Episode 56: The Skill of Adult Friendship

Psychologist Dr. Marisa G. Franco discusses the value of platonic relationships, and why they ought to be treated with as much care and responsibility as romantic relationships.

Episode 56 Dr. Marisa Franco, The Skill of Adult Friendship

Dr. Marisa G. Franco is a psychologist, an interdisciplinary professor at the University of Maryland, and a top writer on Psychology Today. In her new best-selling book, Platonic, she shares her expertise in the subtle art and social science of adult friendship. Marisa and David sit down to discuss the value of platonic relationships, and why they ought to be treated with as much care and responsibility as romantic relationships. Their conversation ranges from teachable friendship skills (like intention-setting and follow-through), the alchemy of mixing different groups of friends, how to not confuse conflict with combat, and more.


Show notes

In this episode, we are talking to Dr. Marisa G. Franco. She’s a psychologist, a professor at the University of Maryland and the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Platonic. She’s a true expert in adult friendship. If you care about that, which I know each of you does, read intently.

Dr. Marisa G. Franco, welcome to the show.

Thank you so much for having me here. It’s such a pleasure.

You have been a friend of Meetup for a while. You hosted a Meetup Live with over 4,000 RSVPs. Thousands were listening to it afterward on YouTube. You’re a top writer on Psychology Today and other places on adult friendships. You’re the author of the blockbuster New York Times bestselling book, Platonic. There’s a huge success with Platonic. I’m so happy for you on it. I have to ask to get us started. My understanding is that you use Meetup as well. I would love to hear a little more about that.

I was in Mexico City. I wanted to connect with people. I knew it doesn’t happen organically. I have to put myself out there as a friendship expert. I don’t wait for it to happen. I attended a Meetup group. That was a good idea because when you attend a Meetup group, you are self-selecting into a group of people that are ready to meet people. Your chances of success of connection are so much higher. I attended this language exchange. It was Spanish speakers and English speakers. I met a guy there, Jose. I brought my friend David. We all ended up going to Lucha libre at the end of the week. There were eight of us at the Lucha libre match. I had met some of them from going to that one Meetup event.

I always have believed that the absolute best use case for Meetup and there are many, is when someone is new to a city. It’s your journey. When people focus to the extent that you have on friendships and building friendships, were friendships easy? Were they challenging as a kid? How were they as young adults? I feel like there has to be a story or experience in there based on what you do.

I almost say proudly I was mediocre at friendship before I wrote Platonic because when it comes to friendship, you have the skills or you don’t and you have to be a natural when it’s a learned skill. That’s why I wrote Platonic. What inspired me to write the book was that in my young twenties, I went through this breakup. I decided to start this wellness group with my friends where we are practicing wellness together as a way to heal from grief. We were cooking, meditating and doing yoga. It was life-changing for me. It wasn’t the yoga or the cooking. It was the community and being in a community with people I love who loved me every week.

It made me question some of the beliefs that I had about romantic love versus friendship that I felt were contributing to that grief, “Romantic love is the only love that matters. Your worth is dependent on whether you have a romantic partner. If you don’t have romantic love in your life, you don’t have any form of love.” I looked around at my friends and I was like, “Why doesn’t this love matter? Why isn’t this significant?” I wrote Platonic because I felt like we had such an entrenched hierarchy of love and platonic love was always at the bottom. I wanted to be part of the culture change in leveling that hierarchy.

How big was that community? Was it 3 or 4 people? Was it 8 to 10 people?

There were six of us.

It’s important to recognize that it doesn’t have to be 10 to 15 close loving friends. It could be 1, 2 or 3 even and that makes all the difference. Was the relationship between the six of you relatively tight between all members of the group? Was it more that you had a tight relationship with each of the six? Meaning, how important is it to have that web of friendship versus the one-on-one type of relationship?

