?  I click over to the event page, and see that no one has replied.  My gut instinct is that I don’t want to be the first to reply “yes.”  Best to wait and see what happens.  It dawned on me that I am likely not the only one waiting for someone else to be the first to reply.  And since I am doing this in the name of research, I have nothing to lose.  I hit the RSVP button.  The next day Donna joins the group.  I read her bio.  She is recently divorced, and it looks like she is a foodie.  We appear to eat at many of the same restaurants.  Good deal.  The following day Ronda joins the group.  Ronda is a stay-at-home mom.  So there it is…I am scheduled to meet with Donna and Ronda in the new Connecting Circle.

The day arrives for our meet up.  GFC has arranged for us to meet in an odd area of town and at a coffee shop I have never heard of.  I am always up for a new local, even if it is an unusual choice.  I pull out my A-game for makeup and ensemble, always a good idea in my opinion.  I tell my husband, who incidentally thinks this is crazy, that I will be back in a few hours.

I GPS the location (again, weird part of town!).  I circle around the block a few times before I realize that the place GFC has sent me to doesn’t exist.  I pull up to where the coffee shop should have been to find a small cafe.  I wonder if the other girls are inside or if they gave up after not finding the place.  I was happy to see they were both already sitting at a table.

It turns out we were sitting in a culinary art gallery.  Whereas an art gallery features the art of various artists on the wall, the Eat Gallery features the culinary art of various artists on the plate.  Eat Gallery features the creations of chefs who aspire to open their own restaurants, but lack financing.  Cool idea, eclectic environment, and good food!

I sit down, and we get down to business.  Donna is recently divorced, which changed the dynamic of her old friendships.  She works in education, and her coworkers are in their 20’s and 60’s.  She tells some funny stories about a book club she is in with ladies in their 60’s.  Ronda is a stay-at-home mom who recently moved back to Houston.  Her husband is in the military, and they have moved around a lot over the years.  She has lost contact with many of her old friends.  She tells a funny story about trying to make friends with the other moms when she takes her kids to the park…it ends with a punch line about feeling like a stalker.  These women are funny and very likable.  So I decide to tell them my story.

I tell them about weeding out my lack luster friends.  I tell them about finding the GFC in the comments on Rachael’s blog.  Funny thing, Donna just picked up a copy of Rachael’s book, which she meant to bring to our Circle to discuss.  She forgot it on her bed…I like her already!  We fill Rhonda in on Rachael’s quest for a new BFF.  We agree we should all read the book.  Maybe we could discuss it at our next Circle.  And just like that, a book club is formed.  We met for a little over an hour before we went our separate ways.  I downloaded my copy of Rachael’s book, and we are scheduled to meet again in two weeks for the first meeting of our book club.

I don’t know that either Donna or Rhonda is going to become my new BFF, but they are two cool girls that I am happy to have met.  I am definitely looking forward to our first book club meeting.  This adventure may have started out in the name of research, but as usual, the best findings are the ones I learn about myself.  I used “research” as an excuse to do something I wouldn’t ordinarily consider, and I find I am better for it.  Note to self:  Try strange and new things more often!

 I would love to hear about the challenges you have faced attempting to make new friends as an adult, or experiences you have had with finding new friends online.

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Comments

  1. I love your blog Jennifer as you already know! Some of the things I have read on right on target. Working in cosmetics at a store you frequently talk about there too you have to see which friends will be there for you. I look forward t reading more of your blog in the future.

    • Jennifer Coy says:

      Thanks so much James! Sometimes it’s hard to know who your real friends are until you are until you are in a bad spot. It’s only through the trials and tribulations of life that you find out who really has your back and who is full of crap.

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