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Growing New Girlfriends–Some Friendly Advice

Need some new girlfriends? You’re not alone. Girlfriend relationships change over time, and sadly, sometimes they end. Happily, the seeds of new friendships are everywhere. It’s up to you to notice them, plant them, and cultivate them into great girlfriend relationships. is here with some tips to help you grow a beautiful garden of gal pals. 

Why Do Friendships End? 

Recently, Stephanie wrote to

I am looking to make some new friends.  It seems as if I may have outgrown my longtime girlfriends or vice versa.  I moved from a small town to the city and I am beginning to notice a distance between me and my friends.  Any advice would be appreciated.

Stephanie’s story is common. Life changes such as moving to a new city, getting married, or having children can take a toll on friendships that are not well-established. In addition, different stages of life create the need for different kinds of friends. It’s natural for some friendships to end. But many friendships with great potential fizzle out for one simple reason: The girlfriends haven’t spent enough quality time together to strengthen their bond. Maintaining a friendship, particularly in the early stages, takes time–and if you haven’t done the homework, your friendship won’t survive the test.

Scope Out Potential Pals

Have you heard the old saying, "You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince?" Well, you have to talk to a lot of women to find a girlfriend! Look at this as a numbers game: The more women you get to know on an "acquaintance" basis, the better chance you have of finding someone with whom you’ll "click." Make small talk with the women you meet. If you are shy or just out of practice, this can seem excruciatingly difficult. Following these suggestions can make it easier:

  • Compliment someone. "Nice shoes! Where did you find them?" is an easy way to start a conversation. Everyone likes a sincere compliment.
  • Ask a question. "Is your son/daughter signed up for preschool in the fall?" or "What do you think of that book you’re reading?"
  • Join something–a church, a book club, your local Red Hat Society chapter, a volunteer organization, a pottery class. Being around people in an organized setting offers some built-in conversation starters. 

Take Friendly Action 

After you’ve identified some potential friends, it’s time to make a small gesture. Send a birthday card. Invite her out to coffee. Bring food to a new mom. Don’t be shy; you’ll need to take this small risk to let her know you’re interested.

Then, you can move into the next phase of friendship, the phase Sandy Sheehy, author of Connecting: The Enduring Power of Women’s Friendships, calls "structuring." This is where you learn about each other’s boundaries, likes, and dislikes and figure out what kind of friendship you’ll have. In order to do this, of course, you need to spend time together. Sheehy says activities such as shopping, seeing a movie and discussing it afterward, or reading the same books are helpful at this stage of a friendship because they allow you to discover each other’s attitudes and find some common ground. Some friendships never move beyond this level, and remain casual, and others end at this stage. And that’s ok.

Spend Some Time Together

Sheehy says girlfriend relationships naturally strengthen if the women spend enough time together, are honest with each other, support each other equally, and each one feels she is getting something from the relationship. She gives some other tips for strengthening the friendship:

  • Share adventures. See a concert together, go hiking or antiquing or take a trip. 
  • Gifts, especially unexpected and meaningful ones, reinforce the girlfriend bond.
  • Be a good listener and be sure you’re both getting equal time to "vent."

Some Final Advice

  • Be willing to take some risks in your quest for new girlfriends. Tell yourself you’ve got nothing to lose, and a potential lifetime pal to gain. 
  • Make friendship a priority. If having girlfriends is important to you, make some time for it in your busy schedule. Commit to making two phone calls a week, or extending one invitation a week, or whatever you need to get the results you want. Be consistent and don’t give up.
  • Expect some rejection. Not everyone has room in their lives for new friends. That’s not your fault.

More Information

Want more tips on making and keeping friends? Check out these books:

Living a Connected Life: Creating and Maintaining Friendships that Last a Lifetime, by Kathleen A. Brehony 

The Friendship Crisis: Finding, Making, and Keeping Friends When You’re not a Kid Anymore, by Marla Paul

Share Your Story! 

At, we believe female friendships are essential to a happy life, and we know how challenging it can be to find new friends. We’d really like to hear from you on this subject. Do you find it easy or difficult to make friends? Do you have any tips or advice to share with other women? What’s worked for you in making new friends? Share your story below. You’ll automatically be entered in our Tips Contest!


  1. I loved it, thank you. I recently began meeting tons of new women, my friend and neighbor works on it regularlyand some are fun, some not so much . . .thanks for making it okay that everyone can’t be close.

    Comment by marie — June 20, 2007 @ 2:59 am

  2. Thank you for being here. I only just found this site. I was actually looking for party themes and stumbled on it! I’ve grown away from friends and families that I grew up with – since preschool. It’s been hard. I’ve tried to keep it working, but it’s been about 5 years now of trying to hang out and enjoy them, and I believe I need to move on. I’ve printed this article for a resource on finding new friends and will always be back to this website. I hope you’ll keep the website up and running – there’s a real place for it in today’s world.

    Comment by Lani — July 2, 2007 @ 12:48 am

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  6. Hi there! I just wanted to pass along that I actually found a new website designed just for the purpose of meeting new women friends. It is called I just moved to St. Louis and don’t know a soul, so hope that the site will help me to connect to other women. I appreciate the information you all provide here too – soo hard to make friends as an adult.


    Comment by Kate — November 3, 2008 @ 11:21 am

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