For anyone that might want to start such a group, one thing that I did to make it less intimidating is I approached one friend first, Heather. When she was down for it, we were both co-leading. It’s scary because you’re afraid of rejection but once you spread out the rejection, it’s a lot easier. Whenever I want to initiate something new, I always try to get buy-in from one person to do it with me. If you each have one person, you have enough people to already create this group.

Each of us was friends with the other but the group made us so much closer to each other. It gave us a group identity. It became normalized for us to all hang out as a group whereas before, we hung out sporadically with each individual. When you have a group, you feel the network of support. Even when you have a need, you can ask the entire group. Whoever has the capacity to give it at any given time can give it to you versus having to rely on one person. The research finds that if you do have more of a group where your friends know each other, then your friendships are more likely to maintain because at that point, one person in the group could reach out and everybody stays connected.

When there’s some event, you all see each other automatically. It’s not only on you to try to get each of those relationships together. Sometimes there’s an interesting dynamic that occurs. This has happened in my life and also my kid’s life where you introduce two people. You were friends. Somehow they end up becoming even closer friends than you were. Sometimes that’s hard for people because when you have that group dynamic of 6, 7 or 8 people, it’s important not to have ego be a basis to that because sometimes that can hurt group dynamics. Feel free to share more on that.

Here’s the other thing I’ve learned about mixing friends. I have my very close friends and then my low-dose friends. We love each other at low doses once a month. One of the hazards of introducing friends can be this. If they become friends but you’re not in control, you might have to see each of these people all the time. Are you ready to see both people all the time? I’m going to mix the friends that I know I want to stay close to and that I don’t mind seeing all the time and be intentional about whom I mix. There’s a bit of art to friend mixing. You have to think through it a little bit and not do it haphazardly or automatically.

Here’s one more question about your experience. When you first had that romantic breakup, I don’t know if that was devastating or difficult but you probably had no idea what that would open up for you and how that would dramatically change your life. It’s such a great example for our readers. We have all seen in life that things that were the most devastating or challenging experiences could end up changing our career trajectory and life trajectory. One time after another, I keep hearing stories like that.

It helped me realize that for every loss, there is an offering. Going from losing a romantic relationship to being single made it sound like I was losing connection but we know from the research, for example, that single people spend more time with friends. They tend to have higher-quality friendships. In some ways, being single is the jackpot of friendships. If you have a vacuum of connection in your life, it’s not that they will be emptiness. Other types of relationships have room to fill that space. As we go through life transitions, it’s important to recognize that every loss also has an offering and figure out what that is.

Research has shown that single people who spend more time with friends tend to have higher quality friendships. With that, in some ways, being single is the jackpot of friendships.

First of all, I’ve heard the concept has an opportunity but I love the verbiage. Every loss has an offering. Talk about that word and why you’re using that word versus other words that could be used.

It feels like a more emotional and spiritual word. There’s something spiritual about loss and the identity change that comes with it. We come to know ourselves more deeply and change some preconceptions that we had about what we need to have a happy and fulfilling life. There’s this deep recalibration that’s happening that feels spiritual to me in the way that it feels transcendent. It feels bigger than you. It feels like it connects you to meaning and purpose. That’s why the term offering in particular resonates with me.

It feels so much more proactive that you could do something about it and make an offering. In your writing, both in Platonic and other writing as you’ve done a lot of writing, which is wonderful for fans like me, you talk a lot about good friendships and bad friendships. Oftentimes people think of the term friendship as a good thing. All friendships are good but it’s not true.

Some friendships could not be good. I don’t know if they would be called friendship or not. How do you know if you’re in a bad friendship? There’s the concept of breaking up with a friend. Help people to understand a little bit more about a bad friendship because you don’t want to end it too quickly. All friendships have dynamics where there are some good parts and challenging parts. Share with us a little more on that.

KCM 56 | Adult Friendship
Adult Friendship: All friendships have dynamics: There are good parts and some challenging parts as well.


