The Girlfriend Search: The Way Forward

14 Oct

Mummy lunches, internet clubs and bootcamps. While are all these ideas are theoretically interesting ways to grow my social circle, the big question is – How effective are these approaches? So here are the facts and the analysis.

My July idea was simple and direct. Approach a mom who I see everyday at school and find interesting, whose child gets along with V. The choice was pretty simple to make, the tough part was approaching her. We were on what is commonly called “Hi, Bye” terms – You see each other, exchange a smile, the kids greet each other, you hug your child and send her in, wish each other and head off individually to start your day. Plus all the meetings are in a noisy crowd of three year olds, where you can barely hear yourself and I was very rusty on the “Hi, will you like to get a cup of coffee” line. So I chose to go the facebook route. She responded after a nerve-wracking 24 hours. We scheduled a few times and cancelled (both of us had too many family commitments). Three weeks later we got together with 2 other moms and had a boozy lunch (reason: to plan future play dates). Well, now this fun mom is moving to a different city and though she’ll keep visiting it just isn’t the same. I did meet two other moms through her, and though we will get together occasionally, I just don’t have the same vibe with them. So does this not count as a success in my search? Do I let this friendship drop to one of those facebook things or should I keep track of her visits and schedule dates?

August was my most daring approach (in my regulated world), where I joined an online mom’s group (a child is good leverage in the girlfriend search). I can’t really make their play dates, it’s during my work hours, however, quite a few of them are interested in child-free meet-ups. We did a movie recently and had a blast, since the movie sucked we made snide remarks the whole way through. These are girls I would like to meet for a light-hearted afternoon of fun, however, except for one woman (who I neeed to get to know better), I don’t see serious girlfriend potential. You know the type of girl who gets you instantly, who you can chat to for hours or ask to join you, on a whim, at an exhibition to check out costume jewellery.

September was my best move yet, simply because I had a dual purpose, fitness and advancing my search. I joined a bootcamp, run by the husband of a childhood friend. This move yielded real results. I got in touch with my old friend and meet a group of really cool fun women, a couple of whom I really feel a connect with, even though we haven’t met outside of the fitness arena. I see real potential here and have my fingers crossed. The big plus here is we have bonded despite knowing each other’s physical imperfections, to an extent, which for me is huge when it comes to girlfriendships (not a real word).

While I already have plans for November (literary connect here) and December (travel-based and old school friend related), October had me stumped. As I struggled and hemmed and hawed, the solution was presented to me on a platter and may actually be the most fruitful of all my efforts. Stay-tuned as all is reveled next week.

In the meanwhile, let me know if you have any more ideas for the other 6 months, January to June 2012. Would you have done any of the above differently?


Posted by on October 14, 2011 in Creating a Social Life


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21 responses to “The Girlfriend Search: The Way Forward

  1. Elisa

    October 22, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    wow, my hat is off to you! You are putting some serious thought into this.

    I have been thinking too, that I really really need a new best friend. I have several friends I hang out with, but none of them are someone I see myself sharing everything with – they are mostly people whose company I enjoy, but… you know. It’s a limited relationship.

    I have met some really lovely women by organizing a monthly book swap – more informal and relaxed than a book club, ’cause you don’t have to have read the same thing as everyone else and come up with something insightful to say about it. We meet, we chat, we have coffee, sometimes a few of us go to lunch afterwards. Maybe an idea to add to your list?

    • nmaha

      October 24, 2011 at 5:46 pm

      Thanks Elisa. I completely get where you’re coming from. Good friends are great,however, best friends are a necessity.

      I love the book swap idea. I have never joined a book club, one because I haven’t found a great one close by, and two because for me reading is personal and I enjoy the process as much as the story. A book swap is right up my alley. Thank you so much.

  2. Sanjana

    October 20, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    i think you’re on the right track, but may get a bit sidetracked by noting the progress of your efforts too much! 😛

    My funda for friends is – if you click, you click. But then you gotta keep working on the friendship for it to stay that way or grow. Of course… the thing with working on friendship is, it doesn’t feel like work. The minute it does… it’s all downhill from there! At least, that’s the way it is for me.

    I joined the F1 marshaling thing just to meet people cos I had fallen into a comfortable rut with the same circle of friends and it was starting to get a bit monotonous. (Like The Wild Child mentioned abt listening to fav songs on endless loop), my group of friends was over-shadowing everything else and I had no other social life to speak of. The F1 marshaling thing was a greaaat place to meet SO MANY people from SOOO many different places!

    You’re on the right track girl! Just enjoy it! 🙂

    • nmaha

      October 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm

      I totally agree. For me it’s the first meeting and I know. Though I have made a conscious effort to meet new people, I don’t think I can work on the actual friendship per se, it wouldn’t feel natural. I believe more in making time for the person and being there for each other.

      I think it’s great that you already have a circle and are still going out of your way to do new stuff. The F1 thing sounds like so much fun. What exactly do you do there?

      • Sanjana

        October 21, 2011 at 7:02 pm

        Well, though I love my gang of friends, they’re all married. Not that that’s a bad thing, but they’re all going through different phases in life, having babies and stuff. So I needed to find some people with whom I had more single-people things to do. 🙂

        Marshaling is awesome! I’m an intervention marshal, so during the races, if there was any sort of incident like an oil spill from leaking engines, or accidents where the driver is injured, or a fire or anything, I would be required to take care of it. (Me and the other marshals at my post, there are about 4-5 marshals per post, depending on how accident prone a post is).

