Does it seem like everyone around you manages to have a nice group of friends, while you’re struggling to find even one interesting person to be friends with?
We feel your pain. As a team of women from a variety of generations, living in a variety of cities, we too struggle with meeting new friends.
In a digital world, with social opportunites dwindling rapidly, bolder tactics are required for building a lesbian social circle.
If you’re not actively cultivating new friendships, you’re actually losing friends.
Because people change, move to other cities, develop new pursuits, friendships fall away. If you’re not constantly making new friends, then you’re going to have fewer and fewer people to hang out with. Your friends will still love you, but they’ll just be doing something else, somewhere else, with someone else.
As women, we have many pulls on our time.
Be it children, careers, lifestyle or family, as we get older and more entrenched in our lives, it becomes more difficult to meet new people and make new friends. Some women attempt to meet women online, putting in hours on their profiles, only to find the experience disheartening and incredibility frustrating. Because we’re so busy, we think this is the simple solution, when in reality, lesbian online dating kills love.
The key to making new friends is just like any other challenging goal: Commit to the goal and accept you’ll be uncomfortable.
For example, think about losing weight. Committing to losing weight isn’t EASY, but it IS simple. Eat less, move more. We all know this, we all accept that there isn’t a magic bullet that will melt the pounds, yet we hate being uncomfortable, so we resist working out.
The same goes for cultivating new friends. It can be uncomfortable to chat with strangers. They don’t get our sense of humor, they don’t know how truly genius we and who has time for all the “new friend” on-boarding that needs to happen when we have all those pulls on our time? Cultivating new friends takes time, effort and a commitment to the process – including getting out of your comfort zone.
After 10 years of hosting Lesbian/Bi Single Mingles all over the country, here’s tips we’ve learned about how to make new friends as adults:
Pick an Interest or Hobby You Already Love
Enjoy cycling? Traveling? Making stuff out of aluminum cans? There’s a group for that. Do a search on MeetUp, Craigslist, NextDoor or any other local listing of activities/groups in your neighborhood. Make it extra-easy by joining this group (that already meets regularly), allowing you not to have to do anything except show up!
BONUS: To make it extra-extra-easy, join the ORGANIZING team for that same group. When you give some of your time to help the team, everyone is grateful to have you. Meeting people, in this position, is as easy as it was when you were a kid.
Say “YES!” to every invitation
We know how it is – you’re calendared up 4 weeks in advance and you never know what call you’re supposed to be on or what kid needs to go to soccer practice – life is full! And when someone you know asks you to go to an outing, say yes! It could be a coffee at 10:30am (right in the middle of morning) or a lunch or even a baseball game – Commit to yourself that every invitation will be met with a YES as much as you can offer it. While you might not LOVE baseball, surely you’ll find something about the outing that you’ll love, and if anything, use it as an opportunity to get to know this person.
Be Direct: “Can we hang out?
As event hosts, we meet each and every one of you who registers for our event. It’s our job to make you feel comfortable, reduce your anxiety and give you a positive vibe. Sometimes, we feel a real potential-friendship connection and we’ve learned that people don’t have time for chit chat – We want to be you friend! It sounds awkward, but life is short – let’s hang out! Shelley, my San Diego host has a bunch of stories of how she met people at her events and was very forward asking them if they’d like to meet for coffee or a drink sometime. NOT ONE of them turned her down, because they got it – making friends is harder as you get older.
So the next time you have a connection with someone, be direct. Ask her if she’s like to get together and then get her number (and use it).
Spend time away from your partner
In one of my favorite books (and blog posts), “Mating in Captivity: How Creating Distance Can Keep Us Together,” Esther Perel explores how creating some emotional and physical distance in your relationship can inject a little mystery and curiosity, serving to inspire passion. While this might sound like an odd tip in regards to finding friends, hear me out. Our partners can not satisfy all our needs, nor we want them too (that’s way too much pressure for one person). Going out, without our mates allows us to be individuals away from the long-term relationship and remember who we are and what we need. Spending time away from our partners, meeting new people, having conversations that aren’t centered around your couple-ness is important for your own personal confidence, self-realization and autonomy. Making new friends that are just yours is incredibly important and can be something that you bring home to SHARE with your partner when you’re ready. PLUS, when you’re mate is at work and can’t fetch from the airport, it’s good to have friends with cars and flexible schedules!
Building a Social Circle is important for your mental health and we have tons of tips to support you
Maybe you’re feeling less than confident about meeting new people and could use some tips? We have them. While they’re focused on how to feel more confident about lesbian dating, the tips apply to many social situations. Or maybe you’re shy? We have tips for Shy Girls too. Perhaps you’re still feeling broken-hearted and don’t know the first steps. We got you. When you’re ready to dive in, check out one of our Single Mingles (we’re in 13 cities!) and one of our Event Hosts will happily welcome you.