I was at a friend’s wedding. My friend’s husband had his bachelor party. Half of his friends canceled last minute. Everyone had to pay $1,000. He was talking about these friends that he was trying to keep in touch with. At that moment, I was like, “That’s not friendship. That’s good company, not good friends.” Good company is people you like and enjoy spending time with them but friendship is an investment and a responsibility like, “I’m going to show up for you in those times and follow through. I’m going to be there for your happy moments and sad moments.”

It’s intended. It’s effort. It’s not just liking who someone is. We need to remember that so that we can hold ourselves accountable to our friends because a friendship is a relationship like any other. You need to try and put in an effort. I come up against the ways that we sometimes dichotomize intimacy so much that we think, “In a romantic relationship, this is what you do to be intimate. In a friendship, this is what you do to be intimate.”

To be honest, there’s a lot more overlap than there are differences. You probably wouldn’t want to cancel on your romantic partner last minute if you were going on a special vacation. You don’t want to do the same thing to your friends. There is this transferrable property to intimacy. We can use the skills that we learned in one relationship to help us get better at the other.

I believe that if you practice some of the principles that are in Platonic, it will directly help in your romantic relationships as well. It’s an important message to understand. I think about my best friend. My best friend is my wife. How important is “friendship” when it comes to marriage? We’re on the topic. I thought I would love to hear more about that too.

It’s beautiful that your spouse is your best friend. From a research perspective, it’s a good idea because being married gives us a bump in our mental health but being married to your best friend increases how much your marriage will improve your well-being exponentially. Sometimes people don’t choose to be in romantic relationships with people that they wouldn’t be friends with. They’re in a relationship with them but they wouldn’t want to be friends with them.

The research shows us that being friends with your partner and feeling like you have that sense of friendship is related to how long the relationship lasts. It’s even related to how good your sex is. It’s funny that we always dichotomize platonic and romantic love when platonic love is part of the foundation for what makes romantic love succeed. That’s great and important. The only thing that I sometimes see that I try to push back against is that we have this narrative that one person should fulfill everything.

That’s dangerous.

That’s a narrative that hurts people in relationships because you’re putting too many expectations on one person. They can’t possibly live up to them. Whatever you do to improve your mental health improves your spouse’s mental health. We know that people that make friends outside of their relationship not only are less depressed but their spouse is less depressed too.

Whatever you do to improve your mental health improves your spouse’s mental health.

Generally, I don’t want there to be tension between platonic and romantic love. I want us to understand. If you’re in a relationship, it benefits your relationship with both people. Find friends outside of your relationship. It’s not like, “You’re spending time with your friends. You’re not spending time with me.” It’s like, “You’re spending time with your friends. Now, we can have more quality time together.”

Some of your close friends love skiing. If your significant other does not love skiing, that’s okay or whatever thing out there. Skiing is an example of potentially dozens of things. People are complex. They have so many different parts to them. I do see frustration among my friends at times that their significant others are not into certain things that they’re into. It’s so myopic perhaps and dangerous in a relationship to put that kind of pressure. There should be some commonalities but it’s okay to even have significant areas of passion and interests that are very different from a significant other.

I hope that instead of those differences feeling like, “This means we’re not compatible,” they mean, “I know that I want to find friends that also share those interests with me.”

There’s something incredibly special about the friends that I’ve had since elementary school and high school. I put a lot of effort into maintaining those long relationships maybe because it’s almost like family and because of the history there. Sometimes I put perhaps even too much of an emphasis on that to the extent that I might even deprioritize closer friends or make new friends. Do you have a perspective on old long friends? Is it important to put this perhaps even pressure on me to maintain those relationships even if we have gone in different ways or not?

It makes me think of this relationship model by a researcher named Rusbult. It’s Rusbult’s relationship model. What the model gets at is that sometimes we think the only reason we stay in a relationship is how satisfied we are in that relationship but three factors predict whether we stay in a relationship, only one of which is how satisfied we are. The other is, “Do we see us having alternatives?” If people have a friend from childhood, they feel like, “I can’t make any new friends.” They’re likely to keep that friendship even if they’re not as satisfied with it but the third thing is how much investment have you put intents for the relationship already.

