Meetup to make new friends

Initially, you may find the meetup process a bit intimidating. Afterall, it can seem a bit strange to meetup with people you've never met before and say "Hi, I'm Jane and I need some friends." At your first couple of events, it can seem overwhelming trying to catch a few basics about the women with whom you're chatting much less feel like you're forming any kind of real friendship.

Until we get more organizers for our group to help fill our calendar, you may find that our events are so far apart (or at least the ones that you're able to attend are far apart), you may wonder how you can possibly develop new, close friendships with other members of our group. Here are a few useful tips.

Be friendly to everyone, but don't feel you have to get to know everyone at an event
Although it might seem like you should try to chat up everyone at an event, you may find that the group is too large or the setting isn't conducive to chatting with everyone. Instead, you might want to be friendly with everyone, but focus on getting know a few members better by trying to quickly passing through the standards (name, occupation, relationship status, hometown) and start looking for areas of common interest such as hobbies & favorite leisure activities.

Make a plan to "meetup" outside formal group activities
Before you leave your first event, give your email address/cell phone number to someone you enjoyed talking to and make plans to grab lunch one day or take in a movie. This is a really good way to get to know our members better. Also remember, the point of the group is not to just do things as a group, but to develop a network of friends that you can hang out with outside of our scheduled events.

Keep coming to events
With other meetup groups, one of the comments often heard when people first attend an event is that "everyone seems to know each other" which can make a new member feel like a bit of an outsider. Although our group has been around for more than 18 months, we haven't yet developed a large core of regulars, and so you are unlikely to have this experience at a Girls Night Out event - yet - but I have great hopes that as our group develops and grows, we are going to start forming friendships between members. With a large and active group and it it will takes time to get to know everyone. The best way to do this is to keep coming.

A second reason to keep coming to events is that with our smaller event attendance, you may not initially find anyone with whom you feel that you truly hit it off. It may seem like everyone is too young, too old, too married, etc. but with a group our size, the demographics of the attendees can be VERY different from event to event. I've had women in their 40s and 50s tell me that the group is nice, but the members seem too young (because our 40+ members make up a smaller percentage of the total group) but then I've attended dinner events where ALL of the attendees were in their 40's and 50's and I was the only one in her 30's.

The only way you're going to meet other women who can relate to your current position on the social-lifespan timeline is by attending as many events as possible. Come with an open mind and enjoy meeting new people, regardless of age or other demographics factors. With a group as large as ours, a little effort and openness will lead to you meeting new local friends with whom you will develop close friendships over time.

Take advantage of all three communication options == there are three primary means of communication between members:

  • Message boards
  • Direct, individual e-mails
  • NEW! Group e-mails

With Option 1, the message boards, you can start discussions and get feedback from members. These message boards are my favorite option because I can read them at my convenience and the conversations are easy to follow. I am signed up to get a daily announcement of any new discussion topics or new messages in existing discussions. However, the downside is that MANY of our members are not signed up for this daily update and so you get less feedback than if you could e-mail everyone directly. It's also a slower means of communication because the boards are read less frequently.

With Option 2, direct, individual e-mails, you can contact most members directly and privately (both their e-mail address and your e-mail address can remain private if you so choose - this is done by always communicating through the meetup site rather than directly replying to each other's e-mails). To communicate directly with another member, simply click the little envelope next to their name (either in her profile, discussion comments, RSVP, etc.). Clicking the envelope opens a window where you can type a message for meetup to send to the recipient for you.

Option 3 is our NEW feature - group e-mails. Each member gets to choose how she receives group e-mails. You may choose to:

  • NOT receive any group e-mails, except from the organizers
  • To receive only one daily summary of the group e-mails from the previous day
  • To receive group e-mails & responses as they are sent out

One of the benefits of activating the group e-mail option is that now you will be able to communicate with each other in a more natural, semi-realtime way. You can talk about nearly anything:

  • how dressed up you are (or are not) going to be for an event
  • carpooling to events
  • grabbing dinner before or after events
  • finding members in the group who are interested in attending other community activities with you whether it's totally spur of the moment, something happening this weekend or something even further in advance (for example, you're dying to see the Kenny Chesney concert this summer or you'd love to go biking this weekend, but you?'d rather not go alone)
  • finding members with similar interests/hobbies

For each of the group e-mail receipt options, there are potential negatives. If you choose to not receive any message at all, it may take longer to find friends with similar interests and you might end up feeling a little out of the loop (though you do have the option of going to the Messages link to the left of the group site, then selecting "Mailing List Archive" to see all group e-mails sent out).

If you choose to receive all messages as they are sent, you can get quite a full inbox if we have a popular conversation topic. If you opt for the daily summary of group e-mails, Lori says that the summary is sometimes a little confusing to read due to the format that meetup uses for the summary (and you might end up missing an opportunity in some decision processes that might be open to discussion for a short period of time).

No matter which option you choose, I hope that having the E-mail the Group feature turned on will help you to find the friends you were seeking when you joined the Ladies' Night group. Prior to sending an group e-mails, please read Guidelines for using "E-mail the Group" Feature.

All the best,


Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
Children and Y-chromosomes at events August 25, 2009 6:12 PM former member
GNO membership guidelines June 13, 2010 6:39 AM former member
Meetup to make new friends May 31, 2008 8:52 PM former member
Meet Our Organizers February 21, 2010 8:53 AM former member
About Girls Night Out November 5, 2009 12:36 PM former member

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