We all need friends or people we connect with. Be it because you have moved city or country or because you have changed over the years and need to find a tribe who would reflect that. If I learned anything from my twenties it is the importance of meeting new people and being open to creating new friendships.
Living on your own can be lonely. I had heard a lot about the Bumble BBF app which works similarly to a dating app in the sense you swipe and match with people who you find compatible, except instead of looking for a life partner, you’re matching with friends. I was skeptical at first but I did what any millennial would do and pressed the download button and thus the app was in my life and it taught me a few things about navigating friendships, the type of people I connect with, etc. It inadvertently, it taught me about myself.
You have to make the first move
Sometimes if you need to make the first move. I don’t just mean the first sentence when you match but the first move in continuing the conversation. Jessica Pan in her book shares some tips on creating a conversation with others and I have been using some of them when I open a conversation with someone I feel like I could be friends with.
The 24-hour window is a pain.
So when you make a match, there is a 24-hour window for the person you match with to respond. This can lead to a lot of conversations expiring, leaving you wondering what the hell you did or say which stopped others from replying. The truth is, there could be hundreds of reasons many of them having nothing to do to with you. I don’t check my app every day, I don’t even have the notifications on to alert me when I get a message. I am constantly installing, deleting and reinstalling the app (thanks to storage space), so I can’t really get upset when this happens to me.
Ghosting is real
Conversations die very quickly. Sometimes people don’t click as you may expect or you just don’t move forward with the conversation which can lead to a lot of ghosting. I have never really thought of ghosting before. It is something I related to romantic relationships but it can happen in friendships and other platonic relationships too and it does hurt. There have been times when I have thought I clicked with someone and I just don’t get a reply. Even to tell me they want to stop talking. It made me more conscious about the way I interact with others on the app. I make sure to reply to anyone who reaches out to me and likewise if I don’t want to continue the conversation I have made the mental note to make sure they know this so I don’t leave them hanging. (I haven’t had to do this yet)
Bringing friendships to life is HARD
The main thing I have found hard is taking some of the conversations I have had with others on the app and making then a real-life interaction. I have only had one success in this and that was in the form in a book club. One of the girls and I started discussing books and she mentioned she was starting a book club with three others on the app and if I wanted to join. It was a small number of us so I knew it wouldn’t be too overwhelming so I figured why not and gave it a go. It was lovely and something I am still a part of a few months later.
As I said, I was skeptical at first but I grew to find the app to be a good learning tool in forming friendships, finding out about myself and meeting new people who become friends.