People weigh how much history we have as a very significant factor in terms of determining whether they want to continue the relationship. It’s a resource because people you have a history with expose you to sides of yourself that have become buried as you’ve gotten older. They remind you of who you were. Being able to reminisce with someone improves our mental health and feelings of connection. You’re traveling without leaving the space together. While I don’t think investment alone if there’s no satisfaction in the relationship is enough to keep you in, it’s also okay to acknowledge that this is part of the glue of our relationship. That’s okay. That’s even to be expected.

I’m glad to hear it. I don’t know if my old friends are glad to hear it because I keep trying. Reminiscing is so powerful. It’s the amount of joy I get in sitting down with someone and talking about things that happened in the past. First of all, the reason why reminiscing for me is particularly helpful is I find reminiscing at times to also be reflective. You think about where you were back then and where you are now. You potentially could think about where you want to go. You think about where you’ve worked on yourself or where you are not as strong as you would like to be. For me, reminiscing does help to accomplish that as well.

It’s interesting. If you think of it that way, it’s almost like a marker of your success or your progress too.

That potentially is nice depending on the situation. Conflict is healthy. Too much conflict is potentially not healthy depending on the situation. Every friendship has tiny conflicts, “I thought we were going to get together. You showed up fifteen minutes later than I expected.” That’s a tiny conflict. There are enormous conflicts that exist in friendships as well. I would love to hear insight about the value of conflict in friendships, good conflict, challenging conflict and anything around how conflict potentially could be a basis for also enriching friendships.

This was the biggest growth area for me. Before writing Platonic, I was like, “I’m going to try to get over it and be okay.” That’s what it means to be a good friend. It’s to try to get over it on your own. I read this study that found that having open empathic conflict contributes to more intimacy. I’ve read the research that finds that people that value relationships address conflict directly rather than trying to ignore it. The people that constructively address conflict are more popular.

KCM 56 | Adult Friendship
Adult Friendship: Having open, empathic conflict contributes to more intimacy in relationships.


It started to lead me to question some of my assumptions about conflict. I was a confusing conflict with combat, “If I bring up an issue, it’s going to be a fight. It’s going to be antagonistic.” I should have realized because I had to learn this in romantic relationships that there’s another way. Conflict doesn’t have to be combative but we so rarely are upfront about issues within friendships that sometimes it feels like we can catastrophize it. It took me learning how to do conflict with friends, which involves framing, which means you bring this up and say, “I’m bringing this up because I love you and I want to make sure nothing gets between us.”

That context setting is so important.

You use I statements like, “I felt hurt about this.” Your perspective take is, “What was going on for you at that time?” You ask for your needs, “In the future, maybe we can handle it this way. What do you think?” It’s more like a reconciliation and a coming together than it is an attack. I don’t want to use the word toxic because I feel like it’s overused but it was a bit toxic for me to be ignoring conflict. I thought that by ignoring it, it would go away but instead, by ignoring it, I would withdraw from people and not even give them a chance. Sometimes I had a problem with someone that wasn’t true or there was some extenuating circumstance going on. I was holding people guilty before giving them a trial.

I talk about attachment theory. Out of all the different ways that you could be anxiously attached, this was the one I was most anxiously attached to, which means I feared rejection and abandonment. I felt like if I bring this up, this person is going to leave me or abandon me. It’s understanding there’s a possibility that this could make us closer. Your prediction of how this could go has to be positive to will you to do it and do it in a way where you’re not attacking someone because if you assume they’re going to attack you and reject you, you’re going to go in with that aggressive energy.

