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How can a homebody meet intelligent platonic and romantic female friends?
March 11, 2006 6:54 PM   Subscribe

Male introverts, homebodies, and my nerdy brethren, how did you meet your female friends? Your female significant others? How can I?

I feel a strong lack of estrogen in my life. I have no strong, local female friend connections. None of my local female friends share my interests strongly, and none of them are dependable. None of them actively try to involve me in activies. I'd like to make some new female friends, who are interested in being close platonic friends, and share my interests.

I'd also like a girlfriend. I've been single for a year now, and none of the women I've gone on dates with have interested me.

I'm a 22 year old college student. I've got a year left at a large university, unfortunately I have no classes with any significant amount of women (16 total in the past 2 semesters out of 8 classes). I'm not unattractive, I'm not out of shape, but I'm no model.

Where did you make your friends, and find your significant other?

Where can I make interesting, INTELLIGENT female friends, and perhaps find a girlfriend?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (49 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Blogs.
posted by amber_dale at 6:59 PM on March 11, 2006


Follow the advice in How to Succeed with Women. Worked for me.
posted by neuron at 7:03 PM on March 11, 2006


I would suggest getting involved in something outside of school. You can meet a lot of people (women and men) by doing volunteer work, joining an organization that promotes an interest of yours, etc. Just doing something like this is great, because, right away, you and her have something in common (you're both there, aren't you?!)

Stay away from the bar scene... it's very challenging for an introvert, and the kinds of people you'll probably pick up in bars are not the kinds of people you're probably looking for.
posted by fvox13 at 7:07 PM on March 11, 2006


I wish I could help you, as a fellow introvert and homebody. But, my girlfriend of 3 years was the one who found /me/, not the other way around.
posted by rossination at 7:09 PM on March 11, 2006


Intelligent girls are prone to argument. It is this very propensity which allowed them to properly weigh things and acquire their intellect in the first place. My advice? Eliminate that criterion, as it is the worst possible one. Find some intelligent friends instead, whose arguments won't follow you around to the same degree.

Other than that, striking up conversations with nearby people is remarkably easy. Besides, any girl who wouldn't entertain a casual conversation with an amicable stranger, you probably didn't want to meet under the right circumstances in the first place. Just don't forget to get those digits.
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 7:14 PM on March 11, 2006


The internets!

I met my wife in a chat room about.. 7-8 years ago, we talked back and forth while I was in school, then when I moved to ohio we talked all the time as friends, then one day it was pretty much clear I needed to ask her out because I was in love with her. Pretty much as soon as we started dateing I cut off all ties with the chatrooms and the people I knew from there as I didn't want involved in the drama.

But just get a line of communication going, from chat, some outside of school group, or even hooking up at a bar. Then just talk talk talk and see how it goes from there.

Now.. Female friends I can't say I have any besides my wife. And she doesn't share alot of my interests, but she shares enough that we allways have something to talk about, and I figure thats more then enough for me.
posted by JonnyRotten at 7:24 PM on March 11, 2006


I was single all my life until recently (I'm 21). Last year I met a girl online (got her msn e-mail from friend who had randomly met her online somewhere). We talked online for a few months before meeting in person and becoming friends, and in December we started dating.

I am convinced had it not been for the internet, I would have been single all my life.

I also have a business card that I like to give out, all it contains on it is my name/websites/e-mails. Not much success with that (women wise), but it has come in handy many times to keep in touch with people. If you give it to a girl and she likes you, she'll make contact :P

Chat rooms, dating sites. Or try going out like they did in the 90's to meet people, I think that might still work.
posted by Sonic_Molson at 7:32 PM on March 11, 2006


I went to a MetaFilter meetup, oddly enough.
posted by ikkyu2 at 7:32 PM on March 11, 2006


For romantic interests, I'm pretty much 100% online dating at this point. It wasn't always this way, but as I've gotten older my rate of meeting cool, UNMARRIED women has gone way down.

I find online dating a seriously easy way of doing some prescreening and meeting lots and lots of women. Sure it's fraught with perils, but it's better than twiddling your thumbs for months on end.

In fact, I haven't even found it particularly fraught with perils. I've only met nice people and had good times. Scored lots of dates, a considerable amount of sex, and 1 serious relationship for my efforts.

