I’m not even thirty yet, but I’ve just moved to my fourth country of residence. I have made a questionable choice.
Think about your closest friends. Think about the great times you’ve spent together, the experiences you’ve shared, the feelings you feel when you think of them. Now think about where and when you met. I can almost certainly guarantee that the answer is work or school, since that’s how we make new friends traditionally.
I moved to live with my (formerly) long distance boyfriend. He is literally the only person I know in this city, I finished my post-grad two years ago, and I have accepted a job working from home with my nearest coworker being 200 kilometres away from me.
Guess how many friends I’ve made in the two months I’ve lived here?
Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
In a desperate attempt to appease my whining about not having any female friends, my boyfriend even offered to have a girly slumber party with me full of face masks, calorie-rich foods and scary movies. Naturally, that set Operation BFF in motion.
Operation BFF has one single task: to find me some friends. Seeing as I have no normal opportunities to meet people, and am blessed with a resting b*tch face and a personality that makes good friends tell me they were “really scared” of me when they first met me, I figure I should probably take the first step of my mission online. So, what resources are at my disposal?
Those Facebook groups I once scoffed at for being “lame” are now on my radar. Women’s groups, yoga groups, running (bleh) groups. Whatever your fancy, there’s probably a Facebook group in your general area for you to join and meet locals with common interests. I’ve joined a ladies night group in my new city, but they haven’t posted an event yet. I’m also horribly awkward and shy in large groups, so I’m kind of hoping they never do post an event.
The same premise as the Facebook groups, Meetup allows you to search by interest and location to find a group of people who share common interests as you, and who want to hang out are prearranged times and locations. So far I haven’t found a group of women wanting to eat at expensive restaurants and then complain about having no money in their bank accounts, but I am considering arranging one myself.
I know it’s actually a dating website, but hear me out. OKCupid has some weird algorithms it runs to match you up with members of you preferred sex(es) and gives you a match/enemy rating for each. I’ve been successful on the site with finding a partner, so under his advice I’ve created a female-seeking-female account. I’ve done all of the intricate quizzes and tests to create my personality profile, and answered all the personality questions. Now all that’s left is to search for females in the area who “match” me and messaging those who I think would make potentially good friends. If I’m lucky I’ll get a response back so that I can finally go out with someone who enjoys umbrellas in her drinks as much as I do.
Most cities have a “subreddit” dedicated to them. Like a classic message board, members post text, links, and images relating to the “subreddit’s” subject matter. I’ve not made a “Please, for the love of God, be my friend” post yet myself, but have responded to one and am now waiting for a call back. Maybe she likes umbrellas in her drinks?
Making friends when when you’re older is difficult in a way I never really appreciated before. I’ve made cross-Atlantic moves before, but always for work or school so it was so much easier to meet new people. I’ve made friends in previously who I treasure and am so thankful for, even if they live in Nepal or Korea now, and we only see one another once every two years. Those ice breakers I used to hate on day one of integration? Yeah, I’d take one of those right about now.
I could end this article with some inspiring message to you, dear reader, to enjoy your friend-making youth, and to give your gal/guy pals a strong hug for being there for you when you need them. However, I won’t. Instead I will message a girl on OKCupid and see if she wants to go out for a manicures.