I had a friend. She’s a very close friend. I invited her to my book launch for Platonic and she never responded. I drove in for her wedding and bridal shower and flew in from Portugal for her bachelorette party. I was like, “This has hurt me that our relationship has existed at these different levels of investment. You’re such a loving friend in so many ways but I haven’t felt like there have been similar levels of effort. I want to let you know because I want us to be able to work through this and stay close.”

KCM 56 | Adult Friendship
Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make–and Keep—Friends

She said the most loving message in response, “I’m so sorry. I love you so much. This is not an excuse but this is what’s going on in my life. I want you to know how much I’ve been rooting for you even if I couldn’t be there physically. Thank you so much for bringing this up.” Honestly, I felt healed. It was beautiful. I realized that there are some forms of healing in relationships that you can’t do alone. You need it to be a relational process of healing. Otherwise, it’s still going to be there.

If you meditated on that relationship, it would not have been the same frankly as if you had that discussion. Have you had those discussions with someone else in the past? They didn’t react the right way. I imagine the best approach is to continue or recognize, “This is not going to a good place. It’s time to shut this down.” It doesn’t always turn out the way that it turned out with you. I’m sure you’ve had examples where it hasn’t turned out that way. Can you share an example of where it didn’t turn out and what you did in that situation?

I have a friend. She goes into fight or flight mode in conflict. I realized that sometimes when people do that, we think that’s who they are but when you’re hijacked and in fight or flight mode, I don’t think that’s who you are. Your brain is being hijacked. You’re in a state of red.

In a time of stress, that hopefully is only a small percentage of how you are.

I didn’t address that conflict in the best way either. I’ve learned this too with conflict. It’s helpful to go and ask questions if there’s any ambiguity rather than assuming your perception as the truth, “What happened in this situation?” Instead of, “I felt hurt that you did this but what was going on for you?” There were things that I did wrong too. It didn’t go well. There was no perspective taking happening. It was like, “This is my point. This is your point.”

I talked to a friend about it. She was like, “If you still feel uncomfortable, the conflict isn’t over. It’s still there.” You almost have to go back in the second time. I had to think about what am I going to do the second time to make this better. I was wanting to go and de-escalate or repeat back what she says, acknowledge her perspective and say, “This is what I feel is true. This is how I contributed to this issue,” while not folding on what I needed as well.

I did that in the second conflict. She was still pretty reactive but at some point, I took a step back and made a comment on our dynamic. I said, “It feels like I’m trying to perspective take and understand your perception. I don’t feel like I’m getting that same effort from you.” She realized that it was happening because she didn’t even realize that it was happening. That changed the course of the argument where she was like, “I don’t want to be like my dad. I know he does that all the time. I do want us to be able to talk about things and bring things up.”

Before I did it, it felt very masochistic to be like, “I know that this is going to be hard but here I am jumping back into the fire.” I learned that you can influence people in conflict. You can’t determine how someone reacts but if you try to de-escalate, affirm them and tell them, “I love these things about you even while we have this thing that stresses out.” Be responsive to them, “I didn’t respond well in this way. I want to own that.” Those are the things that can hopefully pull some out of that fight-or-flight mode a little bit.

You have a lot of fodder for Platonic part two whenever that comes out. Hopefully, it will at some point. I want to get to something that you do as well in your day job, which is working with companies. You’ve talked and written a lot about the employee myth and employees’ feeling of belonging to each other and the company. That myth is broken in potentially irreparable ways but it’s to be decided.

What are some of the ways in which you’re working with companies? What are some of the things you’re seeing about the relationship that companies have with employees, which has probably changed quite dramatically, especially with your employees coming into the office every day, especially in the tech space? Share a little bit more about that and friendships among employees.

Remember, some CEOs have gotten into trouble. They say, “We’re a family. Meetup is a family.” You’re not a family because if you were a family, you can’t fire a family. Let’s not say those things that are absolute mistruths but we can say that we have a community, belonging, friendships and relationships. Share a little bit more about that. I would love to hear data about the importance of friendships and relationships vis-à-vis companies as well.

