Make friends not dating

Moving from Minneapolis to Cedar Rapids with my husband when I was 22 and didn’t have a job was one of the loneliest times in my life.

I started working out just to talk to old people in the gym.

I would basically sit in our bleak apartment and apply for jobs then drive around town looking for good coffee shops.

I eventually forced myself to join some cooking clubs and book clubs (the book-clubs I had a kid right after moving to France in 2013, and when I think back on my first fall and winter here, and how pathetically lonely I was, I feel so sad for myself that it’s almost like it was another person.

In New York, I emailed people whose writing I liked and asked them out.

I went to the Brooklyn Inn every day and became friends with the people there. My approach to friends for the past few years is that I notice someone being really smart and/or funny and/or a good writer online and in my relative peer group and I decide we are friends.

I don’t expect them to reciprocate or anything, I just ask sincere questions and don’t keep any secrets, always assuming the stance: So fun to be around you and in contact with you, Friend. They are tricked into being my friend almost every time.

I moved cities four years ago and nearly all of the friends I made are from my Cross Fit gym.I went on a camping trip with a bunch of new girls and we actually talked about the difficulty of making friends as a grown-up.It was like breaking the fourth wall or mentioning the unmentionable or something.I didn’t know anyone and didn’t speak the languages (he did) and I didn’t really have much to do besides try to freelance. It is SO hard and takes me at least a year to really feel like I have a friend.But all it takes is ONE friend, I’ve learned, to feel like basically everything is okay.

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