Relationships

12 Great Reader Comments on Friendship

12 Great Reader Comments on Friendship

Whenever we write about friendship — making new ones, maintaining old ones — the comment section not only explodes with wisdom, readers often make connections, too. So, next up in our best reader comments series, we’re happy to share 12 smart thoughts on being buddies…

On trying new things:

“As the parent of four young kids, I was really craving adult time. So, I recently joined an all-women drum line. It has been amazing. I love playing the drums, but being in the company of such strong, kind women has been transformative. They’re all ages and backgrounds, which makes it even more interesting. It was exactly what I needed without even knowing it.” — Cecile

On Whole Foods, it’s a thing:

“Every Sunday, my sister and I get groceries together at Whole Foods. We try the samples, debate recipe ideas, check out their makeup section and usually grab one sweet treat to split afterward. It actually makes me enjoy grocery shopping, and I love knowing we have a recurring, scheduled date to catch up on things during busy weeks.” — Elizabeth

On wine time:

“Inspired by my grandmother — who was known to take sherry, instead of coffee, in her travel mug — a friend and I began a tradition of going on ‘wine walks.’ We would just grab a bottle of wine, pour it in a to-go coffee mug or thermos, and set out around the neighborhood. It’s like happy hour, but cheaper and happier.” — Kelley

“I began a tradition of grabbing a solo drink at a neighborhood bar after work. At first I was nervous, but before I knew it, all the faces were familiar, and I’ve made very good friends. We come from different ethnic, economic and career backgrounds, which has added so much to my life. It also gave me the courage to travel alone, checking London and Belize off my list in the last month.” — Laura

On introverted bonding:

“My friend and I are both very introverted. We wanted to spend time together, but were going through busy times in our lives and felt socially exhausted. So, we instituted reading days, where we’d sit in companionable silence for a couple hours while we read whatever book was on our list. It was nice not feeling obligated to talk — sometimes you just want to be together.” — Abby

On meeting friends:

“I once walked into a store, and the salesgirl had just moved to Chicago and was so cool. I asked her if we could grab dinner sometime. Fast forward to years later, I was the maid of honor in her wedding! I wouldn’t have met her if I hadn’t just asked if she wanted to hang out.” — Caitlyn

“After moving to Omaha, I struggled to make friends. On a whim, one Saturday night, I responded to a platonic Craigslist ad from a women who had dogs (love dogs), did yoga (me, too!), and liked clean eating (I’m in). We hit it off and almost four years later, we’re still friends. We’re even done a cross country road trip and are planning to go to Scotland this year. Making friends is hard, but when you meet a good one, it’s so worth it.” — Julie

“When I moved back to Denver, a Meetup group saved my life. It’s called The Nerdy 30’s, which immediately told me I’d found not only my age group but also my people. Our events range from dinner parties to book clubs to afternoon hikes to museum adventures to crafting parties. If I ever have to move again, I’m starting a new chapter because it has given me some of the greatest friends I could have asked for.” — Lindsey

On making plans RIGHT NOW:

“Sometimes the best way to get friends to hang is to call them up and suggest doing something RIGHT NOW rather than try to schedule anything. It works, and I kind of love it.” — Sadie

On meaningful hangouts:

“A wonderful female friend hosts a monthly gathering of women. Everyone brings food, and after some eating and settling in, one woman tells her story (whatever ‘her story’ may be). It’s a bit like The Moth, I suppose, and it creates a wonderful sense of community around storytelling and listening. It’s intimate, hilarious, and refreshingly judgement-free.” — Anastasia

“After the election, our group of girlfriends decided that we wanted to regularly give back. So far, we’ve spent a day restoring a trail in a national park, purchased and assembled backpacks and school supplies, and are working on putting together meals for families that have experienced trauma. It’s a great way to see your friends AND do something for others.” — Laura

On phone calls:

“My friends and I no longer all live in the same city, and it can feel hard to find time for heart-to-hearts on the phone. So, we made the decision to just answer the phone and say what you can. Five minutes is better than nothing at all, and it can mean so much just to hear a dear friend’s voice. There are times when you just sit in the parking lot of the grocery store and listen, and that’s fine.” — Lisa

What advice would you add?

P.S. How to make friends as adult, and the best reader comments of all time. Plus, an articles club!

(Photo from Insecure.)

  1. Bren says...

    I loved reading this because my best friend from college called me today and I almost didn’t answer the phone since it’s always crazy! (we normally can only text because we both have 2 and 4 year olds!!) But instead I just picked up and said “Okay I have 6 minutes…go!!” since I know if she calls me it’s usually because she’s upset or just really needs to talk RIGHT NOW! Sometimes 5 minutes is better than no minutes!

  2. S says...

    I’m 30 years old and at the stage in my life where all of my friends are pregnant or recently had children. I still have some great friends who are single but I’m in a weird place right now of trying to navigate these new stages in everyones lives. I don’t know if I want to have kids but certainly have trouble relating to them. Feeling oh so thrilled for them to be living their joys but also can’t help but feel like we’re drifting apart…. any insights? thoughts? advice? Would love to hear others opinions and stories about this!

  3. Cindy says...

    I have pretty much given up on having any friends. I was always the kid in school that ate lunch by myself, pretty much hung out by myself during school and after school. I was always extremely shy, still am and I am 58 years old, so don’t guess that is ever going to change at this point. I always envied people that seem to be able to talk to anyone and be comfortable with anyone 5 minutes after they meet them.

    • t says...

      hi Cindy,

      I just wanted to comment and say I hope you had a really beautiful day today. It’s not easy, but as long as we are lucky enough to wake up every single day, it’s never too late :) Will be thinking about you!

    • Sonya Colley says...

      Hi. I feel the same as you Cindy.

  4. Tracy says...

    Even though a phone call can be so comforting at times, a loooong text message string is such a lovely thing between friends. One of my best girlfriends lives in Colorado and I am in Florida and it’s so nice to know that we have an open dialogue where we never have to say goodbye or hang up.

  5. Lauren E. says...

    The “right now” comment had me laughing. One of my best friends called me one night years ago around midnight and said, “What are you doing right now? Want to come over and play in the snow?” And I did. We made a snow man, snow angels, and then after about an hour I just went home. We still talk about how much fun it was.

    • Amanda says...

      Heart eyes emoji! So sweet and fun!!

  6. Loved this post so much! I picked up the phone and called my friend before I was even done reading it. : ) And, I love the wine walk idea – I will be implementing that as soon as it’s not minus a billion outside.

  7. Emily says...

    My best friends from college live in different cities and we are all at different stages of our lives (single, married, married w/ kid). But we have made a promise to get together every year. We usually see each other at weddings or bachelorette parties but as those slow down we have done our own dedicated girls trips and it is amazing. We are all meeting up in a couple weeks for a trip and I cannot wait. I cherish the time with them, especially now that I am so busy with work and a baby. I’ve found it hard to make friends at this time in my life because of how busy everyone is but I know I can always call my friends from college to talk to and I feel lucky to have those friendships, although they may be distant.

  8. Sasha says...

    I have to say this, I think cell phones have really damaged people’s ability to make friendships naturally and interact with others. My husband and I were just on vacation- where we spent some time just hanging out at the pool and relaxing, and everybody was on their phones! I am guilty of this as well- I mean I answered some work emails, but the rest was mindless browsing and taking of pretty photos to post on social media. There were zero interactions with people you did not know and no talking- I think 10 years ago we would have made friends with some other couples at the resort, but now to start talking to someone while they’re on their phone is such a social faux pas. I teach university students and they are definitely way less socially comfortable in social situations where they encounter people they din’t Already know than previous generations- put down the phone and make some real- life friends, people!

    • Sasha says...

      And of course, pardon the typing errors due to me typing this on my phone!

