3. Tell your friends that you're in the market for new ones. People love playing matchmaker, but romantic setups can often blow up in your face. He didn't call, she thought they hit it off, they're both calling to see what happened and blame you for what went wrong. Setting up two potential friends, however, is much less of a minefield. If it works out, great. If it doesn't, there's generally no harm done. The setter-upper feels much less pressure, and if her two buddies can be friends themselves, even better! But here's the catch—you need to tell people you're on the hunt. When I announced to my entire world that I was looking to make some new friends, suddenly my mother-in-law's mother-in-law's neighbor's daughter knew someone I just had to meet. When I finally said to an old friend, "I've lived here for two and a half years, why am I just hearing about these girls now?" She said, "I figured you already had your own group." Lesson learned. Your friendship search might be one of the central focuses of your life, but it's not really something anyone else thinks about. People are busy focusing on their own lives, their own friendship quests or romance quests or peace-and-quiet quests. That doesn't mean they don't want to help you—it just means you need to ask.
4. Make the second move too. Two months into my hunt, I've been on my fair share of friend-dates. They go swimmingly, and then we say goodbye and "We should do it again!" and go on our merry ways. And then a few weeks or a month passes and I think, "Whatever happened to Sarah? Or Jane? Or Hillary?" Because one fun dinner does not a BFF make. So I've accepted that not only do I have to set up the first outing, but quite often the second one too. Maybe even the third. At that point, if she's still not reaching out, it's time to reevaluate the situation. But until then, swallow your pride and push the issue. Yes, the rules of friendship call for reciprocation—both parties should equally reach out to the other—but until you've established a true relationship, rules don't apply.
5. Join, join, join. A book club, a quilting group, a poker game, a dance class. Figure out what you're interested in, then sign up for whatever recurring event is offered. It's not just that organized gatherings are surefire places to meet new people, it's also that Cardio Hip-Hop is held every Thursday night, so the woman who looks like BFF material will be there next week and the week after that. Consistent face time is key to building relationships, and if that comes with a side of booty blasting, all the better.
Rachel Bertsche is the author of MWF Seeking BFF. Follow along on her search at MWFSeekingBFF.com
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