It seems to be as good a way as any to meet women for dating.

As for friendship... TOTALLY different question. And a lot harder to answer. They come from all corners: work, the dating scene, SOs/wives of male friends, activities, MeFi meetups :) Wherever. I have gone through big swings in terms of having all girl friends and then all boy friends. I'm not sure what drives that over time, actually. Good question.
posted by scarabic at 7:33 PM on March 11, 2006 [2 favorites]


But I will say that I enjoy my friendships with my male friends SOs/wives. There is absolutely no question of anything beyond friendship, yet they are often cool people of the sort I might find attractive. It's really a relief and quite fun to interact with somone with absolutely zero potential for any hanky panky - it sweeps the shite out of the way and makes gender a non-issuse. I never had sisters, so I cherish my hetero male friends' partners almost as much as the friends themselves.
posted by scarabic at 7:36 PM on March 11, 2006


Online personals worked well for me. Instead of going into great detail about what you like, who you are, what you do, all that, just write something that the kind of person you'd like to go out with would find funny. All that personality stuff is good conversation fodder for the first few dates. For instance...
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:37 PM on March 11, 2006


Or you could do what NortonDC and onlyconnect did.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:41 PM on March 11, 2006


Friend of friends. Friends of friend's girlfriend's. Work.

One thing that occured to me is that I may have completely overlooked in college was that my criteria/readout for intelligence was a little too narrow and I ended up ignoring perfectly smart and interesting women. Despite my desire for, and what my friends expected me to desire, I was notorious for dating "dumb" girls...
posted by PurplePorpoise at 7:44 PM on March 11, 2006


I think the secret is doing it backwards: be interesting and not looking for anything in particular, and you'll accidentally find the love of your life. Even if you do find the woman of your dreams, it's not easy to rope her in unless she's interested, and that means you need to know who you are and what you like to do - women like guys with passion and confidence, remember?

And MeFiSF meetups have some pretty attractive people. :)
posted by kcm at 8:02 PM on March 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


I met my wife in the university lab where we both worked during grad school, a somewhat nerdy environment.
posted by shoos at 8:06 PM on March 11, 2006


I second shoos, grad school women are great. Any chance you could work in a research lab? From the male-female ratio you mention in your post, it sounds like you're in an engineering or CS department. If that's the case, your skills could prove useful in a lab in a different department -- one with a bit more estrogen. Barring the lab option, a part time job in any other intellectually challenging environment could prove fruitful.

Also, if you are good with computers or some other tech stuff, you can demonstrate your worthiness by installing a cable modem, ridding their PC of spyware, or helping out with tricky Excel formulas. Once people discover that you have useful mad skillz, you may find yourself in demand.

Regardless, my advice would be to let things happen organically. Don't be that creepy guy who asks all the chicks out.
posted by i love cheese at 8:26 PM on March 11, 2006


My introverted partner met his introverted partner (uh, me) online.

I met most of my female friends online as well. Women make me nervous, what with their being pretty and cute and smart and funny all the time and I've found the internet the best place for me to meet the ones that are those things and also not be immediately thrown into a panic because they...are those things.
posted by birdie birdington at 8:38 PM on March 11, 2006


Met my husband via online dating. Just, when you do your online dating ad, if the thing says, "What five items would you bring with you if you were going to be stuck on a desert island?" it's really not meant to be literal. "Bring" things that say something about your personality, regardless of whether or not they are practical. Examples: Coffee, [Insert Comedian of Your Choice] DVDs, [some book you really love], whatever . . . just not "my Nalgene bottle so that I can carry water around" because that's terribly bland and un-imaginative. You can apply this maxim to really any questions for online dating sites that require you to say something about yourself. Such as, "Name five things in your room." Maybe say "Environmentally conscious lightbulbs," if that's really meaningful to you, but "a stack of dirty laundry" just doesn't send the right signal. No, I don't necessarily think you are, personally, that dumb, but I promise you I've read all this and more in online personals.