The employee myth is the term I use to describe how we think we get to work. Our fundamental human needs are gone. Being an employee replaces our humanness. We can clock away at the computer. We don’t need to feel belonging or connection with people. We know from the research that this is untrue. For example, lonelier employees are more likely to miss work. They report poorer performance at work. When people are friends, their teams perform better. They’re more creative, innovative and likely to stay in their job.

We think that when we’re at work, our fundamental human needs are gone. They’re not. This is called the Employee Myth.

For all of the outcomes that companies want, a connection is so important to achieving them. There was one study that looked at different factors that relate to workplace fulfillment. A connection was number one. It’s the most important. It’s people feeling like they’re valued. They have good relationships. They belong somewhere. Even if people are doing jobs that they love, if they don’t feel valued, respected and connected, they’re going to leave those jobs because for us, being disconnected is a chronic state of stress. That’s what loneliness is.

It’s going to impede your happiness no matter how much you love the work you’re doing. It’s going to impede your mental health, your physical health and your ability to do the job because you’re not feeling good. You’re not feeling optimal. You’re feeling like you’re in a stress state. That is why I feel like it’s so important for companies to think about how they can create connections among their employees. Google, for example, starts its meetings with highs and lows where people share the high points of their week or low points of the week.

What is important is that people stop talking about work. There’s a study that found that the more time you spend together at work, the less you feel. What might be happening is that people aren’t their real selves. When you’re interacting in a role repeatedly over time, you feel more inauthentic. Giving people the latitude to be their real selves, it’s doing relational skills like affirming people.

These companies will send you things for your birthday or a gift card. They will do a virtual lunch, things like that or a retreat with all these fun activities. There’s this term repotting, which is changing the settings in which you interact, which contributes to connection. Workplaces and employees are trying to meet up with their friends at work outside of work, “Let’s go for a walk together. Let’s go to this museum together.” When companies do retreats, what benefits them is their relationships are usually repotted. You’re in a different setting that encourages less formality.

Those are some ways that we can bring our human side to work. I’m very focused on it because I teach. I know that for Gen Z, the rates of mental health issues are half of them. I meet the criteria for mental health issues. I also do things like every week, we have a photo share where everyone shares photos that represent fun facts about them and then my appreciation hat. In one class someone brings in a gift to give to someone whose appreciation or contribution they appreciated in that class time.

I’m a professor too. I teach at Columbia University. I teach entrepreneurship and strategy. As one professor to another, I have to ask. Tell everyone about the name of the course first. Start with that.

It’s called the Loneliness Crisis Origins and Solutions.

Is that under psychology or sociology? What department would that be put under?

It’s the honors program. It’s interdisciplinary.

The University of Maryland has an excellent honors program. I have quite a few friends that are in that as well. Do you think many of the students are taking that for their needs and interests?

Absolutely. Unfortunately, Gen Z is the loneliest generation we have ever had.

You’re seeing that many of the students are taking it. They want to practice what they’re learning as opposed to purely academic reasons.

To be honest, I’m trying to change society through the course. I teach two courses. In one of them, everyone became friends. The others didn’t hang out outside of class. I was trying to figure out what the difference is. I realized that one of my classes had someone that I call an igniter. The igniter turns to everybody and says, “Does anyone want to have lunch after class?”

By extending that invitation, many more people feel connected because that one person was willing to ask. They create this infrastructure of connection. Everyone who starts a Meetup group is an igniter. My goal is, “Can we create more igniters or people that are taking it upon themselves to create these infrastructures for connection?” That’s what I hope the course will do.

To connect it to companies, we have an employee at Meetup. I won’t say his last name but his name is Trevor. He is our cultural igniter. He will send messages in Slack, “I’m going to play volleyball. Who wants to join? We’re going to have board games this afternoon. Who wants to join?” He’s an amazing engineer but on a whole other level, he is this cultural igniter that has a meaningful impact on the rest of the company. As hirers of talent, which all companies do, hiring igniters can have such an enormous impact on driving culture and success in the company more so even than a CEO or a Head of People because it comes from the people as opposed to coming top-down.

