Let's just be honest for a second: making female friends is hard in a new city. You want to be like, "Hey, want to get a drink sometime?" and then you don't because you're scared, and then a few days later she Tweets something about how much she likes Dane Cook or how much she hates abortion, and you're like "FUUUUUU," and then you just gestate sadly at your computer until the next person you sorta-know invites you out and you go girl-hunting once again.
Understandably, if you're in a new city, maybe "strictly platonic w4w" has been tempting to you. You search "dogs," or "woody allen" or "sarcastic" and you could end up with your local best friend. There have been a few niche sites for female friends cropping up in the last few years, charging a regulated subscription fee of $29.95, but they're not nearly as ubiquitous as the dating websites prevalent in cities.
Most of the subscribers are women in transition, says The New York Times: divorced, just-married, retired, or in a new city for a job. Rachel Bertche, a now-married woman in Chicago, tried one such site when she'd just moved to be with her future husband and felt humiliated when she'd meet up with these ladies for drinks:
This is horribly embarrassing. You say, "I'm looking for new friends," and people hear, "I have no friends."
The awkwardness seems even more intense than dating sites because it doesn't align with the old, time-worn trope of the Boyfriendless Lady Who Has Lots Of Female Friends But Just Wants Love. In my experience, finding female friends on your wavelength is significantly more difficult than finding a date, but it seems that we're just not there yet on the Interwebs.
Janis Kupferer, who recently started SocialJane.com, was inspired by Match.com when she moved to Denver in 2008 and occasionally clicked on intriguing womens' profiles. Like any personal site, it requires a message to the interest-ee and an email back to the interested. A multitude of these sites have appeared in the last few years, among them GirlfriendCircles.com, which charges a standard $29.95 subscription fee to friend-hunt.
Within five years, everyone will undoubtedly acclimate to this, but for now, be extra-nice to the new girl in town.
'Web Sites Seek To Help Women Find Friends' [NY Times]
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