As for female friends, well, it seems like one of my friends has met more people via LiveJournal and blogs than any other source. Teh Intarweb . . . eeet's MAGIC!
posted by Medieval Maven at 9:06 PM on March 11, 2006


I married the girl my freshman year roommate dated. Worked for me.
posted by pmbuko at 9:55 PM on March 11, 2006


Honestly? I browsed MySpace, looking for the right mixture of smart, not-bitchy, sure of themselves, funny and not SPARKLY PINK in their profiles.

I'd throw out a feeler message citing a few of the similar interests and end it in a totally "whatever's ever" way. I'd strike up a conversation with them on AIM after a few MySpace messages back, and I'd try to charm with my unique flare. (I say that in the sense that 90% of the messages girls get on MySpace are from stupid assholes who just want to fuck and can't spell. This is, apparently, a turn off.)

I'd show interest in them and their interests and that sort of thing. Eventually, (two+ weeks?) I transitioned to a physical meeting. Turns out, she wasn't misrepresenting, and neither was I.

YMMV. But see also Facebook, etc.

I found it a lot easier to initiate online, sad or pathetic as that may sound. And easier to let my personality shine through fully. Just don't misrepresent yourself, and be chill.
posted by disillusioned at 10:08 PM on March 11, 2006


Do you have friends with girlfriends whom you like? If their girlfriends like you, (ie. if they can wonder out loud why you're still single,) then they can be your strongest ally, and an active force where you would prefer to be passive.

These are people who can talk you up in proper circles. If you work to impress them in a platonic way, they will recommend you to others as being romantically viable.

Seriously, the easiest way to have a girlfriend is first to have friends who are girls. As your girlfriend will probably not be drawn from the same set as your friends-who-are-girls, the easiest (and most proximate) girls to be friendly with are the girlfriends of your friends. They will act on your behalf in the appropriate circles.

As you might infer from the wording of this comment, I speak from experience.
posted by nicething at 10:12 PM on March 11, 2006


I'm not suggesting this is good advice, as I consider myself very lucky, but it is how I met women in similar circumstance to you.

In the past 10+ years, I've dated two women, both of whom I met online. In 1996, I met a woman I dated for nearly five years during both of our free trials on match.com.

Shortly after hotornot.com came out, I jokingly put up a profile with that girlfriend. Little did I know that would lead to the end of our relationship. Though I didn't know at the time, she didn't care about the hotornot.com profile, and not because she got rated a 4. She used the excuse to get me to photograph her, which she then used to send to men she played online games with, which lead to a year long affair, which lead to our breakup.

That same, unedited hotornot.com profile I put up as a joke was how I met my current fiancee. Long story, but that's how we initially found each other. Neither of us were paid members again, but hotornot.com has since closed numerous money losing opportunities in their business model.
posted by sequential at 10:37 PM on March 11, 2006


Nekkid hippie festivals. Even though all that peace and enlightenment and sharing and stuff can get a bit cloying.
posted by flabdablet at 11:01 PM on March 11, 2006


I met my SO via MonkeyFilter. Moral: go to meetups!

Seriously though, the Internet is a strange and wonderful place. Use it!
posted by the_bone at 11:14 PM on March 11, 2006


I've had good luck with online chatting. All my most successful relationships began online. My first girlfriend ever came from the GEnie A2 RoundTable. My best girlfriend ever came from (shhh) AOL. Both of these services have in fact netted me many dates, some good sex, and a few close friends who I remain in touch with electronically to this day. Others have had similar results with e.g. IRC.

My advice is to have an interesting nick and, if the service allows a profile, an interesting profile. Then go into a chat room for the area you live in and hang out. You want something with a lot of traffic where you won't see the same people night after night. If you see someone with an interesting nick or profile, message them and tell them what you find interesting. Or just wait for someone to message you -- this is a tactic I have found very useful, as it allows you to troll for people while doing something else. The advantage is that people who message you out of the blue have already felt something, and it was strong enough to get them to overcome their natural reticence to message a complete stranger. Chat, flirt, and if after a few times there seems to be a connection, ask 'em to do something.

If you can spell and don't ask how big a woman's boobs are in the first conversation, you will impress the hell out of many women on places like AOL. Unfortunately a lot of them will not impress you -- make a service simple enough for any moron to use, and every moron will -- but there are definitely bright spots, just because of the sheer numbers. Still, IRC might be better; at least you know they're somewhat Internet-savvy.

