After moving to a new city, it can seem like you'll never find friends to compare to the ones you left behind. I can relate to Rachel Bertsche's search for a new "best friend forever" after moving from New York to Chicago as a young adult. I moved from the East Coast to the West as a young adult, leaving behind most of my family and all my friends, and experienced a bunch of homesickness and regret for the first couple of years. In MWF seeking BFF: my yearlong search for a new best friend Rachel documents the challenges of finding new friends in a new place.
She left behind several friends from childhood, summer camp, and college, and although she's happy in her recent marriage, misses having close girlfriends to talk and hang out with. Hubby Matt just isn't the type to watch chick flicks and go out for a mani-pedi together. So what does she do? She embarks on a mission to find some new BFFs. This involves finding and girl-dating a new potential friend each week of the year, quite a big proposition. But Rachel takes on the challenge with enthusiasm: from enrolling in cooking classes, book groups, improv workshops, and even signing up for friend-dating services, she makes this her primary goal.
As she details her friend dating experiences, she also informs readers of the value of friendships in improving quality and longevity of life, including many health and psychological benefits. In her research, she discovers that men and women have very different friendship styles, and that relying on your mate for all your emotional needs is not fulfilling for many women. She's lucky that her husband supports and encourages her to find her new friends (as long as they're girls, not guys!) In the end, Rachel goes out on 52 friend dates, meets over 100 new people, and considers that she's made over 20 new friends in the process. In order to do this, she realized she had to open herself up to all kinds of new experiences, and also the possiblity of rejection, which certainly happened.
I don't think I would have the energy and "chutzpah" to engage in such a single-minded effort to meet and date women in order to find some new friends. I started to get exhausted just reading about Rachel's extreme efforts in her quest for friendship. I realized I value my own "alone" time too much to be so busy, constantly socializing. But reading about her ideas and techniques could inspire you to start your own search for some new friends. You just need to be willing to take the time and energy to try.