By the time my husband and I were in the early stages of dating, Tinder was already all the rage. I had never experienced the concept of “swiping left or right” on someone, of waiting for a stranger to “slide into my DM”. Anyone that I had ever had the pleasure (or lack thereof) of dating was through mutual friends, acquaintances, and likely an intimate bubble of people we both knew in person.
Fast forward to present day. As my hubby started traveling for work upwards of 50% of the time and all of my friends I still kept in touch with from school and college years didn’t have the same schedule or live int the same city, I found myself in a rut. I was becoming what I had feared would happen at this time in my life. I was becoming the Married Friend.
A few days before the New Year, I was browsing through the App Store on my phone when I came across Hey! VINA. It’s essentially Tinder for making lady friends. I was never in a sorority in college, but as I read more about the app on the store and did some outside research, I thought to myself, “Hey, why not?”
It seemed silly that I, as the founder of Alpha Female Society, don’t have a large and swarming group of lady friends! When I was younger, I had a plethora of classmates to call friendly companions. Then as I got older, the circles of friendship shrank but became more refined. It became quality over quantity. There weren’t any large and dramatic falling outs, thankfully, but mostly relationships that were put on the back burner and ceased to flame once Real Life Responsibilities came into play.
And as I’ve come to learn and accept in the new year, that’s all right. People come and go, but that doesn’t mean those friendships we have moved on from weren’t special or so valued at the time. Things change and people need to grow.
Now that I have a few friend dates lined up, I look forward to getting back into enjoying female friendships. Some may end up being lasting and lifelong friendships, and others may end up as that girl I had a coffee with that one time on a Tuesday after work. Still, it’s important for ourselves, whether it’s through the likes of a friendship app like Hey! VINA, at a social club you belong to, or being that brave soul who strikes up the random conversation in a coffee shop, to put ourselves out there.
Life is short and we’re meant to experience it to the fullest. It’s your choice as to whether you want to only let a few people in, or take the risk and open yourself to vulnerability. Could it be embarrassing? Could it be awkward? Sure. And as I’ve come to learn and accept in the new year, that’s all right, too.
May your 2018 start off with new and lasting adventures!