Sometimes your social circle needs expanding. And regardless of the reasoning—like, whether you recently moved or left a toxic friendship—it never hurts to add to your girl gang.
But let’s be honest, one of the hardest parts about being an adult is making friends. It’s nearly impossible. Like, if you don’t already know someone from college or work, how the eff does one go about making friends?
Insert: the Internet. Just like you’ve now grown accustomed to using dating apps as the main source for meeting people romantically, there are actually really solid apps out there that help you vet out people for ~friendships~ too. Kind of cool, right?
So for whatever friend you’re looking for: the bestie, the girl who Likes all of your Instagram pics, and/or the girl who also enjoys mimosas and spin classes, here are some apps to download right this way.
1. Bumble BFF
If you've ever used Bumble for dating, Bumble BFF is literally the same concept, just for platonic friends. You still make a profile with a few photos, add a quick bio, and then swipe right on your faves. The main difference is that the timer to start a conversation isn't gendered, so it's on either of you to make the first move before the match expires.
You gotta trust an app with the word "friend" in it, right? Friender is another swipe-y app, but the profiles you see aren't random. When you build your profile, you add your interests so that suggested matches have at least one favorite activity in common with you. It gives you a little more to talk about, plus the chance to meet people with the same interests as you.
3. Hey! VINA
Self-described as the "Tinder for (girl) friends," VINA was designed specifically for women to meet female friends at any time. You can match based on shared activities and interests and your "life stage," since different moments in your life might lead you to look for more friends (or ones who specifically get what you're going through).
Peanut is a new app for moms to meet other moms, founded by Michelle Kennedy, who worked at the dating app Badoo before giving birth in 2013. She described feeling very isolated as a new mother, and wanted to find people who understood what she was going through. Since postpartum depression can make women feel especially alone, it's great to have an app where you can connect with someone navigating the same, sometimes-messy, emotional terrain as you are.
If you're particularly in need of marathon buddies or tennis opponents, look no further. ATLETO is all about helping you find people based on your favorite sports, and encouraging you to host events and meet up IRL. And honestly, jogging or cycling together is pretty low-key when it comes to first conversations with someone.
If you have more specific interests, like knitting at a bar or being a part of a writing group, Meetup probably has something you're looking for. You simply enter your location and browse events by category. Voila! You'll find your crew in no time.
The creators of REALU "believe that social media should enhance our interactions with real people, not discourage them," and wanted to solve the problem of people clinging to their phones when they're in a new place. The app lets you connect with people in real-time, so if you're alone in a cafe and find someone close by who's alone in a bookstore, you can send a message and meet.
Nearify does the only thing you use Facebook for anymore: It shows you all the big events nearby. While you might need to be a major extrovert to go to these alone, it can be great if you and a friend want to expand your circle (or just have an awesome night out).
Skout has been around since 2007, so they've been in the friendship (and dating!) app game for a long time. It's pretty simple: You use it to connect with people wherever you go, which seems particularly handy if you're traveling alone and want to grab a pint with someone... or even hookup (Skout has no rules!).
If you've moved to a new neighborhood and find it hard to connect with new people (a definite suburb problem), Nextdoor lets you know everything that's happening nearby—from yard sales to babysitting gigs. It's not as straightforward as "Hey, I'm looking for friends!" but in a way, it can feel like a more natural integration into your community.
11. Meet My Dog
If you're thinking "I already have a dog, why would I need MORE best friends?" then Meet My Dog, an app for other dog owners to meet each others' dogs, is for you. You can set up puppy play dates, or simply admire each other's Frenchies. What more do you need?
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