original_title] | #bumble | #tinder | #pof


23-year-old Dominique Williamson has never had a hard time making friends. “At least I didn’t go out with my girlfriend,” she said.

However, vegan chef Williamson, who sells cookbooks, moved from New York City to Atlanta shortly before the pandemic. When she was still open, she ate alone and introduced herself to others sitting alone in the bar.

However, when the COVID-19 became popular, the options were exhausted. The few friends she grew up in Atlanta moved for work, graduate school, or a pandemic. “I’m creative. I work from home, how do I make friends?” She said.

For most of last year, no one was having fun. But now that the city has reopened and vaccines have become widespread, she wanted to regain her social life. So she searched Google three weeks ago for “Make friends in Atlanta.”

As a result of the search, she arrived at a Facebook group named Friends in Atlanta with over 13,000 members. It works like a dating app: all participants are women, post their photos with a description of what they like, and keep it private if other members are interested in the meeting. You can send a message.

Nurse Courtney Billups, 23, contacted me and agreed to meet at Sunday Brunch in early May. “I’m also using a dating app, so I thought it was similar. “Billups said. “I soon became friends. I have the exact same charts that are related to astrology.”

When they wanted to spend their Memorial Day weekend in Miami, they booked a trip (airplane, hotel, restaurant reservation) on the spot.

Throughout the United States, many are out of the pandemic and social life is declining. Some people moved when the meetinghouse was closed and they didn’t have the opportunity to build or foster new friendships. Others stayed just to see most of the network escape.

Currently, they are accessing apps such as Facebook groups, Meetups, and Bumble BFF online. There you can connect with potential friends, just as you would date a partner. Some established clubs and groups, such as Soho House, help members who are anxious for human connections to meet each other more easily.

“Who knew it was very difficult to make friends in the middle of a pandemic as an adult?” Williamson said.

Finding friends can feel like a full-time job.

Stephanie Stein, 35, a single lawyer who moved to Manhattan in March 2020 after living in Florida for 10 years, said: “Brunch friends, friends going out, fashionable friends going shopping together, working bees. I needed a friend of mine. I had a bucket I wanted to fill. “

So she swiped Bumble BFF to get to work. Her match had to be female, single and seemingly exploding in every photo.

Stein found that this process was more liberal than dating. She didn’t care what her job was, where she lived, or whether they were hot. “Friends” dates didn’t have the same expectations. “If you go on a date and don’t like him, or if he doesn’t email you, your ego will be hit,” she said. “When I eat with a girl, I feel like I’m eating a bite. You don’t have to talk to her again.”

Now she has five or six friends she meets on a regular basis, just as she did when New York City reopened. “We went to dinner, went to brunch, and we all went to the Kentucky Derby party,” she said. “Same as a normal friend. This is my true friend now.”

Some people are looking to Meetup and Facebook.

Nick Yakchilov, 29, a consultant living in the Forest Hills district of Queens, launched a meet-up in April called the New York Imperson Hangouts for group dinners and comedy shows. “Someone seems to want to go out and meet, so why not start a group?” He said. The number of members is 500, and each event (for example, a dinner reservation for 10 people) is sold out in 2 to 3 days.

Michael Wilson, 36, works as an industrial engineer in Boeing, Seattle, and runs a Facebook group called “Making Friends in Seattle!”. This group posts what they want to do with new friends, such as hiking. Before the pandemic, there were 700 members. That’s 8,000.

“There are probably dozens of requests for participation every day,” Wilson said. “We’re talking about doing a laid-back river trip for everyone, or for go-karts.”

Member clubs, once thought to be isolated, are now helping to connect with socially enthusiastic members. Soho House recently added to an app called House Connect the ability to match members based on mutual interests, professional pursuits, and answers to questions such as “what’s busy”.

Others are finding friends in a less structured way.

Chevron content creator Molly Brit, 38, lives in the suburbs of Seattle. She moved there with her husband just before the pandemic, but is now away. She felt lonely because she had few friends. “The pandemic struck and I thought,’What are you going to do here?’” She said. “I’m as extroverted as they come.”

Then a new friend appeared at her actual front door.

Michelle McKinney, 46, quit her job during the pandemic and had a side job delivering Safeway groceries. She rang Brit’s door and the two started talking. Soon it turned into a story about their children and their lives, and how they wanted to meet new friends.

“She stood at my front door for about 30 minutes,” Brit said. “At some point, she said,’I think I should go back to grocery delivery, can you ask me for my number before I go?’” We immediately sent each other GIFs like “Did you become your best friend?” “

Now that both are vaccinated, the friendship has moved indoors. “Last week she appeared at my house with pizza and sangria,” Brit said. “I couldn’t silence talking to each other. I won’t let her go as a friend.”

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