The November Mission: Last Official Chance for “Meeting People & Creating Friendship Opportunities”


Clearly this title is not exactly true, but (true to form), now that we are a week into November I figure I should detail the November plan.

My mission, which I decided I have no choice but to accept, is to finish the first stage in finding some potential Forever Friends.  For the next few weeks, I will specifically focus on creating friendship opportunities.

Having recently begun a new graduate degree program, meeting people has been no great difficulty.  Creating friendship opportunities – however straightforward it may sound – is a bit harder, though.  What does it even mean?

I think it means opening the door to new possibilities, taking the step after introducing yourself and reaching out to give both you and the other person the chance to develop a friendship.  It means paying attention to what people are saying (listening for real!), taking the time to be thoughtful in your comments, your questions, your invites.  It means thinking about creative and non-creepy ways to open the door to friendship.  After all, people don’t typically become best friends in a single day.  Developing friendships takes time, shared experiences, getting to know each other and understand each other beyond the whole “I see you everyday so I know a little bit about you” type of relationship.

So here are the November plans to create friendship opportunities:

1.  Have meaningful conversations with 3 acquaintances (beyond the usual “how are you?” or “what’s the homework?”).  After all, I will never know if they are potential Forever Friends if we don’t start talking more!

2.  Get coffee or have lunch with someone I haven’t socialized with yet and who I did not know as of three months ago.

3.  Text two new people.  Yes, this will be awkward and a challenge for me, believe it or not, as I dislike using my phone and prefer to do almost anything over sending text messages.  Plus I never delete anything and my text inbox is always full, which makes receiving timely texts a problem…

Anyway, that is the November plan.  As a parting thought, here is a beautiful reflection on the joys of friendship from two characters supremely qualified to give such a presentation:

Coffee is Good for You


And your friends! And you when you’re with friends!

I am happy to report that I have gone out for coffee with two awesome ladies recently. I knew one from college and the other from high school, and we are all in the same city now, so I figured it was time to reconnect!

Not only did we have a great time catching up, but I am happy to report that in addition to social time being good for women, so is coffee.

Coffee has health benefits

Not only do the antioxidants, natural chemicals, and caffeine provide certain heart-healthy benefits, but there are studies that also indicate that moderate coffee drinkers also have lower rates of depression and even diabetes. Women may also be able to reduce their risk of heart disease by sipping up to four cups per day, and some research demonstrates a small decrease in the risk of post-menopausal breast cancer in regular coffee drinkers.

For those of you who are nervous about the caffeine, decaf and other caffeinated drinks will confer the desired health benefits for certain conditions, but not for all. To minimize the negative effects of caffeine, try drinking most of your coffee by early afternoon to give your body plenty of time to process it before you go to sleep.

For the rest of us, this is good news to drink up, and an excellent excuse to grab a coffee with the girls.

In terms of progress on the Friendship Meter, things are going well – two invites and two events down. I’m getting over some of the awkward things by just sucking it up and talking or inviting anyway. It’s working! I’m happy to report my confidence is building and I am enjoying myself A TON in the process. Hooray!

Once you get the ball rollin’…


It’s hard to stop!

I am quite fortunate to have started the Friends Forever Friendship Endeavor at a time in my life when I had the opportunity to meet tons of new people all at a similar point in their lives – meaning they could all be potential Forever Friends.

College and university life opens new doors to social opportunities than almost any other time in life, I believe, even for people who had previously been shut away behind their career doors or in the close-knit everyday world of raising a family.

This month’s progress on the Friendship Meter is going much better than last month’s! Fortunately, with everyone trying to get to know people, there have been plenty of invitations. I am thankful that a potential friend I had been more interested in getting to know wanted the same; we went out to dinner with our respective significant others and had a blast.  We got along so well I think I would actually feel comfortable calling her out of the blue to grab a coffee or go to a local event. Don’t know that we’re quite ready for the shopping test (I have a particular shopping style that few but my sister truly understand!) but we’ve got time!

In addition, I contacted an acquaintance I had known in AZ, and we got together for coffee the other day.  We fell into easy conversation, and although we were never close despite having mutual friends, it’s nice to have the potential there of getting to know her better and to have a friend available in case the “fit” hits the “shan,” if you know what I mean!

So all in all, a successful and productive week on the Friendship Endeavor project.  What’s better, it feels like this is just the beginning!  Once I opened myself up to meeting people and deciding to make friends, the calls, texts, and invites forged by my own deliberate attempts at friendliness started paying off, and I feel happier and healthier for it already.  Onward!

The check-out lady doesn’t count


Clarification: small talk with people who are

a. serving you coffee

b. handing you change from a purchase

c. only interacting with you because they’re being paid

does not count as an attempt at making friends or truly striking up conversation out of the blue.

I came to this conclusion after I realized that, despite feeling like I had chatted with a few ladies while I was out and about, if those particular ladies hadn’t answered me they wouldn’t have been doing their jobs. Does that make me lame? It’s reminiscent of all of those adolescent movies where someone thinks they have a new friend but the “friend” is really being paid or is only being friendly because of a dare or a bet. Enter “She’s All That” and “Richie Rich.”

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that these interactions don’t have any potential for forming friendships, but I feel like it’s harder to gauge the friendship potential when one of the parties is on the clock!  Of course, these conversations can be satisfying, fun, and mutually rewarding – and they are also great practice for starting friendly conversations with others (who can take the time to share their email or phone without getting in trouble!).

I wish I was still in that stage of life where I could join a sorority and buy friends.

In other words: progress on the Friendship Meter is nil.