  9. Jill says...

    Last night I had a “phone date” with a very dear friend, a woman I met in seventh grade (we are 45 now). We hadn’t talked in a couple years, but when she received my holiday card this year, she was compelled to get in touch. While my daughter was in choir rehearsal, I had 40 wonderful minutes of chatting with my friend, and it was just like old times. We talked about how old friends are the best friends, how meeting people now is so different because they don’t know who you used to be, who your family is, your whole story. It was amazing what a good mood it put me in, just hearing her voice and talking about our lives. There are pieces of ourselves we don’t get to connect with often–probably even your spouse doesn’t know what you were really like back in your childhood and teenage years. I feel like our old friends keep those pieces of us alive in their hearts.

    • Emily says...

      what a beautiful comment!
      “I feel like our old friends keep those pieces of us alive in their hearts.”
      That sentence almost wrecked me. So wonderful and moving.

  10. Rachel Elise Simmons says...

    that photo!!!

  11. I recently launched my own interior design business and have loved every second of it but have to admit the thing I miss most about a larger company is the female relationships and collaborative spirit. So to fill in the gap I started my own group of interior designers – we meet once a month and just share were we are with things . Our struggles, our victories, great vendors. This group has been such an amazing resource for everyone involved.

    • lori says...

      What a fabulous idea. Please tell me you are in Austin, Texas?

  12. Taylor says...

    My dearest friends live in different states. All of us having small kids, we do the same as noted above, try to fit in 5min here, 15 there. Often it’s during the commute to work or driving the kids to school. Finding the little pockets of time to connect.
    One of my friends was the result of her hubby being my patient! While chatting with them, and caring for him, we connected about fashion, shoes and good food. Being professional I could ask for her number to meet up. I came home and lamented to my husband how I’d met a possible great friend but was restricted by professional lines. As luck would have it a few days later, while at lunch we ran into each other! Even better, our husbands get together, and we’ve now been to each other’s weddings, baby showers and kids birthdays.

  13. C says...

    Inspired by this post, I just sent a group text to my friends, “Who wants to go see The Post with me this weekend?” with my available times. Not quite “let’s hang out right now” but it’s about as close as this terrified-of-spontaneity gal can get. :) Thanks, CoJ!

  14. Rachel says...

    My friends and I are all super busy/live in different cities, so I like to keep a running list of friends to catch up with. I set a recurring alarm for every Sunday evening to call or text a friend–this can mean calling for a chat sesh or texting to schedule something soon–and I go down the list, trying one or two each week. Once I’ve caught up with a friend (in person or via technology), I cross them off and add them to the bottom of the list. If they reach out to me first, I try to say yes as much as possible to whatever they have suggested, and then cross them off and add them back to the bottom, so the order/frequency with which I reach out can be flexible (there is no “order” to stick to with my friends) and reflect how life is actually going. Sometimes it feels kind of impersonal to keep a “to-do list” of friends, but in my busiest moments it’s been a great way to keep track of who I’ve been neglecting lately, and it always feels productive to cross something off a list (even if you just add them back again at the bottom)! Plus, I’m super introverted so by setting a loose goal of connecting with just one or two people a week I don’t get overwhelmed by trying to hang out with EVERYONE–and if someone reaches out to me and that means I see some bonus friends that week, all the better!

    • Sarah says...

      This is SO ME And I actually have a list in Google Keep with this exact purpose in mind. I recall, a few years ago, making a list on paper and the BF at the time finding it and thinking it was weird. Now I know it was more weird that he didn’t have friends he’d put on a list/contact/hang out with, so perhaps it was even MORE perverse!

    • This is a great idea!!! I have a Friends Spreadsheet (there’s a post on my blog) so of course I don’t think it’s weird!

  15. LB says...

    “Companionable silence” is the best way to put being at ease with someone without having to feel like you MUST make small talk. I love my extroverted friends who keep the convo going by reeling off a list of questions (how’s your family? How’s your friend so-and-so?) but it’s so nice (for this introvert) to be able to have a lull in the conversation and not feel pressure to talk.

    • Kirstin says...

      My 8 year old gets exhausted by friends sometimes and he asks for reading time – his friend might not read but play on an ipad – my son is a book boy so he will set the timer for 40 minutes and just read to refuel.

  16. Kali says...

    My friends (near and far) have started using the Marco Polo app to video chat each other. At first, I wasn’t a fan because it seemed like it wasn’t going to add more value to my life, then say, texting. But I was wrong. You get to see faces, have groups and conversations, it’s off-the-cuff and unedited and can be as long or as short as you want. Sometimes we pop in just to say ‘hi,’ other times we start an unintended deep conversation. I’m hooked.

  17. Maru says...

    Hello everybody! I moved to Miami Beach from Buenos Aires a good 5 years a go, got married and now have 2 little ones.. In between that im an introvert that loves painting and playing piano, growing a business and a family, i kinda forgot to make friends on the way… Also, lots of single party ppl here.. Not my thing anymore now im my 30’s..
    Anyone can relate?

    • Stacey says...

      Yes! I recently moved to Miami with my husband and 9 month old. I spend my days searching for fun things for babies with not a ton of luck.

    • Neens says...

      You might have better luck venturing to Coconut Grove. Try the park by Peacock Garden Cafe (and try the cafe too – its delightful).

    • Yes! I live in South Florida and would love to meet more like minded people! @marissahuber on Instagram ?

  18. Saz says...

    I knew I had a good friend when, a few days before my dad’s funeral, she called me up and said “I’m taking you out to dinner”. We met at a random burger place and she just listened to me talk. I said “all the things” I was thinking, however dumb they sounded to me, and things I’d been too scared to talk about with anyone else. And all the time she just sat there, totally focused, and told me over and over that my thoughts were okay.
    And then we sat in her car, and she listened to me read my funeral address and even then sat it out with me when I had a panic attack there in her car!
    And that has been our friendship. We’ve been best friends since our late teens (both now mid-30s) and we’ve ridden out life’s ups and downs together. She called me late at night when her mum got diagnosed with cancer, I moved in with her when I was inbetween homes, I sat with her when her baby died and she held me and told me how very sorry she was when my dad died. I think that the older you get, the more important it becomes – being able to share the bad times. And it makes the good times that much better.

    • Valeria says...

      Saz, you’re so right. Being able to share the bad times is actually a definition of friendship.

    • jules says...

      What powerful things you’ve weathered together. Beautiful friendship, thank you for sharing.

    • What a wonderful friendship. I’m so sorry about your dad-I’m sitting with mine in hospice now. You are so brave, I’m sure he was very proud and it will be a beautiful and heartfelt eulogy. Also, so sorry about her child ❤️

  19. Maire says...

    I want to be bffs with the “wine walk” folks. :)

    • Babs says...

      Me, too. I copied that and sent it to my best friend in Colorado. That’s brilliant.

  20. Nina says...

    I’ve been feeling really adrift lately as all of my close female friends are coupled/married and/or have young kids. (Which all translates into not a lot of time for a single 35 year old woman). Despite trying to suggest things to do (lunch! dinner! drinks! I’ll baby sit! Walks! Work outs! Come over to mine! I’ll go to yours! Library! ANYTHING) no one seems to have time. So I stopped focusing on trying to get time from my local girlfriends and started focusing on what benefited me. So I started taking my dog on long walks after work, and calling my girlfriends who live in other countries. And it’s be GREAT. They’re so surprised to get a phone call (who calls anymore?!) and I’m not distracted because I’m just aimlessly walking a geriatric frenchie, so I can dedicate as much time as possible to them. Most of the time they’ll be cooking dinner for their partners, or running around after toddlers, but I just wait patiently on the other end until they’re done, or provide commentary “Girl! You listen to your momma and brush your teeth!” and it’s be FANTASTIC with making me feel connected to someone again. Now I have three LD girlfriends I call about once a week on rotation and it’s something that we’ve both started looking forward to. And it makes that endless sea of nothingness after work much more bearable.

