After making the BIG move from New York to Grand Rapids, all I have to say is "god bless the internet." Making friends as an adult is hard, y'all. I am not from the area, so coming here, I was starting from zero. Of course one of the easiest ways you can make friends is at work, but I don't have a job here yet, and what if you're an entrepreneur, or the boss, or you just don't jive with the people in your office? You can't really go to the bar after work to pick up a new bestie, and there is no Tinder for finding friends (though there totally should be). Finding friends to connect with in adult life may possibly be more challenging than dating. But I have been putting myself out there and enjoying the company of incredible women, while exploring my new city. I am grateful to the internet for making it possible, here are 5 tips for finding friends on the internet.
1. Don't over think it. Just like when you were dating, don't read into texts or take it personally when someone doesn't respond. We've all got jobs, husbands, kids, etc, it's easy to let a message slip though the cracks.
2. Slide into those DMs. Before I moved, I DMed women who I admired, and I continue to do so now. Find common ground as a reason to message, do they always geo tag your favorite coffee spot? Do you have kids that are the same age? That's your icebreaker. For me, they are usually creative and mostly entrepreneurs of some sort. I love connecting with women who are driven and have goals.
3. Don't worry about sounding like an idiot. We aren't all lucky enough to have a built in friend group that lives in close proximity to go through life with, you never know who you might click with and who might be looking for a friend too. But, you definitely won't ever know if you don't connect, so send that message!
4. Use hashtags to your advantage. Search and use hashtags that the type of friends you would want to connect with might use, for example #grandrapidsmom, #chicagoentrepreneur, #westmichiganblogger.
5. Once you've connected, make a date! This is the hard part, because as I've previously noted, we've all got busy lives. But, It takes meeting in person to know if you will be compatible IRL as real friends. As much as I love my internet friendships, finding a friend you can hang with and have a drink with, is even better, and you've got to get together to find out!
BONUS: if you're new to the area, as I am, ask your "date" to pick their favorite spot, that way you can see more of the city and experience the recommendations of the locals