Be scrupulously honest and don't misrepresent anything about yourself -- but don't ever assume anyone else is doing the same.
posted by kindall at 11:22 PM on March 11, 2006


Yarg. The internet leads to all sorts of evils like long-distance relationships. That said, if you do go the internet route, you know about okcupid, right? Nerve used to be good, but they sold out to the devil.

You mentioned that you're in college, but you're anonymous, so I can't suggest anything in your area...but I will leave you with this tidbit. Recently I went to college in a small city, and I investigated the science fiction & fantasy club. I was surprised by the high ratio of women to men. Boy, things sure have changed. :) Seriously, a lot of cute women were involved in the sci-fi club. There were also a couple of political groups on campus that had interesting women members (good for friends or potential dates!). Look around. You'll see fliers advertising different clubs and meetings. Go to anything that even remotely interests you and talk to people. Join local mailing lists for your city, things you're already interested in and go to meetings. And for god's sake, get out of your own building. If you're taking mostly math or science classes, visit different buildings and look at the fliers that are posted. Take an elective, if you have the time, and take something that has a more mixed classroom. From there, form a study group.

Seize random opportunities. I'm an older student, and I wasn't meeting many people my own age, until I popped into what I thought was an empty room to study, and...found it occupied. I made friendly conversation and found out we both had an interest in history. In fact, I'd found a history grad student who was really close to my age. We exchanged email addresses before I left.

And...this is going to sound completely insane, but if you live in a city, there are likely knitting groups. Knitting has become young and hip, and a guy who wanted to get into knitting would get a _lot_ of attention. Just be sure your ego is healthy enough to take the ribbing from your guy friends.
posted by digitalis at 11:44 PM on March 11, 2006


I have the exact same problem as you.

Ive decided to take a number of small steps in the direction of solving my problem.

First, I am going to a library to hit on chicks, to put it delicately. I am serious about this though. Libraries, as shocking as this may be, often contain intelligent people, some of which are bound to be female. Im not suggesting you hit on them as if you were in a bar, but books are one of the best topic starters one could possibly imagine. I realize going to a library to pick up smart chicks is... bizarre at best and perhaps creepy, depending on if you can pull it off. I think I can.

As mentioned, avoid bars. If you would like to try a bar, go to a cafe instead. I know that where I live (Oregon) there are cafes you can go to where people like to sit and discuss politics, or play a game of chess. Im guessing where ever you live has similiar places, you just need to be able to find them. (craigslist can help you here)

In fact, this whole question is perfect for craigslist. I would suggest going to craigslist, and to your local section, then writing a less abbreviated of the following:

"I am a bit of a introvert, but I am also looking for new friends, especially female ones and possibly a girlfriend. The consistant trouble I've had with women in the past is they are intellectually intriguing to me. Being an introvert I dont get out enough to always meet new people. Where can I find some people that are smart?

This includes groups that meet to play chess, or are involved in politics, physical location such as a cafe or a college campus."
posted by JokingClown at 2:11 AM on March 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


Well, I'll second all the non-online options mentioned here. As a college student, you are surrounded by more intelligent, pretty, single girls than you ever will be again in your entire life. So save the internet stuff for later.

What you really need to do is just ask out more girls. If you meet a girl, and you like her, get her email, and then ask her out for coffee. Try to do this once a week, for example. You must meet plenty of girls in your day-to-day life, right, through friends if not through your classes; the trick is to make the most of the opportunities that do present themselves. And try taking some non-male-nerd class that has some women in it, too.
posted by josh at 4:27 AM on March 12, 2006


I've told this story before (I'm one of those people who tells stories over and over and over again) but I discovered my wife on Nerve (springstreet network) personals.

She, however, noticed me here on Metafilter 2 years before that. It was our love of Haughey that brought us together (Ben Brown and Kottke were somehow involved as well).
posted by Mick at 5:04 AM on March 12, 2006


A former co-worker got sick of company/geekish get-togethers, so she started a salon that met regularly at a local pub. That put in me in touch with many people who became friends. It was a nice social group. I had a few potential dates that went nowhere from that group. During that time, I also hung out at a blues bar to play on open mic night. Became good friends with the waitstaff and randomly hit on one of the patrons who caught my eye. That worked (which surprised me).
Met my spouse at a Mardi Gras party. I was dressed to look like the victim of a tiger attack. She worked with molding and casting and was fabulously beautiful. I spazzed and had to get in touch with her via the hostess, but it worked.

