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.I agonise over my profile picture and consider taking a selfie before deciding it’ll look too staged.
I worry that I might disappoint, or run out of things to say. The auburn-haired figure with the shy smile is Johanna, a 32-year-old mature student I message on Citysocializer, and my first friendship date.
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.
During the month that I used social dating apps to find new buddies, I sent countless unrequited salutations, offered up priceless New York City travel recommendations, and even gave my number to a guy who wanted to discuss first amendment rights. When I started, I believed that, with millions of people just searching for company online, I'd easily find my new bestie or at least someone down for a platonic hang.
A friend finder app, after all, didn't seem too far away with Tinder for cats and other spin-off matching services debuting. Lyke Me, an app three Michigan State University students have designed to match people based on interests, is launching this fall.) On a personal level, I wanted more friends.
So if that's an issue, we should probably just call it now."We did; he never responded.
And he wasn't the only one who ghosted me after the big reveal.
It pays to put yourself out there – and risk rejection. But Johanna and I have been swapping links to blogs, and, as for Juliana – well, we’ve added each other on Facebook, and have a second date planned this week.
I’ve also realised just how much I like people, and how easy it is to get on with them.
By evening I’ve received a response, from a woman on Girlfriend Social who recently relocated from New York.
I reply, gushing about how much I love the States, but then hear nothing back. Still, I persevere for a few days and by midweek, I have plans to meet three women. It feels, somehow, as though there’s more at stake than there would be with a romantic date.
I’ve discovered that I’m not the only one who feels lonely.