    • i love that you found this way around feeling lonely, instead of getting angry. (it’s hard not to get angry at absent friends!) and i love the method, too. more and more, i’m finding phone calls to be the way of the future for my LD friendships, rather than texts. maybe phone calls are making a comeback!

    • Katherine says...

      You’re not alone! I’ve definitely been feeling that since friends became parents. It’s great to get in touch with other, different friends but it’s definitely sad that there’s no time with parent friends! These are generally people you were close to on each on your own merits, so I would say try and stick around in the background if can. It involves being flexible (probably far more than the parents realise) but hopefully you’ll come out the other side with friendships still in place. However, it’s also important that there is some reciprocation otherwise it feels thankless.

    • Addie says...

      It’s always comforting to hear other people struggle with drifting female friendships too. I’m married but don’t have children. I’ve found nearly impossible to see my friends with children and struggle not to become resentful after years of trying to be flexible, helpful and accommodating.

    • That is a wonderful way to make something positive out of something that you were bummed about. I have a long commute to and from work, and started filling in the time with “phone dates” with my long distance friends, and even reaches out to my social media pals for phone calls. It was so much fun I speak regularly to other creative mamas all over the world (thanks FaceTime audio!) and many I’ve never met. I record my art newsletter as a voice memo on my commute, and partnered up 300 women (and 2 men) artists to do “phone dates” through a creative community I run (@carveouttimeforart ). Yes! Phone calls and in person are so great too!

    • Nina says...

      Thank you for the lovely words you lovely women. To be hard, it’s really hard not to resent the local gals. They do make time for each other with play dates and couples dinner parties, and it’s really hard to bite your tongue that when you finally get together, they make plans for dinner with each other (because they have partners). When you’re 35 and single, you are somewhat a social pariah and I live in a very small place that taking oneself out for dinner/drinks/movies gets stares of pity (or starts gossip that you’re out to hook up, or an alcoholic). Honestly, I’m thinking of moving countries at this point. But touching base with my LD girlfriends has been my sanity these last few months – and I also realize that the grass is not always greener as one of my LD girlfriends is a new mother in new city and is struggling to form new friendships, so I’m a life line for her as well.

    • I’m married with kids but maybe because I’m a time management coach and an upholder, I feel like I do have enough time for everything I want to do, but most of my local friends are always “too busy”.

      In 2017 I focused more on phone dates with non-local friends which have been very satisfying.

      This year I’ll continue that but also pre-schedule recurring dates with the few local friends who do seem to want to meet up.

  21. Megan says...

    As a few others have mentioned, a church is a great way to meet new friends! I just moved to a new city (in a new country!) and it was the first thing I looked for. My friends at my church here have been a LIFELINE. It’s not always a silver bullet but churches provide so many different ways to meet people and volunteer in your community. I would start by just googling what churches are close by and go from there. The same would go for a synagogue!

  22. Vero says...

    I started something with a close friend called Nest Club. One day, I was making dinner when I realized I had enough to both invite a friend over for dinner and take some to work the next day. I thought it would be nice for her to have a break from cooking that night. When I messaged her to ask, she said she was just in the grocery store, staring at the shelves and wondering what to cook that night. She came over, we walked our bowls down to the rocky beach near my house and chatted while we ate and drank champagne. The next week, she called me for the same. We have been alternating for months now and recently added another friend to the mix. It’s so fantastic to have a day each week where we can see each other, a night when we don’t have to cook, and also to try new meals. It has also evolved with the seasons; we started at the beach and now we are curled up by the fire with the candles burning, eating stews and other seasonally tuned-in meals. The best part is there is NO pressure! Nothing needs to be fancy or expensive, it’s just whatever you happened to be making that night. Looking forward to many Nest Club evenings in 2018!

  23. Ann-Marie says...

    My four best friends (from middle school!) and I have an ongoing Whatsapp group chat thread where we post updates, words of support, and photos. Sometimes we manage to be on at the same time and it becomes more of a conversation, but we all live in different countries and time zones, as far flung as it gets. It’s hard — we meet when we can while traveling, but we haven’t all been together in person in 10 years. I miss being able to talk about more day-to-day random stuff since our thread is more about life updates and the bigger picture, but having it is amazing nonetheless.

    I was just thinking I need to organize a group meet-up of sorts where I live. As a solo designer who works from home I sometimes realize I go weeks without hanging out with anyone outside of my or my husband’s families! As an introvert it’s not that terrible but I do need SOME socialization. :) I love the ideas here!

  24. Nicole says...

    Voxer! Has anyone heard of it? It’s like a walkie-talkie app on your phone that allows you to send voice messages to your friends rather than having to call them. This eliminates having to find a mutual time to talk (which is impossible), and it is so much easier to keep in touch with long distance friends this way. I usually talk to my BFF on my way into work, and she usually responds on her drive home. We “talk” daily this way.

    • I commented about Voxer too! It’s the best! Helps my sisters and I keep in touch now that we are all busy working moms!

  25. Lia says...

    These are so lovely! Three years ago my close group of girlfriends all scattered and moved to new cities. I found myself in the position of working to maintain our bond while also tyring to make new friends at home.

    For my scattered friends, we picked a time for a weekly video chat and put it on the calendar. We almost never did it weekly (it ended up being more like once a month) but having the time already set made it easy to coordinate across cities and time zones. It kept us connected and gave us the chance to catch up all together through marriages, moves, babies and more.

    To meet new friends in the city where I lived, I made a list in the notes section of my phone of women I knew casually who I wanted to grow my friendship with – acquaintances, co-workers, a few friends’ girlfriends. Whenever I found myself with a free chunk of time I’d take the plunge and text someone from the list to hang out. And it worked! Having the list gave me a little mental push and now some of these women have become wonderful close friends.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      a list is such a smart idea, lia!

  26. B. says...

    This is so inspiring. I just moved to the suburbs because of my boyfriend’s job and I’ve been feeling super resentful and lonely while he stillllll works long days and has to go in on weekends.

    I’m pushing myself in 2018 to have an open heart about finding new friends in unexpected places (hellllo joining a bookclub via our church, which is something I never thought I’d do).

    P.S. I want to live where Anastasia lives–I would kill for that type of community and I’m not sure where to find it.

    P.P.S. Any one in or near Naperville, IL want to be friends? :) I can’t do wine walks but I do love dogs and yoga.

    • Amanda says...

      Try to see if there’s a meetup.com group in your area. They have them divided by different interests and they’re typically a bunch of fun-loving people in your same position. I found a hiking group and another that had random “night out” where we tried different restaurants when I first moved to Columbus, OH. Good luck! It’s awkward, but worth it.

  27. Hayley says...

    I met 2 of my greatest friends through the building we all lived in several years ago. During the time we all lived there, we started watching the Bachelor every Monday night (and drinking wine!) Four years later, the tradition remains and we’ve started throwing in a couple of Jeopardy! episodes.

    Sometimes it’s not every week and sometimes we don’t even watch the Bachelor because we end up chatting the night away but what remains true is that we intentionally take time out of our busy schedules to spend time with each other. It is my favorite part of every week.

  28. My sister and I live in different cities but are incredibly close so on a whim, years ago, my sister mailed me a journal with a letter from her written on the first few pages. I turned the page, wrote her back and sent her back the journal. Now 6 years later, we still send the journal back and forth, filling up the pages with letters to each other.

    We see each other often and talk on the phone but there’s something about writing that lets us be a little more vulnerable with each other and helps maintain such a close bond. :)

    • Valeria says...

      Beautiful. This story could be a movie. Or a book.

    • Em says...

      I do the same thing with a journal with my best friend from university! We do one letter to the other for each birthday, so it’s something to look forward to each year. I’ve also put in a couple of special notes for things like her wedding day and the birth of her first baby, but one day I counted the pages and figured out we’d be in our sixties when we finally run out of pages! It’s a real marker of milestones and has continued on between moves across oceans and several different countries!!