I’m trying to formalize the igniter role and I haven’t had so much success. I was like, “You don’t have to write this paper if you want to be the classic igniter.” They’re so afraid of rejection. I’m experimenting with, “How do you create an igniter?” Like what I said about connection, you can create things. People aren’t born this way. I’m trying to figure that out. Maybe next time I’ll tell you what my observations are.

There are certain inclinations. Igniters are going to be more extroverted than introverted. They’re going to be more organized. They value relationships but those are things that can be learned. I’m intrigued to hear more. Quick questions, quick answers. Here we go. When was the first time you saw yourself as a leader?

In high school, I was part of a group called the Adventure Crew. We dog-sledded and did camping trips, ski trips and cabin trips. I was the president of the adventure club. That was it.

It’s a shocker that you became focused on friendship when you were the igniter already in high school on your adventure club. That’s amazing. If you could access a time machine and go anywhere you want at any time you want, where are you going and when?

My favorite author is a Black intellectual named Bell Hooks. She passed away in the last couple of years but her book All About Love taught me what love is. She says, “Love is helping someone express their deepest self and the essence of who they are.” Thinking of love like that changed my life. I would try to have lunch with Bell Hooks.

What is on your bucket list? You’ve done so many things. What is still left on that bucket list for you? It could be personal or professional, whatever you prefer.

I would love to live abroad again.

Where did you live before?

I’ve lived in Trinidad and Tobago and Haiti. My dad is from Italy. He sent us to live with our family when I was younger. I’ve studied abroad in Florence. The home base will be DC but I want to live abroad.

You’ve done so much and you’re going to be doing so much more inevitably. What do you most want to be remembered by?

I’m not sure but I want to feel like I did when I was out at a social event. Someone came up to me and they were like, “Dr. Franco, I know your work. It’s transformative for me. It’s the reason that I’m here at this social event.”

If you could save one person, there’s a saying that you could save the world. That is a great example because that’s one person that was at that event that built the confidence, the tools and the skillset because of what they have heard and read from you. The beauty of it is that there are hundreds of thousands of people that have done the same. You may not know who they are but they’re out there. It’s a beautiful thing what you do. Thank you so much for sharing it with Meetup. We appreciate your continued friendship at Meetup and also sharing with people how helpful Meetup is for many people who are looking to grow friends.

Thank you so much for creating Meetup. The impact you have is vast. It impacted me too. I appreciated this conversation.

Thank you for reading this episode with Marisa G. Franco. There are so many takeaways. I’m going to share a few. Here are some golden nuggets. There’s a big difference between someone who’s good company and someone who’s good friends. Focus on good friends, the importance of igniters and the multiplicative impact that an igniter can have in a company or a friend group, the importance of platonic love and how it makes romantic love ultimately succeed and the saying that every loss has an offering. I hope that was an offering for each of you. If you enjoyed this, then please subscribe, leave a review and remember. Let’s keep connected because life is better together.

I have something important to share. Check out my new book, Decide and Conquer, to get to know my story at Meetup. The hardest thing about community leadership is making tough decisions when the stakes are high. They were never higher than when Meetup was owned and sold by WeWork. In my new book, Decide and Conquer, I’ll walk you through a counterintuitive framework for decision-making and the epic journey of Meetup’s surprising survival. Good leaders deliberate. Great leaders decide. Order my book by visiting DecideAndConquerBook.com or anywhere books are sold.


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About Dr. Marisa G. Franco

KCM 56 | Adult FriendshipDr. Marisa Franco is a New York Times bestselling author, professor, and psychologist. She communicates the science of connection in digestible ways and is passionate about sharing research with the people it could help the most.

Last modified on March 1, 2023