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SWF Seeks BFF

I recently stumbled on a fully-entertaining and useful blog–MWF Seeking BFF–by Rachel Bertsche, an O mag web producer and journalist, about her quest to find a bestest buddy in her new town of Chicago. In other words, a BFF. You know, that gal (or guy!) you can tell everything too, cry in front of, and count on, especially for late night movie runs in your jammies and last-minute coffee breaks. Not just any friend. The ultimate BFF.

We should all be so lucky. In fact, most of us are just lucky enough just to find a few good friends in a lifetime. But reading her fantastic blog made me reflect on how challenging it can be to establish a close group of friends after high school or college, especially if you find yourself in a new city. And while you might think that living in a large city, like Houston, would make friend-finding easy due to sheer strength in numbers, well, you might be disappointed. If anything, it can be even trickier.

But, it’s not impossible. If you’re new to Houston, or just looking for a few more friends to add to your circle, or looking for the friend of your life, here are few tips to get you started.

Reach out to your neighbors

If you’re moving into a new apartment, don’t waste time getting to know your new neighbors. Stop by and introduce yourself, make eye contact in the elevator, or even host a house-warming party or cocktail hour. You might be surprised at how much you have in common.

Involve yourself in group activities

Join a gym, a knitting class, a jogging group, a Bible study, or some other interest-based group. Find a church you like and get involved or commit to a charitable or volunteer organization. In other words, put yourself in situations that involve other people and make the most of that time. Always keep your commitments and  take advantage of opportunities to meet new people.

Be available

People want friends who are available and outgoing. Well, most people do anyway. When someone invites you to a party, a concert, or out on the town, try to accept if you possibly can. You never know who else you might meet along the way and your participation shows you’re willing to make the effort to establish new friendships.

Extend invitations

We’ve all seen I Love You, Man, right? When you meet someone you think you might have some things in common with, don’t hesitate, ask them out on a friend-date! Grab an after work drink or put together a small group outing. Invite them shopping or over for game night. Whatever strikes your fancy. If they say no, don’t be hurt. And don’t let it stop you from pursuing future friends.

Ask questions and show an interest

People love to talk about themselves. It’s human nature. And that means that you probably love to talk about yourself. But put that aside, if you can, when you’re trying to make new friends. Ask questions and listen when they answer. Focus the conversation on topics that interest them.

Get contact information

When you meet someone and you enjoy talking with them, don’t be afraid to exchange emails or friend them on Facebook. I like to say, “This was so fun, we should get together again sometime!” While the meeting is still fresh in your head (and theirs) send a message and invite them out on a friend-date in the near future.

Facebook’em

This is hardly news and a little too impersonal for some folks, but Facebook really is a great space to nurture new connections into a friendship. Regular, informal interactions on Facebook can establish a rapport with someone in record time.

Rule of 3’s

When you attend a party or event, set a goal to make three new friends before you leave. Not only will you have more fun, but you’ll be surrounded by friends in no time. By the same token, if someone has declined your invites three time in a row, it’s time to move on. Sure, maybe they’re busy, but they might just be too busy to be a good friend.

It’s so easy in college. But making friends in adulthood can be a challenge for even the most social of butterflies. Yet, we all need great friends. So get out there! It is Saturday night in H-town after all.

This turned into a very long post! Whew!


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