    • Alice says...

      Oh my god you’ve just reminded me that I used to do this in secondary school with friends who were in different classes to me!! We used to have a notebook and write notes to each other and swap it whenever we actually saw each other. It was so fun! I might start this up again with a few of my friends who live far away…!!

  29. Eleanor says...

    These are so sweet!
    Thanks for putting these together, Megan.

  30. Emily says...

    Motherhood has gifted me not only with a son who I adore, but with an incredible set of female friends–mothers to my son’s friends. We live in a tight knit neighborhood and there are many boys in the same age group. When my son, now 10, was 9 months old, I was walking with him in our neighborhood when I met a woman whose son was a year old. We instantly became friends when she said, Your baby looks exactly like you (he doesn’t-he is the clone of my husband and she was the first person to ever tell me this). Since then, she and I have added a few other women to our group and our families have become like family to each other. Friday nights we can all be found sharing sushi while the kids eat pizza and play. The best part is, we can have as many glasses of wine as we want because we can all walk home. We’ve shared marital advice, childrearing woes and celebrations, lended an ear when a kid was struggling in school, provide decorating opinions, and in general–laugh and comfort one another.

    There is a deep comfort in having neighbors as close friends and in having a community of women who are bonded together in raising boys. I know my son has three other surrogate mothers who SEE him every day–literally and figuratively–and who are helping me to raise him. And I feel the same about their kids.

    I have been fortune to make so many incredible friends through mothering. Sure, there’s the occasional dud–a person I *should* be friends with but with whom I have nothing real in common–but it’s more likely my son’s friends’ mothers have been interesting, creative, hard working, kind and funny women. What a gift!

    • Kimberley says...

      Emily, this is such a wonderful description. I am so happy you found such closeness in your neighbourhood, it’s heartwarming and everything I one day aspire to!

    • Gah! Neighbour goals! This sounds like heaven!

  31. T says...

    For an excuse to get together, but without the stress of a Dinner Club, my friends used to have a Pizza Club! The host orders/picks up pizza from a place of their choice, guests bring whatever they’d like to drink, and the goal was to try a new pizza place every time. Easy and casual (leggings and sweatpants were totally fine).

  32. Carrie says...

    As someone who occasionally gets in the mood to make plans but knows full well how much I regret it later, I love the idea of making plans RIGHT NOW…..making plans and then just doing it straight away is a great idea for me. I’m going to use this idea, for sure!

    • Meg says...

      Same! Same same same!

  33. Isabel says...

    My best friend and I live in the same city, but have different schedules and are busy with work and kids. Still, every day, after I drop my youngest off at her nursery school and walk to work, I call her, and we talk for about ten minutes. We also talk during the day, even for a minute, to comment on something, or during the evening, after we put the kids to sleep. We talk for no reason at all, or to talk about something that’s happening right now.

    The continuous conversation allows us to be “in the moment” and not have to do the often tedious and un-spontaneous part of “catching up” on our lives. We laugh and get to have the same joking conversations we’ve been having since elementary school. Instead of it being an event, our conversations flow as if we were always present, even though we are not.

    It’s sad that talking on the phone is becoming a lost practice. Texts are efficient and immediate, but don’t lend themselves to the fun part of experiencing the human voice.

  34. Lisa says...

    Ah! I moved to NYC in October and have 2 girlfriends who live here but feel bad relying on them for my social life (beyond my boyfriend). I haven’t really clicked with anyone at work…I don’t even know where to start looking for new friends in this massive city. So overwhelming but I don’t want to turn into that girl who only hangs out with her partner.

    *Any NYCers interesting in hanging out? I’m 30, work at a digital design agency, love barre, brunch, walking around the city, dogs, etc . Basically, I’m kind of basic? But at least I admit it :)

    • Lynn-Holly Wielenga says...

      Hi Lisa! I would LOVE to hang out. Bad news though, I’m not moving to NYC until August. My husband got a job in the city, but it doesn’t start until August. I’m thrilled to be moving to NYC but slightly terrified about the having to meet new people and start all over with friends thing. This is the furthest ahead I’ve ever planned to hang out, but if you do want to hang out in August, let me know! I’m 28 and like similar things. I’ve worked in marketing the last 5 years, I love yoga and barre, I’m a huge fan of going on walks, and I have a dog. My email is LynnHollyWielenga (at) gmail dot com. :)

    • Lisa says...

      Hey Lynn-Holly – emailing you now! :)

    • Sara Pridgeon says...

      Hey Lisa! I moved to NYC in September and am in the same boat making new friends here. Want to commiserate over brunch or coffee? I’m 26, work in legal marketing, and like the same sorts of things – no dog yet, unfortunately, but love walks and am keen to try barre! Pop me a message at pridgeon.sara (at) gmail dot com. :)

    • Lisa says...

      Sara – emailed you too!

    • MB says...

      Lisa, let’s have a friend date! I’m 33, work at a tech startup, love working out, dogs, exploring the city, and being unapologetically basic. I’ve been in NYC for almost 10 years but I also have a big fear of turning into that girl who only hangs out with her partner and I think a girl can never have too many friends. I’m at mbcook1 (at) gmail dot com.

    • Rebecca Sunde says...

      joining this sub-thread… i’ve been in NYC for 5 years and would also self-describe as “basic.” always up for coffee/tea+barre/yoga, and i own a pretty cute dog (if i do say so myself!) if you need some canine therapy! he’s @cedarinthecity on IG, and i’m rebecca /dot/ sunde /at/ gmail.

    • Meredith says...

      Lisa I would love to! Welcome to the city! I’m 31 and have been here for 7 years but still remember that first year was the hardest, especially to start over with friends. I also work at a digital design agency as well and also enjoy brunch and dogs — I’ve been wanting to try barre too!
      mjhrich (at) gmail (dot) com.

    • Lisa says...

      So glad I checked back on these comments – emailed all of you :)

      Jo – this community is the best….thank you!

  35. Genevieve R. says...

    These are all really lovely to hear! I could see myself starting many of these things or instituting them with already existing friends. I’m at a point in my 30’s (albeit in a semi-new city) where I’m really looking to make new friends that are more compatible with my life as it is now. It’s inspiring to hear other people make the “leap” into new friendships and how they did so. Thank you for posting their stories!

  36. Could we please have a feature on women who go have a drink alone at a bar?? I’ve wanted to do this **for years** but just thinking about it makes me so nervous! Everything else I’m fine with: travelling alone, seeing movies alone, eating at restaurants alone, etc. but going to a bar alone still throws me. Would love to hear about the rituals other women have in order to not feel awkward or nervous :)

    • leah says...

      Seconded!

    • This so speaks to me, because I was this same way for many years. Here’s my tip: Start with going to a bar that serves food you can order to go. Go straight to the bar, sit down and order a drink — and at the same time, place your to-go food order. This will give you enough time to enjoy a drink and chat with some patrons nearby (or the bartender) before your food is ready! Back in my early-mid 20s, this method turned out to be a great primer for just going into a bar for a drink and feeling comfortable sitting alone at the bar *without* an excuse like waiting for take out. :)

    • Esmi says...

      I’ve done this quite a few times and have developed my own kind of “flair” for it! The most successful ventures have always included a “can-do”, give no f*ks attitude, which really helps ensure that you won’t be pestered with passing pick up lines. I really love finding a spot in a bar that is tucked into a corner, so I can cozy on in with a drink, some food, and my instagram feed, and while away a few hours!

    • hannah says...

