How do I make more women friends?
July 3, 2008 8:51 AM   Subscribe

Where do I meet other geeky, smart women?

So recently a bunch of my friends moved away for grad school or for jobs and I'm feeling kind of at loose ends. I need more women friends who I can hang out with on a regular basis. I have terrific relationships with many women, it's just that the majority of them live somewhere else - NYC, Maine, London, etc.

But there is a bit of a snag. I am kind of a nerd and can be introverted. I don't read gossip mags or other women's mags (like Cosmopolitan or Marie Claire), I don't like shopping that much, I've never seen an episode of "Sex and the City" - I mean, basically, there are a lot of "stereotypical" girl/women things that I am just not into. There's nothing wrong with those interests, I am just not into them.

I'd describe myself as rather geeky but I am also not full-fledged on that spectrum either - I love talking about Star Wars and Lord of the Rings but I am not into World of Warcraft, for example. I think to be more accurate I am just kind of a news nerd who is into current events, books, good music, that kind of thing. And I would love to have a girlfriend or two or three who I could talk to about all that stuff without it being over email or on the phone because they don't live in my city, or without them thinking I am such a weirdo (my two younger sisters tend to think that about me). I have a ton of guy friends in the vicinity, and a husband, to talk to about this, but I really feel strongly that I would like some women friends too.

So is there a way I can do this? I live in Boston, so is there a group of nerdy, smart women out there in their 20s and 30s I just don't know about? I've been tempted in the past to come to a MeFi meetup but I don't participate that much in either MeFi or AskMe so I didn't want to feel like a total stranger to anyone. But I am open to pretty much any venue. Thank you for any advice you might have.
posted by sutel to Human Relations (22 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Go to Mefi meetups. We don't really sit around and talk about our own posts at meetups. I mean, sure, the site as a whole sometimes comes up for discussion, but on the main, the topics of discussion at a meetup aren't that MetaFilter specific. People who don't read MeFi at all have come to meetups and had a good time.

Speaking of meetups, allow me to once again suggest as I do in all these threads. Go there, find a group related to your geeky interests, or just one of the general women's social groups and start attending those meetups. The brilliant thing about meetups is that for the most part, the people who go to them are also looking for friends with common interests. That means there's much less of that awkward sense of 'I wonder if she likes me and would like to go for coffee sometime?' difficulty with moving friendships beyond the meetup group. It's not entirely without awkwardness, but people expect to move friendships outside the sphere of the meetup group in a way they don't necessarily if you take a class/volunteer/go to the gym so there's less awkwardness in taking that step.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:00 AM on July 3, 2008

This is why they invited trivia nights in bars.
posted by turaho at 9:06 AM on July 3, 2008

Best answer: You can start your own book club. At first, invite every female that you know locally, plus ask your male friends for suggestions, and encourage all invitees to bring other women. Let everyone know what sort of books this club will be about, how often you intend to meet, and tell them your selection for the first read. People who prefer other types of books or who don't read much will either not come, or drop out as the group progresses, and like-minded people will be invited into the fold by people who are enjoying it.

Similarly, you can make a music club (mix CDs based on themes or music types, get together to play tracks and drink wine and discuss), or initiate a TV show night (I met a lot of great women through Tuesday night group viewings of Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

And if you like smart on the artsy tip, photography is the medium that tends to bring those people out. If you take a continuing-ed photo class (and there are thousands in Boston), you'd meet at least one new pal every semester.
posted by xo at 9:16 AM on July 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

In Boston? Absolutely! Consider a book club or a night class on a subject that interests you.
posted by prefpara at 9:17 AM on July 3, 2008

Girl Geek Dinners is a great group to meet other geeky chicks, but I don't see one in Boston. There is an opportunity right there for you to start your own branch.
I'm afraid you are going to have to fake bravery and start going out to meet people - bookstores, comic/game shops, university seminars, Linuxchix get-togethers. Making new girlfriends is really hard, especially if all the cool ones are hiding in their apartments.
posted by idiotfactory at 9:23 AM on July 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

Any interest in biking? Before I started Mountain Biking, I had almost no female friends. And really, I only have a couple of good girlfriends now too, but they're down to earth, not afraid to get dirty types of girls.

I'm generally considered 'one of the guys' - even though I'm a chic, and I've found a few other girls that fit this description as well.

Plus, you get a really awesome now hobby out of the deal ;)
posted by CorporateHippy at 9:26 AM on July 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

You just described me and my lady friends! Well, except I read trashy celebrity gossip magazines, but I also read, uh, substancey stuff. Definitely seconding the MeFi meetups. Also, I run a book club in Boston, MeFi mail me if you'd like some details. It's not ladies-only, but we are a friendly bunch and welcome meeting new people of geeky persuasions. Also, taking an exercise class can be a good way to meet people, depending on the mix of people. My kung-fu class seems to attract interesting geeky-type women in their 20s/30s.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 9:33 AM on July 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

I think a lot of the interests you describe overlap with women who are crafty-- like to sew or knit. Maybe take some classes in something like that?
posted by miss tea at 9:34 AM on July 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

Seconding miss tea - if you know how to knit or crochet, are there any stitch -n- bitch's at the local coffee shop or knitting shop?
posted by queseyo at 10:00 AM on July 3, 2008

I live in Boston, so is there a group of nerdy, smart women out there in their 20s and 30s I just don't know about?

