I just finished reading Rachel Bertsche's MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search For A New Best Friend. It was one of the few books that I've finished since I've been a mom. Other than the first three books of the Twilight Series, The Help, and a few other titles here and there. The title caught my eye at the bookstore and so I went home to put a hold on it at the library.
It really got me thinking of how to try to make new friends. When I first moved to Cleveland, I had friends from out of town that visited me. Ah, the ease of being single. I also had a close friend that lived here, but moved away. Since then, I still have one close friend that lives in town, but she has a lot of medical problems so isn't always up for getting together or going places. Another friend that I have is in her 50s. We worked together although she has moved on to another full-time job. We do get together occasionally for a Saturday morning coffee. Another local friend, that I met working at a coffee shop, get together maybe twice a year now.
Through Bertsche's story, I can't remember if she poses this thought or if she found it through her research, but it is suggested that friends basically get together about twice a month. And, I think, if I remember correctly, that if you are consistent for three months, then this person really becomes more than an aquaintance and becomes a friend. This is what I'm looking for. I'm looking for someone I can get together with more often than a few times a year. I'm looking for something consistent. Someone that I can call to ask stupid questions like, "why do I have four jars of pickles in my refridgerator."
Then, I thought of starting a book club, a running club, a mom's club, a sewing club, a craft club, because for some reason I can't find ones that are in my bubble. I realize that this is unrealistic, but I'm starting to think that Cleveland has a lot of people that have grown up here, so they have their friends that they've always had since they were in elementary school. This rings true for my husband. Or, since they've grown up here, they have a lot of family here which also takes up a lot of their time going to all those family events. I don't know.
I do know that I am kind of quiet and not very outgoing, but this book gave me some insight into "putting myself out there" and trying to strike up conversation with others. Recently, I had to get some lab work done at the hospital (nothing life-threatening) and I was waited on by a nice and funny person, Jeanine. She has waited on me before when I've had lab work done in the past and I thought this would be an opportunity that Bertsche would embrace to ask someone out on a girl date. But, I just didn't have the guts. However, at least the thought occurred to me. Next time, if I start chit-chatting with someone, I hope I can have the courage to say "let's get together" and actually follow up on it. Bertsche says people are usually surprised when you do this. I can imagine with all of the backing out I receive and people needing to change plans.
Another point to consider is how much all of this "dating" costs. A lot! Going out to dinners, yoga classes, getting manicures, etc. My route would have to be more along the lines of "lets get the kids together for a play date" or "let's go running sometime" or "lets get a cup of coffee." Inexpensive ways to get together for sure.
Now, I am thinking of joining Girl Friend Circles to be introduced to women my age and within my zipcode! The only part that kind of scares me is the mention of "spending money." I don't want to spend a lot of money and don't think that you have to to make new friends. It's only $29.95 for six months. Hmmmm....I'm definitely going to think about it.