      I travel solo a lot (which frequently involves drinking in bars alone) and while I don’t have any *rituals* per se, I tend to rely on the following:
      – Sit at the actual bar, not a table. This puts you in closer proximity to the bartender, which is nice not only for getting refills, but gives you an ally if someone tries to talk to you and won’t take no for an answer.
      – Bringing a book or kindle and make sure your phone is charged. Sometimes you go to a bar and want to chat with strangers, in which case I wouldn’t recommend burying your nose in a book, but if you really just want to chill out and drink a cocktail, having something to focus on can make it feel a bit less awkward.
      – Comfy clothes/your favorite outfit/red lipstick. If you’re nervous people will judge you for rolling solo (FYI, I’ve never actually experienced this), then feeling really confident in your outfit or wearing a bold lipstick can help.
      – Don’t be afraid to say no, whether it’s to another round or a drink/conversation with a stranger. As a woman out in the world alone, people sometimes assume you need company/instructions and if you’re not interested in that (whether during a particular outing or ever!) practice confidently shutting it down. I have a killer “don’t even think about talking to me” expression, but I have also just said “I’m actually just interested in reading my book right now, thanks.” Having said all that, I have met some really interesting people while sitting in a bar/ice cream shop/thai restaurant alone, so if you’re up for meeting new people, go for it!

    • Sarah says...

      I do this every week! I promise there’s nothing to it– pick a quiet/sleepy place, bring a book, sit at the end of the bar, order your drink. Read, sip, repeat. It’s awesome.

    • Kimberley says...

      I’ve also been *thinking* of doing this for years! Such great tips…I’m going to…maybe…try it…again!

    • Wow, so grateful for all these responses! I’m very curious though, how do you start a conversation? I usually have a very easy time chatting up strangers, for example in stores or public transport, but in a bar it doesn’t come naturally to me, I think because I feel like people are there to talk to their friends, not strangers. Would love any advice :) And thanks so much for all the advice already given!!

    • CL says...

      I once went to a super popular, but super tiny NYC bar with my fiance and his friend. We ended up being sat next to a girl who was reading a book – it was super dark inside mind you – and I found it so empowering! So much so I struck up a conversation with her. The three of us ended up chatting with her until we had to go on our way to our dinner reservation. Turns out she is married but her husband works a lot and there are so many bars in the city she wants to try. So instead of waiting for him, she heads to a bar and always brings a book!

    • jules says...

      Long post but I have a lot to say on the solo drinking subject. I have had drinks alone at 5-star to A-list to total dives in different parts of the country and globe, due to a ton of solo biz travel, other travel, and a general love of bar culture and people watching.

      As far as conversation starters, Gabriela, here are some tips:
      – Chat with the bartender. Other friendly folk often join in.

      Here are some other innocuous openers for people sitting next to you:
      – “So.. are you from
      – Excuse me, which cocktail are you drinking? I can’t decide what I want.
      – Well, it looks like you had a day.
      – So what brings you out tonight?
      – Do you know the name of this song? Its familiar but I can’t place it.
      etc. etc. etc.

      Having a notebook to scribble or doodle in invites more interaction than reading or looking at a device. They say “do not disturb.”

  37. Margaret says...

    My fiancee’s friends started a Neighborhood Dinner Club. On the second Saturday of the month, someone hosts dinner for the group. The rules are fairly simple: the members must live in the neighborhood (no ubers or finding parking), the host can serve whatever they want, and there is no obligation to attend. We typically take a break during late summer/early fall for a few months. Dinner Club is a favorite among the group and everyone takes the opportunity to test out new recipes, play host, and socialize. We are in the third season of Dinner Club and its been fun watching people reach milestones, have babies, get married, and debate current events – all while squeezed into narrow rowhouses! People eat sprawled out on folding chairs, couches, floor pillows, etc. Its all very hyggelig :)

    • Anneka says...

      We do the same thing! Started in an attempt to create more community after the election. It is always a good time

  38. Amy says...

    Kinda cool to hear about someone who moved to Omaha, my born and raised city.

    I always feel like it’s a city with a lot of good intentions in what activities it offers, but not enough people actually participate unless it’s night-life related.

  39. LK says...

    I found the courage to start talking to people at my gym. I have taken classes with some of the same people for YEARS and we’ve never spoken. In the past few months I’ve mustered the courage to chat with some of them, and now have gone on a few friend dates! They all live in my neighborhood (I live in a city) so it’s a great way to make local friends

  40. I met a group of Moms through my Son’s 2nd grade class. Whenever there is a drop off birthday party situation (and there is ALWAYS a birthday party) we make it a point go have lunch during the party when we might otherwise use the time to run errands. We all look forward to it and I have grown really close to these Moms.

  41. Marie says...

    I’ve been living in a new city for two years now and not making a lot of friends and feeling sad my really great friends are just going on about their life without me…. but this has given me hopes and ways to try harder where I am and be better at keeping the connections I already have !! Thanks so much for sharing… Cheers !!

    • Amy says...

      If it makes you feel better, I’m pretty terrible at making new friends. The two close friends I have are from high school and grade school (about to turn 26 years old).

  42. Annie says...

    I have a wonderful group of girlfriends from my childhood that has spread out across the country as we’ve gotten older. To keep up with each others’ lives, we’ve started a long-distance book club, where we have a skype meeting every few months to discuss our book of choice, but mostly to catch up and gossip. It’s definitely not as fun as a boozy, in-person brunch, but it’ll do!

  43. Erin G. says...

    Three years ago my closest girlfriend moved to another country. Though we vowed to work hard to stay as tightly knit as we had been for the decade before her move, it was harder than we imagined. Long, rambling emails became shorter, weekly Skype sessions turned monthly, and then faded completely. But then…we discovered the beauty of audio text messages. One day my friend told me this long, hilarious story over the course of half a dozen audio texts. I listened to them a few times over, because it was funny, but also to hear her voice and her laughter…on my own time (as I was getting into bed, which would have been 3am her time). And now, for at least a year, we have an on-going conversation via audio texts – sometimes our back-and-forth is practically in real time, but often we may leave messages and get a reply a few days later. We get to “talk” a lot, hear each others voices all the time, and, importantly, have our side of the conversation whenever it works for us. It’s been such a surprising, sweet, and necessary find to keep our friendship healthy and happy. Good luck to all the girlfriends out there trying to stay connected as life evolves….it’s worth it.

    • Antonia says...

      That’s what my friend and I do, too! It’s the best :) We have in-depth conversations about what’s going on in live (hopes and dreams! Feelings!), share random stories of what happened to us that week, talk about lame things such as what kind of vacuumer she recently bought and why…everything! We usually drop each other a bunch of messages and then the other person listens and answers over a period of time (she hit an all-time record when she left me 54 messages in one day – each 1-3 minutes long!) Audio texts are such an awesome tool for us to feel really close and to always be up to date even though we live far away. Highly recommend!

    • Maeve says...

      Not sure if you’d be into it, but there’s this app I use called Marco Polo. It essentially allows you to send video chat messages to your friends and then they can watch them whenever it’s convenient for them and reply. It archives all your messages so it’s nice to look back and see what they sent a month ago or something. I know not everyone loves video but I like getting to see a face :)

    • Isabelle says...

      I live in Switzerland and do that too with my best friend who lives in Canada; it’s just the coolest moment of my day when I’m getting a message from her :-)

    • Giulia says...

      Oh Erin I started reading your post and just before reading “audio-messages” a smile popped on my face, I do the same and it is such a fantastic, heart-warming thing! I have been in Scotland for 7+ years now, and many of my closest friends are back home in Italy, and these messages just warm up so many of my days, even when it is just a silly moment – yesterday I realised I was basically listing my fridge’s contents to my friends, because I had zoned out of the line of thought.. It always bring something new and it is so lively! I love that we all apologise to each other for sending messages that are “too long”. As if that wasn’t the best part of the treat! :)

  44. Laura says...

    My friend and I do “wine walks” too! We actually call them that. Such a nice, relaxing, “healthy-ish” way to spend time together.

