How to Meet Friends Online
Finding friends online is easy and fun – as long as you know how to do it!
In this guide, you will learn how to go from contacting complete strangers, to becoming close friends. Finding friends Online is great if you, for example, are in a new city and haven’t made any connections IRL yet. You should also check out our full guide on making friends in a new city.
There are however a few things you need to think about: For example, connecting with others for no special reason can easily come off as creepy. Therefore, you need to find a purpose when you contact people you want to make friends online with. If people think you contact them with the purpose of making friends, you risk looking desperate.
Make it Easy for You With Interest-Based Friendship
Instead, ask yourself what interests you have. Even people who think they don’t have any interests can often find something if they look deep enough. Once you have identified your interests, start looking for forums and communities where people with the same interest as you gather.
Getting Into the Community
When making new friends online, you first need to get involved with the community by posting content and replying to other users. Forums are excellent for easily getting an overview of others interests and personalities. While you interact with the community by posting in threads, look after people who seem to be similar to you. Perhaps you notice someone having your humor, interests or view on life.
Initiate Contact With Someone
When you find someone that seems to have similarities with you, you can make contact. On forums and communities, you most often do that by sending a private message (PM). As long as you have a purpose with your PM, it will look natural. If you don’t have a purpose with you conversation other than making friends you will come off as creepy and people will wonder what you want from them. Relate to something from the public part of the forum or community. Remember to keep it simple, and ask something relevant you really want to know about.
Here Are a Few Examples:
“Hi, I saw you are also a fan of Madonna. Do you know any trick on how to get tickets to her next show before they sell out?”
“I see you also use inlines and are from the same area as me. Do you know any nice places to blade in Brooklyn?”
Once they reply, take the conversation further by telling something about your relation to your mutual interest. Always relate to what the person was saying in the previous email, tell something about yourself, and end the email by asking a question.
Find Other Similarities
You have now something that connects you to talk about, and that’s great. It’s time to find more similarities. Over the course of a few days or weeks, tell something about yourself. For example where you live, your other interests, and what plans you got in life or for the year.
Taking the Conversation Deeper
To make friends with the person you talk to, you need to ask more personal questions. The secret of taking you online friendship deeper is to ask the person about personal things and tell personal things about yourself. There are some things you need to think about before you do this, however, please see this guide on how to make better friends fast. Since you have spoken more general about life previously, you have a lot of material you can ask more about.
Here Are Some More Examples:
“You told me you moved when you were quite young, how come? I’m asking because I’ve been moving a lot recently and think it can be both good and bad”
Meet Up IRL
When you meet new people online, you can always suggest meeting up if you live in the same area. However, don’t rush it. Make sure to go through all the steps above first. You need to provide a reason for meeting up. Also, always meet in a public environment. After all, you don’t know who’s really on the other side of the screen. Meeting up to do something related to you initial interest is a great way to avoid awkwardness and make the meeting more natural. Proposing meeting up can look something like this:
“I think we have a lot in common, it would be awesome to meet up one day to do some blading /go to that Madonna Concert together / talk more about determinism.”
How to Talk Online
A classic advice when talking online is to avoid irony. Since our body language and voice tone is lost when chatting, irony can come off as rudeness. For the same reason, make sure to use smileys when you make jokes unless it’s very clear you are joking. Also, avoid strong opinions too soon in the relation. Not only is the risk you have different opinions than the person you talk to, but people that bring up their strong opinions fast use to scare others off as they might come off as intolerant.
Online Friendship Sites
There are several websites dedicated to finding friends online. Here are some of them:
Meetup gathers meetups for different kinds of interests in all parts of the world. As the purpose of the site is to arrange physical meetings, you can be sure to soon be able to meet the people you talk to online.
Companion Tree focuses on only providing friendship – this is not in any way a dating website. Therefore, it’s great when you only look for friendship.
Yelp is a local city guide that also has a community. That’s great if you have a lot of knowledge about the city you live in