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I agonise over my profile picture and consider taking a selfie before deciding it’ll look too staged.
Scrolling through others’ biographies, I’m struck by the level of detail many go into.
Several now live abroad, and plenty have moved to other parts of the UK.
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.
We already use the internet to find romantic partners. That’s all fine in theory, but I’ve not gone looking for friends since university freshers’ week and find myself gripped by the same anxieties.
Swallowing my doubts – and fears of being rejected – I ‘add’ half a dozen women on each site.
I’ve resolved to be open-minded and have just two criteria for my choices: they must look friendly and we should have one shared interest.By evening I’ve received a response, from a woman on Girlfriend Social who recently relocated from New York.Alice-Azania Jarvis tries the online option – with surprising results.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.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.