  45. Rue says...

    These all give me warm fuzzies, just thinking about it! One of my best friends was also my on-and-off roommate for several years (because we both relocated frequently for work, not because our friendship was on the rocks!). When we lived together, we had THE BEST grocery/errand ritual. We’d pick one day of the weekend and one or two stores we both wanted to go to, and then drive together. It was usually something like shoe shopping at DSW and then groceries at Whole Foods. It’s been a few years since we’ve lived in the same city, but I still sometimes text her when I’m at one of our go-to places. And I’m in her wedding in a few months and will be wearing a pair of shoes she helped me pick out when we lived together!

  46. Bianca says...

    A little over 10 years ago, I started a book club with a few friends, and friends of friends. It was an “odd” assortment of 8 women ranging in (then) ages of late-twenties to a sixty year old from various ethnicities and backgrounds all living in Toronto. We’ve had a few members come and go over the years, but a core group of us have stayed consistent. We each take a turn to host a dinner, and over the years have had some stellar meals. We meet every 6-7 weeks. We only tend to discuss the book for about 10 minutes, then move on to a few hours of catch up and wine/cocktails! We recently celebrated our 10th Year Anniversary, with a book club trip to Dublin! It’s been an amazing journey, with an amazing bunch of women.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      a trip to dublin! that’s amazing.

    • JB says...

      This amazing – we did same thing: women from all corners, Toronto, “Book Club” and we do everything from wine tours in Niagara, to high tea at the Fairmont, to an annual cottage weekend with spouses. In between, we all take turns hosting at our places and now our husbands have all become great friends too!

      Have to say, we’ve done a very poor job of continuing with book reading though :)

  47. Alyssa says...

    I love reading all of these! :)

    I’m great at making friends with men (there’s just less pressure), but female friendships are harder to come by. I’m grateful for some girlfriends who live in my city and we can walk to each other’s houses, get take-out, or do yoga. But I find that we have to be intentional about saying YES to hanging out or it’s easy to drift. We also have a group chat which has been lovely to just text out a little message of “hope your day doesn’t suck.” or “Why does no one know how to use a blinker?!”

  48. Love the idea of the monthly hang out with someone telling their story! My wheels are now turning about how I can make that happen where I live (in Kigali!) :)

  49. Laura C. says...

    The making plans RIGHT NOW. I agree completely. I am always trying to hang out with some girl friends bit everyone seem to be very busy, and I don’t understand it. Sometimes it’s just like going for a coffee, or a wine, or just a walk with our kids, I try to organise afternoons at home with our kida, but people is busy, or maybe they don’t but they are lazy and don’t want to move their butts from their couch.
    Please everyone, please once in a while, just say yes and accept an offer from a friend to do something! My father used to say “there are more days than pots”, which stands for “there is always time enough to do everything”.

  50. Jen says...

    Oh, how this lovely post makes me yearn for a “village”. We recently moved abroad (husband, 2 yo, and myself, along with a baby on the way) and are still in that “need to make friends” stage, which is so. much. pressure. Every day is an opportunity to meet a new friend (I’m a stay-at-home-mom) and when it doesn’t happen, it can get discouraging. I’ve made one good friend, though, so that’s given me hope that my ladies are out there! A few of my older friendships also seem to be fizzling, for various reasons, which is tough, especially with the added distance. On the positive side, it’s been nice to be surprised by certain friendships that have managed to flourish despite the distance. Definitely going to use some of these tips to maintain friendships and put myself out there to find the new ones I desperately need right now.

    • Michelle R says...

      Where have you moved, if you don’t mind me asking? Some of us may have friends there that you can meet up with :)

  51. Although I am still in University and most of my friends are right near me, our favorite way to reconnect when we have all been too busy with our individual works are by going for tea after dinner on Fridays, when most of us opt out of doing any work and we end up staying up all night talking and watch the sun come up. The way you connect with your friends in the middle of the night is unparalleled. <3

    I love all of your posts Joanna! After reading your blog, I have actually changed a lot, in terms of what I want out of my life and what I want to pursue, career wise.

  52. Elena says...

    These stories are all so sweet, I’m inspired! I recently moved to DC last summer and have a good group of work friends and friends from school, but I want to meet more people. By chance, anyone here in their early 20s in DC??

    • Heather says...

      Hi Elena – I’m a good bit older than you, but when I moved to DC at 25, I joined a kickball team, and it was a blast. The teams play on the national mall and then go out to play flip cup afterwards. I feel like it’s a right of passage for DC newcomers in their 20’s. I retired about a decade ago from kickball, but I met a lot of friends that way.

    • Andrea says...

      Hi Elena! I’m in my early 20’s and in DC as well! :)

    • Alexia says...

      Might not quite be the age range you are looking for, but I just moved to DC for college (I’m 18). I’ve struggled to make a lot of friends since I am a little more mature than my peers (I don’t go crazy on the weekends). If you are interested in meeting up let me know.

    • Kelly says...

      Hey! Another early 20s DC resident here :) I live in Columbia Heights and work downtown- lmk if you ever want to meet up!

    • Elena says...

      Hi everyone!! This is so awesome! Wanna add each other on IG and meet up? I’m @elenaaell

  53. Juliana says...

    We’ve made big moves twice in the last two years and while we’re finally very happy with the town we live in, it’s been very hard to make friends. We have three little ones and only the oldest is in (pre)school. We’ve lived here for 5 months and I have 0 friends to show for it. It’s hard to make friends with the other parents when you see them for a minute during drop off and pick up. Our lovely neighborhood is mostly retired people too, so that’s a bust. My best friend is several states away and my family is half the country away. Praying that I find someone soon!

    • MaryMargaret says...

      I hear you. Once we moved to a new-to-us neighborhood with what we thought were many retirees. We ended up putting a note in eveyone’s mailbox on our street and around the block (“Hi. This is ____. You have probably have seen us around — we’re your new neighbors. Here is our contact information and you can find us at ___”) and sure enough, so many neighbors reached out and organized a tea, started picking up our mail while we were away, made sure we got on the neighborhood listserve and invited us to bookclub. It took a step from us, but was so worth it. Plus, to our happy surprise, we discovered that the neighborhood was much more diverse and inclusive than we had thought when moving in… You can try this trick even if you’ve been there a while!

    • Melissa says...

      I have been in your exact situation – and my oldest is now in first grade, but those years when all three of mine were in preschool and/or babies was so hard and isolating. My suggestion is to email your son’s preschool class and ask if anyone wants to get together with the babies while the older kids are in school, or ask if anyone wants to grab a drink on a weeknight. My preschool moms are my closest friends now and once I started hanging out with them I learned that we were ALL in the exact same boat. You just need one person to take that first step! xx

  54. Katie says...

    I really love reading all of these comments. I was never a big comments reader until I read your post about Terry and Jane and their picnics on the Promenade. That post was my favorite ever and so were the comments.
    I agree with Alina’s comment….sometimes the comments are like reading a whole new post, and settling in with a cup of tea at night and reading them are a treat. Thank you, everyone.

  55. I gave up texting. We aren’t made for as many relationships as texting offers. Now, I call/email/OR HANG OUT with my friends. Instead of being kind of with people and kind of without people all of the time, I’m one or the other, period. When I’m alone, I’m alone. When I’m with people (friends or husband) I’m all in! I’m so excited to hang out with people. It’s cut way down on my friend numbers, but made my friend time so much richer! My husband has even noticed a difference! I love it and I’ll probably never go back to texting!

    • Tovah Close says...

      I love this idea so much! More mindful and meaningful connections to the people who really matter. It reminds me of how I can easily trick myself into thinking I’ve caught up with a friend because I… looked at her social media page :-/ It’s not at all the same!

    • Sasha F says...