Harvard and M I freakin' T are just over the chuck river. If ever there were a place to find "nerdy" women...
posted by phrontist at 10:09 AM on July 3, 2008

Response by poster: Wow, I go to lunch and get a great bunch of responses. Thank you, everyone!

CorporateHippy: Actually my husband and I just bought bikes! Thanks for the idea, I definitely was planning to see if there were bike meetups or something.

banjo_and_the_pork: Thank you, I am going to send you a MeFi mail.

idiotfactory: thank you for the Geek Girl Dinner suggestion. I will have to check that out.
posted by sutel at 10:53 AM on July 3, 2008

Best answer: All good suggestions above, but don't limit yourself to a certain type of person. When I first moved a long way from home, I was on the lookout for the kinds of friends that I had at home, the kind of people I'm used to. I'm really glad I gave that mindset up eventually because I would have missed out on a lot of good friendships with women that I have now, people I never would have imagined I'd get along with. None of my friends really talk about the kinds of things that I talk to my best friends from home about, but we find other things to talk about, and it's just as fun. When I feel the need to talk about something else, I call my friends at home.

Just keep an open mind, there are tons of fantastic, fun women out there that may not be at all what you expected.

This thread, while not at all similar to what you asked (and I'm not suggesting that this is your problem, so please don't take it the wrong way), does develop into a pretty interesting discussion on what women expect/look for in friendships with other women.

Good luck, I hope you make lots of new friends!
posted by triggerfinger at 10:58 AM on July 3, 2008

I've been tempted in the past to come to a MeFi meetup

Definitely come to a meetup. It's not unusual to have people show up who hardly post at all, and the conversation is pretty wide-ranging. Some of the most awesome women I've met in recent years, I've met at meetups.

I live about an hour north of you - if you ever want to load up the bikes and do a coastal ride here, give me a call!
posted by Miko at 11:09 AM on July 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

Definitely mefi meetups. Here in San Francisco we seem to have them all. the. time. (we have two this weekend alone!) and I have met some really cool people, male and female, via the meetups. The cool thing about mefi meetups is even if you're someone who's not great at conversation-opening small-talk with people you've never met, you can always talk about MetaFilter-related stuff, which will lead easily to non-mefi-related stuff.

Data points: I'm female, kinda nerdy (although I know I lose cred because I haven't seen or read LoTR), hate shopping and Cosmo (except at REI or if it's a cocktail, respectively), and am puzzled by Sex and the City.
posted by rtha at 11:23 AM on July 3, 2008

I'm a geeky woman in Boston! Let me know what you plan or if you need help.
posted by olinerd at 11:48 AM on July 3, 2008

You have pointed out that you are not into "stereotypical" women things----note that as you correctly stated, women being interested in those things is indeed a stereotype. There are loads of nerdy women like you out there and the best way to meet them will probably be through joining some groups---volunteer organizations, crafting groups, common interest groups. Look up the community center in your area and try taking a class that interests you.
posted by lacedback at 1:05 PM on July 3, 2008

Join The Nest and start talking on the Boston board. Most of my local female friends now are women I met via The Nest/The Knot over the last 4 years.
posted by suchatreat at 1:19 PM on July 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

The calendar on the blog lists the following event coming up in Boston: Boston Skeptics in the Pub. The New England Skeptical Society has a great podcast and discussion board, and there's even an upcoming Boston event on their front page. And here's Boston Drinking Liberally, on the more political side of things.
posted by matildaben at 2:28 PM on July 3, 2008

I found my geek friends through board games nights originally organized through Livejournal. Look for the busiest LJ community for your city.
posted by divabat at 3:42 PM on July 3, 2008

I live in Davis Square and at least once a week I see some woman riding a unicycle, carrying a javelin, knitting a tree sweater or toting a Rock Band guitar. Look for social events in this neighborhood -- they all seem to cater to us nerd girls.
posted by nev at 5:45 PM on July 3, 2008

I am a nerdy Bostonian female as well! I assistant organize the Nerd Fun - Boston meetup. It is great. I highly recommend it. In fact, I recommend checking out in general. There's something for everyone, literally. And if you're married, there's a couples meetup that (I hear! :) is pretty good too.

I'm happy to chat by email if you'd like.
posted by smallstatic at 11:24 AM on July 4, 2008

Response by poster: I just wanted to pop back in and thank everyone for their responses. I was feeling quite despairing when I posted this question but I feel a lot better about things now. matildaben, it's so funny you posted that suggestion, because about five minutes before you did, my husband sent me the link about the Skeptics in the Pub meetup. We both listen to the Skeptics Guide to the Universe so we'll probably go.

Thanks again!
posted by sutel at 8:21 AM on July 7, 2008

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