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I recently read a blog post about how hard it is to make friends as an adult, and I am sure we can all agree with the sentiment. For one, it feels awkward and almost like you are hitting on them, right? “Hey, I see you have kiwis in your cart, I like kiwis too. We should totally hang out sometime”. I mean, sometimes you are lucky enough to have cool coworkers or a neighbor that you jive with, but what if you don’t work or your neighbors suck?
Last year, I was totally feeling all friendless, and like I didn’t have anything fun to do. Don’t get me wrong, I love hanging out with my kids and husband. We do tons of fun stuff together as a family, and my husband and I manage a date night nearly every week. BUT. Occasionally, I want to do stuff, you know, with other people. Plus, sometimes I want to do things the three of them aren’t interested in (husband and son) or don’t have time for (teenage daughter). So, I did what I always do when I want to figure something out, yep, google. I can’t remember exactly what I searched for now, seriously, it could have been “I am bored and have no friends”, but I found the meetup site.
I don’t know how I never knew of this before. Some of you are probably thinking: uh yeah it has literally been around since 2002, but in case you don’t know either: meetup.com is a social networking site where people make groups based on an interest and schedule activities for members in the actual real world. It is really, really cool. At first I went a little crazy, and I signed up for like a million different groups, but now I have it narrowed down to just a few with activities I attend (note: some have member dues to help pay for the price of hosting on meetup and other expenses, but a lot are free). My groups are all Charlotte-based, but with over 200,000 groups in 180 different countries, I am sure you will be able to find something near to your abode.
My favorite group is The Charlotte Geeks, and I attend the monthly book club meetings held at a locally owned bookstore. This is a great group! The other members are friendly and nerdy, which of course makes me feel like I fit in, and the book choices have been such good reads. (My favorite book, by far, was Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. If you are a fan of fantasy, magic or the circus, you should check this book out.) I hope to attend one of the other activities soon, specifically the trivia night!
I also found a really nice volunteer group called Doing My Part/CLT/A New Kind of Charity. So far, I have only attended one of the feeding the homeless meetups, but I plan to fit more of these into my schedule because it is very rewarding, and I like to give back. Also, I am trying to instill a sense of charity in my children, and I am looking forward to more activities that we can do as a family.
The Rogue Dames of Charlotte is an all-female-all-ages hiking group, and while I have not yet found a hike I was able to attend, I did get a chance to go to the Christmas Cookie Exchange and the Banff Film Festival meetup. This is a super fun group, and every member I have had a chance to chat with was incredibly welcoming. The group leaders are very encouraging, and they plan hikes and backpacks for all skill levels. I can’t wait to go on a (beginner) hike with the group.
I took my son to a Charlotte Outdoor Parents event at the Reedy Creek Nature Center, and he had so much fun building a terrarium. The activity fee was just a few dollars, and they provided all of the supplies. The turnout was pretty low, but the weather that day was kinda sucky so we are going to give it another shot on a less rainy day.
Last month, I joined the Charlotte Bloggers group, and I am anxiously awaiting my first meetup with these guys. I am really excited to chat and network with other members, 833 of them apparently. Who knew there were so many bloggers in Charlotte!?!
Although I haven’t found a BFF in any of these groups (yet!), I have had a ton of fun attending the functions and chatting with new faces.
Have you tried any meetup groups before? Have any tips for being less awkward and making friends in the adult world?