Executive sum: get involved in social activities that you enjoy (and are maybe less guy-centered) and you will meet women with similar tastes. Don't be afraid to go out of a limb from time to time.
posted by plinth at 6:49 AM on March 12, 2006


She commented on my blog. I knew her beforehand, but that's how we began talking. Now she posts on it too! The power of the internet, my friends.
posted by Orange Goblin at 6:59 AM on March 12, 2006


I commented on his blog. I knew him beforehand, but that's how we began talking. Now I post on it too! The power of the internet, my friends.
posted by Lotto at 7:01 AM on March 12, 2006


I have posted my own meeting with my lovely wife on Metafilter before - click here if you dare read the sappiest love-story ever. ( My story can be found near the bottom of the thread.)
posted by bradth27 at 7:50 AM on March 12, 2006


I wish I could help you, as a fellow introvert and homebody. But, my girlfriend of 3 years was the one who found /me/, not the other way around.

Haha, seconded. I put a profile on Match.com while I was on vacation to see if I could find any ladies local to that location (in the US). I came back to the UK and my now girlfriend got in touch with me and I'd forgotten all about it.

Contrary to what a lot of people seem to think though, I don't think introverts or brainy/deep/whatever people should necessarily date. My girlfriend is no idiot, but she's very much the shopping, makeup, and 'SPARKLY PINK' type. Opposites attract and all..
posted by wackybrit at 8:37 AM on March 12, 2006


Take a summer course in something out of your field where you'll have a chance to be in semi-small groups (i.e. labs, tutorials, study/homework groups).
posted by greatgefilte at 8:41 AM on March 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


Believe it or not, I met my wife of 12 years on a blind date.
posted by jsteward at 9:10 AM on March 12, 2006


A great place to get exposure to other folks in a highly casual way is to take art or craft classes offered by local studios or university extensions. You see the same people week after week, there are zero expectations, conversations are light and relaxed, and everyone has a common theme to fall back on ("how do you do X, again?") if other topics don't come up (and they usually do).

Pottery classes are excellent for this.
posted by jimfl at 9:19 AM on March 12, 2006


Get involved at a local community theater. If you're too shy to audition for an onstage role, so much the better--backstage techie types are even more in demand. And you don't need any technical know-how; you'll learn everything you need hands-on. Theater people are fun, smart, very social, and single heterosexual guys, while not as rare as some people think, are not necessarily the majority on every production. Plus, in my experience, you're more likely to be judged based on your intelligence, personality, and sense of humor than anything else. For what it's worth, I met my fiancee in a production of A Streetcar Named Desire, and I can't tell you how many couples I've seen hook up in the course of a show.
posted by EarBucket at 10:08 AM on March 12, 2006


I met my fiance through okcupid.com.
posted by drezdn at 1:14 PM on March 12, 2006


I met my fiancee, Sarah on a href="http://www.thefacebook.com">Facebook - I searched for "Cryptonomicon", and she was the only female result. I wrote to her, she wrote back, we met in person the next day, we moved in together the day after that.
posted by dmd at 3:03 PM on March 12, 2006


(i could have *sworn* that looked right in preview.)
posted by dmd at 3:04 PM on March 12, 2006


Long ago, while underway while in the Navy, I went to the ship's library (out of boredom), and skimmed through a copy of "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus". Although I did not read the whole book, there was one piece of advice that I thought was useful. Here it is, paraphrased:

"If you are not meeting people doing what you normally do, don't do what you normally do."
posted by DuckFOO at 4:05 PM on March 12, 2006


I met my partner online. Not at a date/chat site: at an unruly, old-school message board - sort of like Metafilter without the restrictions and petty protocol issues. We sparred, we bantered, we joked, we emailed. And then we met and were lucky. Well, apart from the tiny detail of our living 3,000 miles apart. But we dealt with that eventually.

