In today’s modern world that moves at the speed of light and totally evolves around social situations that typically involve technology and limited actual human interaction, how is it that any of us have friends? Also, how do you have any hopes of making new ones?*
*friends that don’t just exist online in the form of your blog, insta, etc. following. Which doesn’t actually count…
Anyways, I find myself a 26 year old woman (ha – still funny to read in regards to myself) who despite having a lot of great relationships with other women (ha – still funny to read in regards to my girls), living in a city where my female companions are few and far between. I have great guy friends, and a lot of amazing girlfriends in other states, other cities, and who work for other companies, but how does one create new social bonds when school isn’t necessarily forcing us to do so? Especially for a group of millennial humans whose best friend is truly their iPhone. Of course, there’s work, which is just fine, I’ve got good professional relationships there. There’s always hobbies and networking events – need to do some more research here. But I’m looking for something that’ll help me quickly and painlessly to start my pursuit.
So, I’ve decided to try out a social experiment. Not so much an experiment, as it is a quest to force myself out into the world and create some new bonds with some of the amazing females that I know are inhabiting this city with me. How, do you ask? Of course, the first step is technology. Everyone knows about the infamous dating apps that are responsible for creating (or ruining, depending on your perspective) modern relationships. Tinder and Bumble are the main players I’m familiar with. Now, I really only know about these (since I am in a committed relationship) through my best guy friends. I’ve heard about their experiences, their insecurities in regards to using them or reaching out to ‘connections’, and their success stories.
But Bumble is a particularly interesting platform for young people to meet. First of all, unlike it’s [sleazy] competitor, Tinder, on Bumble it’s the woman who has to make the first move. Insert all of the double standard remarks you want, but I like the idea. And to go even further, the female-centric app has expanded to a platform for female users to connect with other female users through BumbleBFF. What could be better for a young millennial like myself to start establishing the bonds of sisterhood than through the use of this popular application.
So I’ve begun using it. Last night, I swiped my first connections. It feels a bit judge-y at times, I need to set my criteria for why I wouldn’t necessarily be inclined to connect with these other ladies, otherwise I’d just swipe right to all. Distance from my location, for example, being an important one. Similar interests, of course. Enjoying a nice cold beer (I love wine too) every once in a while, yes. But I’ve made a few connections and received my first message today, yet I’m too nervous to open it.
What can I say, I used to be a social butterfly (I think), and I’ve evolved into more of a social moth since college. I’m awkward, clammy, and just generally freeze up in the brain department when it comes to making conversation with new people. When I’m with my crew, it’s a totally different story, but social anxiety is alive and well in this young blogger. The pressures of a career, paying bills, and all that comes with adult-ing has forced me into a crevice of social normality that comes from not extending past one’s comfort zone when it comes to social experiences since I received my diploma. It’s time for that to end because I crave spa days, long talks over too-big cups of coffee, and splitting a bottle of wine over a romcom with someone who’s not my boyfriend (love you), or our current male roommate (he’s single by the way).
On the edge of the cliff into finding new relationships and I’m giving myself a kick in the butt off of it into whatever lies ahead. As with anything new, I’m excited, anxious, nervous, (sweating as I’m typing – ha, be my bestie?). For some reason it feels like a big step, but actually, trying at something you’ve been out of practice at is an important step. I have hope that despite my all-male upbringing (four brothers), the mystery that is how I’ve developed such amazing relationships with some tried and true beautiful women will take hold I can and will create some new bonds to liven up my social life in this new (ish) city! I’m ready to begin my pursuit of expanding my girl squad.
Are you on the pursuit of new or deeper relationships?