      I hear you! Quality time is my primary love language. I realized this is why I prefer to have people for dinner (just make too much and then tell buds that you need help finishing!) or meet up in person. Phones up, for the most part, and respecting that we both found the time to spend with one another. It also explains why I get SO irritated when people are fake, zoned out, or fall asleep (during a movie) when we hang out. It’s because I really value quality time — either be present 98%, or let’s just reschedule. No harm, no foul. :)

  56. Wow – I love these! Especially the introverted book reading…and the nerdy Meet-up group!

  57. I was recently invited by a friend to join a group of women who meet for dinner once a month. We’re all moms with kids around the same age so I had expected that we’d talk about kids and parenting challenges. But this group NEVER talks about kids; they talk about their careers, books, politics, podcasts, ideas and they are all fascinating people. It made me wonder what secrets might be hiding in other moms I know, so I asked a mom who I’ve made small talk with a thousand times at the playground what she does for work, and it turns out that she is a scientist specializing in bees and she told me all of these fascinating facts about bees and making honey (which she does in her own yard!). Now I always ask mom acquaintances about themselves rather than just talking about their kids. There’s so much more to all of us than being parents!

    • Eva says...

      love this. this is one of my biggest hangups with the idea of becoming a parent someday—losing your identity (at least in other people’s eyes, if not your own). gives me hope to still be my own person, and a good reminder to always ask parent friends about themselves, not just their kids!

    • Jo says...

      So true! Since I had a baby I’ve found it rather provoking how parents (especially mums) talk so much about their kids, and seem to lose their own interests or preferences. But your comment made me realise I could be a lot kinder and actually ask them about themselves, instead of seethe quietly in a corner thinking no one wants to discuss politics or books with me. Thank you for making me reconsider!

    • B says...

      Ask her if she’s heard of ‘flow hive’- mindblowing

    • I LOVE this and I am going to make a conscious effort to do the same thing!!

    • Leanne says...

      I love this, Ramona! I have a great mom-friend group in my neighbourhood and we try really hard not only to commiserate and discuss things like signing our kids up for kindergarten next year, but also about our own passions and volunteerism, feminism, careers, etc. When I came back to work, my biggest annoyance was when former allies were only interested in asking me about my kids rather than what was important to me. Being a mom is one element of who I am, but it’s far from the one. Thanks for this lovely reminder.

  58. Amanda says...

    Finding your tribe as a new parent is so important and so, so hard. Who wants to extend themselves more at such an emotionally and physically exhausting time? Lucky for us, our neighborhood organizes a powerhouse of a listserve – putting you in a subgroup based on your due date, encouraging parents on leave to set up a weekly coffee date for sanity and structure, and even hosting wine crawls and summer picnics. It was hard to show up to that first meet up but those coffee dates were such a comfort. We (started to) figure out our kids and ourselves together. And now these women feel like family…all thanks to a few Yahoo groups.

    • Louisa says...

      What?! This is amazing. I thought I had a good little neighborhood but that’s incredible.

  59. Emma says...

    My husband and I had our first baby 4 months after a move which put finding friends on hold for awhile. I wanted a friend so badly but didn’t know how to make it happen with a super high maintenance baby! Out of desperation I prayed for a friend and a few months later my husband’s office mate moved in to the apartment right across the street from us with his wife. We are within baby monitor distance of each other and all 4 of us hit it off (two big miracles!) so I’d say that God delivered big this time. :)

  60. Anne says...

    I feel like I’m still figuring out friendships! I’m pretty good at a lot of things – I’m good at being a romantic partner, good at caring for myself, and good at my career – but friendships have never really clicked for me. For the most part, I get along well with people as acquaintances, but it never seems to progress to that level where you can call and say, wanna come watch TV tonight? I’m okay with it though. None of us are great at everything. And besides, I have a fantastic husband, a supportive family, a promising and fulfilling career, and a healthy body, it’s not like my life is empty!

    • Maria says...

      Yes – same here! I haven’t had super close friendships since high school /beginning of college, and that was over 15 years ago! But strangely, it doesn’t bother me either. I like connecting with people but that has taken different forms for me now. I consider myself an introvert, and with 2 little kids, I crave alone time more than anything else!

    • Claire says...

      This resonates a lot.. I have a fulfilling life but I feel like I missed a step somewhere when I was meant to learn how to build solid friendships!

    • Tiffany says...

      I feel the exact same way. I am so satisfied in all the other areas of my life (great partner, working towards a wonderful career, prioritize exercise/self-care/healthy cooking and eating) but I always struggle to form really solid friendships with females. I wish I was as content as you sound on this front. It is something that is really difficult for me, but I don’t know how to change this…

    • Eileen says...

      I relate to this, too. I’ve never been great at making female friends. My husband and I had a good group of older friends without kids, but now with two young kids, two full-time jobs, both being introverts, and in our late thirties/early forties, we struggle to meet new friends. We’re not content with it either so our word for this year is “community”, to push ourselves to reach out.

    • Simone says...

      Me too! I often feel like I am the only one, so it is nice to read it is not so. Like Tiffany, I am also not quite happy with this status. We moved last year, so I am yet again starting from scratch. I am trying not to put a lot of pressure on myself on that front, but it is hard.

  61. Kel says...

    Dudes. Marco Polo revolutionized my taxed but lonely introvert life! I keep in such regular touch now with all of my cousins, sisters, and my best friend on the opposite coast. It’s amazing to send a message out when you have energy, and listen and watch cozily (in the tub, in bed, in the car) at whatever energy level you have knowing the pressure of immediate response is off. Once we get together in person, it’s like we’ve been together all along!
    P.S. My friends swear by this as well for keeping in touch with college daughters.
    P.P.S. It hasn’t worked so well with my brothers–too much talking!

    • Chelsey P-E says...

      I was just about to comment about Marco Polo! Agree with everything you said. I just spent a busy evening making dinner with my two kids while chatting randomly with a friend. It’s pure genius.

    • ML says...

      Yep. MP has transformed my ability to connect with friends and we love it!

    • Abbie says...

      My group of mom friends uses Snapchat like Marco Polo–and we pretend like we have a lifestyle blog channel. It’s so ridiculous and hilarious. No one feels the pressure to reply instantly so sometimes the snaps back up and you have 5 solid minutes of viewing content. The topics we “blog” about are hilarious–weird things our bodies are doing, annoying things our partners did (sorry! gotta vent sometimes!) and just random thoughts throughout the day. It makes me laugh and brings me so much joy.

  62. Bec says...

    Meet up with your instagram buddies! I’ve chatted regularly to a handful of wonderful ladies for years and it was so awesome to meet one of them in a bar in Tasmania recently. We chatted for hours.

  63. Ceridwen says...

    Two of my best friends and I chat regularly on messsenger. We don’t live near each other so being able to send a quick message about whatever or have longer conversations is so good. Someone usually sends some funny gif. We’ve had funny, sad, heartfelt, casual chats and feel so connected. We get together in person once a year for a weekend (we all live in different parts of the country). I’ve also been having more regular nights out with other female friends and I find it so nourishing. Really important. We have a drink and a movie or dinner. I love it. Growing up in adulthood, because I’ve come to understand growing up doesn’t stop, is so enriching with close friends. We are all going through our life things together. All the bits – happy, boring, sad, exciting…all those bits that make our life and growing up real.

    • Same here, my girlfriends (from grade school and high school) and I have a chat group on Messenger and it’s basically just an “‘anything goes” chat group. Sometimes we just greet each other in the morning and the thread is silent for the whole day and that’s fine. Sometimes we have longer chats about whatever (serious and ridiculous stuff). Any one of us can rant or rave about anything. We send each other gifs, links, and selfies of what we’re doing at that moment. Those who are in the same cities plan get togethers, and every year we try to plan a destination girls’ getaway. Our chat group basically just keeps us in touch and it’s awesome to know we’ll always be there for each other wherever we may be.

      By the way, I love all these other comments! This is an awesome post. :)

  64. This is great. Your readers’ comments are always an added blog post.
    So good!

    Alina

    • Barbara says...

      Agreed! I always feel such goodness reading through them all!