      • nmaha

        October 22, 2011 at 6:23 pm

        Marshalling sounds like an amazing experience. Like I was telling the techie, you are the only one of my friends I truly envy (in a good way). Looking forward to the last week of November 😉

  3. Crystal

    October 19, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Good for you for stepping out of your comfort zone and making an effort to meet new friends. I love it!

    • nmaha

      October 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm

      Thanks Crystal 🙂

  4. STYLE'N

    October 17, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    oh I think it’s great you are putting yourself out there and being pro active in trying to meet people. I think it is just one of those things that happens organically and naturally with people you just click with. But it’s great you finding all different ways to meet new people. Have you tried yoga or tennis? I can’t really think of much more now..good luck!

    • nmaha

      October 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm

      Thanks Naina. It was scary at first but i think my confidence has gone up. I plan to try yoga or Pilates once I’m done with a round of bootcamp 🙂

      • STYLE'N

        October 24, 2011 at 4:20 am

        I think you will LOVE pilates and yoga-so addictive!

  5. The Wild Child

    October 16, 2011 at 7:54 am

    The first one definitely counts as a success. So what if she’s moving towns? You guys should totally stay in touch and plan to hang out when one of you visits the other’s town.

    You’re on the right track with the rest too, but I’d say pause a little. As in, it sounds like you’re looking for “that ONE friend” vibe too early on in the process. A lot of people have the potential to become that person but you’d have to give it a while. My current 1am phonecall friend is someone I didn’t even like that much the first couple of times I met her. Partly because there was another women around who I thought would make a good 1am phonecall friend. She didn’t, because even though we connect on so many levels, she doesn’t have the same kind of “room” for a friend that I have. As we grow older, people get busier with other priorities and not everyone wants or has time for that 1am phonecall. The key here is to value each friendship for what it is: some folks are movie-dinner-shopping friends, some are crib-about-men friends, some are 1am phonecall friends, some are pour-your-heart-out-and-crash-on-their-couch friends. I’ve learned over the years to not do with friends what I do with songs, i.e. keep listening to my favorite one in an endless loop to the exclusion of everything else.

    • nmaha

      October 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm

      Wild Child, you are like the voice of reason 🙂 I will let each friend be a different part of my life, like the current Airtel add – “Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hai”.

      The friend who’s moving and I have decided to keep in touch as she’ll be coming back pretty often to see her family. Our vibe is just too good to ignore. Plus our daughters get along brilliantly 🙂

  6. life is a bowl of kibble

    October 16, 2011 at 2:12 am

    sounds like you are on the right track.

    • nmaha

      October 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm

      Thanks 🙂

  7. Kusum Rohra

    October 15, 2011 at 1:00 am

    B.U.R.R.Y. Scratch that. I need to shoot myself 😀 sorry for spamming your comment space like this.

    • nmaha

      October 15, 2011 at 7:31 pm

      Comments are always welcome. I liked seeing the gradually growing number. I never bother to check hits and all that other stuff, comments are my feel good factor. So go ahead.

  8. nmaha

    October 14, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Ah! Kusum (do I sound like a sinister movie character, Dr. Whoish?), you are part of my October mystery tale. So don’t go breaking the story early :-). As my friend Sanjana (school and now blogger connect) said. I tackle everything like a project. I have a vision, I map the process, do the deed and record and analyze the results. I especially love lists, which my old posts will tell you very clearly.

    Your child-free state is the only requirement to join my mom and non-mommy friend groups :-). So we’ll figure something out.

    I’m so glad you get the girlfriend connect reference. After school (I never went to college) it’s difficult to form those kind of bonds and even tougher to make it happen without a sense of the artificial.

    That’s for the date correct, as you may notice I have since edited 🙂 That’s true friendship, making sure your girlfriends don’t embarrass themselves in public 😉

    • Kusum Rohra

      October 14, 2011 at 8:07 pm

      Oh wow I am part of a suspence thriller now 😀 oh I love lists too. And well getting a date wrong is not as bad as using ‘Fair’ instead of ‘Fare’. Okay, that’s it then, today I shall go to the beach and burry my head in the sand for a bit 😀

      • Kusum Rohra

        October 14, 2011 at 8:07 pm

        Aaargh I really need to burry my head that is ‘Suspense”!

  9. Kusum Rohra

    October 14, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Hehe, N you make it sould like an experient in a lab. Umm so I’m wondering, which category do I fall in I mean we didn’t meet through school, or online mommy groups or the bootcamp either and how did I fair? * biting nails furiously * you have to give me a second chance!! And you are doing movies and boozy lunch 😦 can I tag along, I mean I don’t have kids but I would really like to come.

    You put it so well ” You know the type of girl who gets you instantly, who you can chat to for hours or ask to join you, on a whim, at an exhibition to check out costume jewellery.” 🙂 I have few of these friends but none in this city and one of them is recently getting married and our cribby fests about the entire process of making wedding arrangements are currently the highlight, I mean it’s a wonder people don’t understand that marriages are not all about the weddings. She was my last whom I could call at 1.00 am to talk about something funny I read, now she is also getting married and that means I have to wait for a socially acceptable time to tell her that.

    And you mean Jan to Jun 2012? I really haven’t put so much thought on this one but I will instead use some of your ideas, I will replace school with other teams at work 🙂 and online mom groups with few women I know are from Madras and are common friends with others. Heheh I almost sound like and Orkutiya 😀


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