I’m the type of girl who really values female friendships.
Although I have a couple of besties who are dudes, I’ve never been “one of the guys”. I don’t care about sports or video games (besides Mario Kart!), and I find it genuinely fascinating when I hear their perspective (are you guys SERIOUSLY thinking about food right now?). I think my male friends value my honesty too, and often seek me out for my opinion (wait, she WASN’T thinking about food??). Yes, these relationships are important, but for me they are incomparable to the connections I share with my girlfriends.
I am really lucky to be surrounded by amazing, smart, funny, and genuine women. All of my girlfriends have helped me through tough times, and laughed with me through the good. I am lucky that I never have to hesitate when I need someone to talk to – my girlfriends are there for me, and they never make me feel judged, or like I’m wasting their time.
But as we grow older, our lives seem to be veering off in different directions. This is a great thing for all of us individually, but it can make meeting up more challenging. Let me take a proud moment to show off my awesome friends:
- One of them jets back and forth between Toronto and New York for her demanding job at a fashion company. I talk to her pretty much every single day, because I would not survive without our emoji-filled conversations (thank you, whatsapp!), but we both juggle busy schedules.
- One of them just started her own company!! She is meeting up with contractors, designers, writing a business plan, and learning how to be a boss lady. I don’t know how she manages to listen to me or my problems, but she does. She is always present and in the moment (a rare quality in people our age), and I’m always so much happier after seeing her, even if it’s not as often as I’d like.
- One of them is doing her MBA at Western University! This basically means she has the most intense schedule ever, and she’s going to rule the world in the next five years or less. She’s travelled everywhere, and is the funniest person I know. But she gets one week off until Christmas, so thank goodness for instant messaging and phone calls!!
I truly enjoy connecting with people, especially women. My boss says I’m an extrovert, possibly because I’m constantly leaving my desk for “coffee chats” with various women from around the company. I find them on our company’s social network and reach out, always curious about what they do and hoping to learn more. I also have an awesome mentor – probably one of the coolest ladies I’ve met in my professional life! She is always encouraging me to network and set up meetings too.
But how can I make friends outside of work? Real friends. Not acquaintances through networking (*cringe*, I hate that word!). It’s hard to make friends as an adult, and I know I’m not alone in that sentiment. That’s why I’m so curious about these new apps that help to connect women and foster friendships. Tinder for BFFLS? Hmmmmm…
Bumble is known more traditionally as a dating app – it’s been dubbed the “feminist Tinder”, and in fact was founded by a former (female) employee from Tinder. The “friendship” feature of Bumble works similarly to the original “dating” setup. You scan through profiles, swiping right if you’re interested and left if you’re not – this is the part that sort of bugs me. I’ve never made a best friend based on their appearance! Some girls may be seeking friendships to achieve #squadgoals and a certain aesthetic, but that’s not me.
Additionally, if you’re already using Bumble for dating, you have to use the same profile for the “friendship” feature. I’m also a little unsure about this. I’ve never tried online dating or dating apps, but I’m sure I would tailor my profile a little differently to find a potential date, than I would to find a potential bestie.
I’m more game to try Hey! Vina. Instead of “swiping right” based on profile pictures, you match with other women who have similar interests to your own. Before creating a profile, you complete multiple questionnaires and personality quizzes, and also indicate what you’re looking for in a friendship. Maybe you want to find your next bestie, or perhaps you want a learning buddy to help you with Spanish lessons or rock-climbing? The app also helps you meet up with local ladies while travelling – this would have been especially useful for me when I went to Paris alone!
I like Hey! Vina because it just seems so nice. One of the first things I read on their website was a quote by Audrey Hepburn – “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” That’s a message I can get behind!
So, I’m curious to know – would you try an app to find meaningful friendships? Have you already tried one? Would you be interested in hearing about my bestie search? Let me know in the comments! xo