When I was in my twenties I basically spent a lot of time celibate and becoming a world-class wrist artist. I was (and am) physically unprepossessing and I seem to have a personality many people find irksome. Couple that with a lack of confidence around women and... well, a young-manhood primarily consisting of celibacy and wanking were pretty inevitable. There was no internet in those days. I didn't club because I wasn't cool enough, didn't have the confidence to do the whole bar chat-up thing and being from the UK there was no concept of "dating" at all.

You're lucky, man. The internet is a wonderful thing for guys like us. Put your personality out there.
posted by Decani at 4:22 PM on March 12, 2006


For what it's worth, over the years, I've built up friendships with many many intelligent attractive women, in real life or on the Internet.

Unfortunately, not a single one has ever been interested in me beyond friendship (then again, some were lesbians but hey...)

So just because a woman deems you worthy of friend-status or of hanging about, it doesn't automatically translate that they may want to see your moist dangly bits. Even if you run it by the numbers.

Then after years of Internetting and going to cool cinemas, I went to a random bar one night and met my current s.o. -- figures, huh?
posted by badlydubbedboy at 5:35 PM on March 12, 2006


Not long ago, I was in a bad way- a relationship I put tremendous effort into ended abruptly. I was alone in a big city- with only the occasional visits from out of town friends to keep me from wilting away. I asked this question here on ask mefi, and the advice to get involved in anything has helped in a big way. I signed up for some clubs and activities- and surprise! Most, if not all of these events are full of people just like me- and you- who are looking to meet a decent friend or SO.

I don't know what your into but figure something out, join a club, take a class..anything and get to it.

I spent my 20's as an introvert. Now- I will talk to anyone. See a girl you like? Introduce yourself. Say hi. Find some common ground and go from there. You'll know when it's right. If you don't feel a spark move right along and never look back.

Good luck.
posted by vaportrail at 6:24 PM on March 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


I find consumating.com to not be like a dating service at all. But it seems to work. Plus, it's pretty open, and fun.
posted by travosaurus at 6:25 PM on March 12, 2006


Does it work, travosaurus? Do people actually make dates on it? To me, it seems like a huge online popularity contest, with all the thumbs up and thumbs down. I don't care for it and am considering deleting my profile from the site completely (going on and seeing thumbs down makes me sad).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:55 PM on March 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


If I were in the market right now, I'd check out the trivia nights at my local pubs. These occasions seem to bring some witty, bookish types that I've found a welcome addition to the usual pub crowds. No offence intended. Go with friends of you're shy, and try to join another group if you're a little more bold. The setting and set-up seems to minimize the posturing and attitude that turns off many introverts.

(And FWIW, I give ThePinkSuperhero two claws up!)

posted by squirrel at 11:37 AM on March 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


Hello, anon. I was browsing through archives and found your question. I am a girl, dating someone quite like yourself - homebody, introvert, nerdy. I'm more outgoing and active, but I'm nerdy too (we're both Internet geeks).

Unlike most of the other responses, we did not meet online. We actually live in the same residential college (dorm) and go to the same uni (not too common; most of the other college people are in another uni). He had been here a semester before; I just started. We were friends initially - really casual friendship, "hey what's up, how's uni like, when does the bus come in" type of thing.

He actually came to me! We got together at our college ball. Hanging out, dancing, first kiss, chatting...we've been together ever since.

What attracted him to me was that he was honest, and was also very non-pressuring. It was my first kiss ever so I was very nervous, but he calmed me down immensely, saying it's all up to me, no pressure no hassle. So I suggest you just be laid-back, don't pressure anyone into anything; even supremely outgoing people (like myself to a degree) appreciate calmness.

Also, be yourself. Our conversations are so friend-like that you probably won't think we're a couple just by listening to us. But that's what works - we don't have this pretention of "ooh, we're together, let's be schmoopy" (though I like being schmoopy, hee). We're just honest and friendly with each other.

It really is about your own personality. Don't try too hard. Just be yourself, be calm, and expect the unexpected (or better, don't expect anything - because it's when you stop expecting that it happens).

Good luck, and I hope you find the girl(s) that you want.
posted by divabat at 6:17 PM on August 31, 2006


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