  65. Claire Johnson says...

    Being a military spouse, making friends is a whole new level of challenging as we all seem to be moving from station to station at different times. Some places are more welcoming than others. Our first station (also known as a command) any woman I met talked about how hard it was to even MEET other people on base because no one seemed to want to branch out! Made me realize that if I wanted any place to feel welcoming and to make friends, I would be the one to have to welcome people and branch out instead of waiting on others to reach out to me. I’m the base’s “welcoming committee” especially for mamas who are expecting new babies! Be the friend you want to be is what it all comes down to.

  66. Ali says...

    I thought my friends and I invented “beer walks”! It’s a great way to get out for an hour after we’ve been through dinner with kids throwing food! We try to alternate with just exercise walks too, either way it’s a great break.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s sounds like so much fun! i love it.

  67. Rachel says...

    My husband and I do the “book dates” sometimes and they’re awesome!

  68. Tracey says...

    My best friend and I have been on diverging paths. Time is harder to come by and we are often each emotionally exhausted by life. On New Year’s Eve I snapped. I needed to address this situation because she was too important to me to drift away from. I sent an email (mostly civil), we had a small fight, accepted our own culpabilities and then met each other in the middle – with honesty and grace. I’m confident that we can now tackle our very differing lives together. But this would not have happened had I stayed too afraid to rock the boat. Rock the boat, friends, it’s important!

  69. Seona says...

    When my partner and I moved four hours from our home, it was hard. I was isolated after leaving my job with no job to go to. The only person I would speak to some days was my partner, but he was tired after work and sometimes didn’t feel like talking (understandable!).
    To meet people I started an Articles Club! I read about it here and decided to bite the bullet and do it. I put it out on InstaStories and got a response. That first Articles Club was on a Friday night, filled with wine and conversation. We (the 8 of us) finally had to call time at 11.45pm! I got home and was so excited and filled with joy at meeting these wonderful women. I did a little dance in my loungeroom :)
    It was never awkward, we laughed, and spoke only a little of the article we chose – lol!
    Thank you Cup Of Jo for giving me the idea and courage to put myself out there x

  70. Sophie says...

    A few years ago my sister-in-law/bff was going through a breakup and needed a last-minute date to a wedding in Miami. I went with her for the weekend and we had so much fun that we vowed to go back every year, each with a different theme. Each year we get outfits and plan the whole trip with activities that align with the theme. So far we’ve done: art ladies (museums, galleries, colorful outfits), club girls (mini dresses and dancing), and new-age relaxation (reiki healing, gong yoga, lots of juice). We’ve got the next 10 years of themes plans and the excitement and hilarious memories of our annual trip sustains us all year.

    • Anna says...

      Hilarious! My best friends and I would get such a kick out of theme-ing our getaways. Thanks for the fun idea!

  71. Suz says...

    A girlfriend started a Words Club, where a group of women share a brief excerpt of what we are reading and discuss. It has introduced me to so many amazing writers and there is no pressure to read a whole book.

    • That’s such an amazing idea!!! I like that everyone brings something, rather than picking just one article or book. So, so good!

  72. Karen T. says...

    Why does this make me want to cry? I love this and love that I feel like I found my on-line tribe. Sitting in the parking lot of a grocery store (or my son’s soccer practice) and listening perfectly describes my long distance-bestie and me.

  73. Sandra says...

    “Sometimes the best way to get friends to hang is to call them up and suggest doing something RIGHT NOW rather than try to schedule anything. It works, and I kind of love it.”

    This is awesome advice, and what I miss SOOO much about living in a city. All of my friends lived within a 2-mile radius, and it was so easy to just meet up for brunch on a whim or meet other families at the park. It is so much more complicated now that we’re in the ‘burbs and no one lives near each other.

  74. Beth says...

    I moved from NYC to the west coast a couple of years ago and didn’t know a single person. I’d recently become a believer, so immediately searched out a great church and joined a community group to meet people. I was blown away at how many wonderful friends I made so quickly over shared dinners and discussions each week. I’ve never had such a deep and generous group of girlfriends before, and feel like we’ve been best friends for our whole lives! It’s true that there are wonderful people in every city :)

    • CB says...

      When I became a believer at the beginning of college, my small group became my family! It’s the coolest thing ever and totally changed my standard of friendship in the best way.

  75. Emily says...

    I actually met one of my best friends at Target! I had bought the Sex & The City movie earlier in the day, and I saw this cute girl in a green sweater walk in and I complimented her on it. We both walked back to the movies and she was looking for the deluxe edition of SATC, which I had bought already and Target was sold out of. We ended up switching our copies and our phone numbers. Fast forward, and she was a bridesmaid in my wedding! Her family and friends all know me as “the girl she picked up at Target”, ha!

  76. Voxer!!! If you are a busy lady trying to stay in touch with friends/sisters/moms, download the Voxer app. It’s hard to explain…it’s basically like a voice message conversation, back and forth, where you can leave each other messages (up to 15 minutes). They are all stored together, like a text conversation, versus having to go into your voicemail and pull them up.

    The best part is that it’s on your time. My sister and I are super close, but once we were both full-time working moms, we couldn’t figure out when we could both be on the phone at the same time (without a toddler demanding our attention). Now, she can spend 10 minutes of her commute telling me about her work drama or a fight with her husband, and I can listen to it and respond when I have the chance. Now we “talk” every day, and also have a group Vox going with our other sister in New York, who was a lost cause for a long time since we’re in L.A. and the time difference made it too difficult.

  77. CMS says...

    When I first moved to a new city in my 20s, it was a rough transition from my close-knit group of college friends. I only knew 2-3 women peripherally, so I started a book club and asked them all to invite one or two other friends. It grew (a crazy amount), and some of those women are still dear friends.

    Two other favorites, my annual Galentines Night that I’ve hosted since the first season of P&R (shout out, Leslie/Amy!). The day before Valentines Day where you celebrate your favorite gal-entines in your life! And fikas, which is a Swedish word that means having coffee and pastries, preferably with friends. I morphed that one into coffee/mimosas/doughnuts at my place.

    Friends are the best, and so important.

    • I always thought Galentine’s Day missed the boat, being the day before Valentine’s, when if it were the day AFTER you could have half-priced chocolate with all your best gals ? Great either way though!

  78. Rebecca says...

    My best friends live all across Europe. Recently, to give a friend with depression someone else to be, we’ve started a Dungeons and Dragons campaign over Google Hangouts (my husband is our game master, which means he plans the story and had to react to our crazy decisions!). We all play ridiculously cool characters who adventure together and fight together. The tech drops sometimes, but it doesn’t matter: for four hours whenever we can, we’re all together in a wood or a cave or bickering about how much to spend on new armour. And in the real world the voices of my darling friends fill my living room and it’s like there’s nothing between us at all.

    • Rachel says...

      I JUST started a D&D campaign for the first time with some new friends, and you put it perfectly–someone else to be for a little bit. I’ve struggled to meet new friends since moving to my current city, and sitting in a living room, eating food and goofing off with new-to-me people would be way more overwhelming if I didn’t have the extra layer of playing a character with quirks and weaknesses that are similar to, but different from my own.

    • Rebecca says...

      Rachel, yes! It can be SO much easier to be someone else for a little while! I think D&D sounds like a great way to meet new people: you already know you’ve got one thing in common, and you can suss out people’s attitudes through their game style, AND you don’t have to worry about “being yourself” because the whole point is that you’re not.

      We were really tentative at first because the friend we started it for had never played before, so we just suggested it as a fun one off activity- but she loved it, and it’s become something we all really look forward to. I’m chronically ill, and I can’t lie, there are days when it feels hugely liberating to be my bad ass half-elf bard who can do all the things I can’t.

    • L says...

      Let me know if any of these friends live in Moscow. I just moved here, and it’s a whole extra layer of challenging to make new friends when you don’t speak the local language.

    • Lane says...

      This is such a great idea! Two of my best friends have moved to different parts of the country, and we miss our weekly gaming sessions so much. I may have to convince them to sign on board for something similar…