Master the Art of Picking Up Friends: How To Ask that Cool Person on a First (Friend) Date

published Jul 21, 2016
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(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

Like getting out of bed without your knees cracking, making friends is something that gets tougher as you get older. But here’s the thing: Everybody’s out there looking for new friends. Yep, even that really cool, funny gal you met at the supermarket checkout.

So how do you go from small talk about kale to your first friend date? It’s as easy as 1-2-3:

1. Express Interest

One of you has got to plant the seed that it might be fun to meet outside of the checkout line. Try something like, “I have a feeling we have a lot more to talk about. Want to grab coffee sometime?” or “It’s been really fun running into you. Maybe we should do it on purpose next time!” Anything to let them know you feel a friendship spark.

2. Build a Bridge

If they return your interest in kind, the next step is making sure you have a way to get in touch. That means exchanging phone numbers, emails, or even just your real names so you can find each other on Facebook later.

If you missed your shot, it might be possible to recover. How did you two come to meet? At the local grocery store? Keep an eye out the next time you’re shopping. At a party you were both invited to? Ask the host for an introduction.

3. Make a Plan

The final step is to actually ask them out. Pull up a text, email or Facebook message and shoot your soon-to-be-friend an invite. If coffee or drinks seems too forward, you could take a tip from romantic dating advice and try to set up a group date–like inviting them to a dinner party you’re throwing or a day in the park with some friends. (Inviting them to something you already have planned can help to take the pressure off for both of you, too.) Then all that’s left to do is meet up and be your charming self!

Do you have any great tips for starting up new friendships?