I miss having girlfriends to call for a quick coffee, or to meet after work for a drink.All of which is why, one recent Saturday afternoon, I signed up to two websites: Girlfriend Social (girlfriendsocial.com) and Citysocializer (citysocializer.com). You create a profile by uploading a photo, writing a biography and filling in your age and location. You can ‘add’ people who appeal, and send messages inviting them to meet. Relatively new to the UK, ‘friendship dating’ is all the rage in the US. As we grow up and settle into routines, opportunities to meet new people become scarcer.Earlier this year, I left my job at a newspaper to go freelance.Having spent the best part of a decade in an office, I’m now working from home. At the same time, the past few years have seen my non-work social group dwindle.Profile done, there’s nothing for it but to start contacting potential friends.Swallowing my doubts – and fears of being rejected – I ‘add’ half a dozen women on each site.At first my nerves get the better of me and I go into interview mode, peppering her with questions. She mentions that she’s organising a group get- together for Citysocializer members, and invites me to come.
Since signing up to Citysocializer last December, she’s met several women she sees regularly.Gone are the lunch breaks with colleagues, the conversations by the coffee machine. It’s not that I don’t have friends, but, as we settle down, we see less of one another.Several now live abroad, and plenty have moved to other parts of the UK.And through this ritual, I would sometimes end up with a close friend.However, earlier this year I moved from Melbourne to Sydney for an internship.