MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend

MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend

by Rachel Bertsche

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Overview

When Rachel Bertsche first moves to Chicago, she’s thrilled to finally share a zip code, let alone an apartment, with her boyfriend. But shortly after getting married, Bertsche realizes that her new life is missing one thing: friends. Sure, she has plenty of BFFs—in New York and San Francisco and Boston and Washington, D.C. Still, in her adopted hometown, there’s no one to call at the last minute for girl talk over brunch or a reality-TV marathon over a bottle of wine. Taking matters into her own hands, Bertsche develops a plan: She’ll go on fifty-two friend-dates, one per week for a year, in hopes of meeting her new Best Friend Forever.

In her thought-provoking, uproarious memoir, Bertsche blends the story of her girl-dates (whom she meets everywhere from improv class to friend rental websites) with the latest social research to examine how difficult—and hilariously awkward—it is to make new friends as an adult. In a time when women will happily announce they need a man but are embarrassed to admit they need a BFF, Bertsche uncovers the reality that no matter how great your love life is, you’ve gotta have friends.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345524942
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/20/2011
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 1,291,145
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Rachel Bertsche is a journalist in Chicago, where she lives with her husband. Her work has appeared in Marie Claire, More, Teen Vogue, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Fitness, Women's Health, CNN.com, and more. Before leaving New York (and all her friends) for the Midwest, Bertsche was an editor at O: The Oprah Magazine.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

FRIEND-DATE 1. As I approach the restaurant, there's a girl down the block walking in my direction. I squint to make her out through the January flurries. Average height, brown hair, peacoat. An everygirl. That's got to be her. When I enter Market, the new bar next door to my office, I do a quick once-over of the area near the hostess. Empty. The peacoat girl was definitely Hannah. She'll walk in the door in about 20 seconds. 19. 18_._._._My head starts spinning. When she gets here, do we hug? Or handshake? Hug is a little familiar for someone I've only met over email. But a handshake is pretty formal for potential buddies meeting for a drink. We did exchange "I feel like I know you already!" emails. And when you know someone, you hug them, right? 11. 10. 9_._._._I don't want to be overzealous in my hugging though. Definitely don't want to be that girl. What if I lean in for an embrace as she sticks out her hand for the shake? We'll end up in one of those one-arm-around-each-other half-hugs. That already happened to me once this week, with a colleague. Yikes.

She's here. We make eye contact. "Rachel?" "Hannah?" She goes right in for the hug. I reciprocate. Flawlessly, I might add. There's no sign I spent the last half-minute rehearsing this in my mind.

Let's back up. My inaugural girl-date and I exchanged our first email two months ago. She came to me via my best friend Sara. Actually, we should back up a bit further. Five years, to be exact.

After I graduated college, I moved home to New York and Matt moved to Philadelphia for law school. About a month into his Villanova stint, he broke up with me. I know now this is the natural course of events for post-grad long-distance relationships. Most of the women I know who married their college sweethearts went through the same thing. But at the time, I was devastated. I was quite sure Matt was out of my life forever and I was furious with myself for wasting years on him. I was lonely and frustrated and decided I needed a new social outlet to distract me. I started a book club.

I invited my other best friend, Callie, and Callie invited her cousin, Lauren. Then each of us invited two more people. The only requirement was that we bring in ladies the others didn't know. The idea was that if we were strangers, we wouldn't let gossip distract us from the book discussions. For three years, nine of us met every month. Over time, girls moved away and others were invited to replace them. Soon after I moved to Chicago, Hannah was called in as a relief book-clubber. After two years, and one bad breakup, she decided to leave Manhattan for Chicago, her hometown.

I was elated when Sara, who also belonged to the book club, emailed to tell me Hannah was moving here. "You guys will be great friends," she wrote. "She has a book club she can invite you into or she can start a new one with you." Amazing. I'd wanted to be in a book club since I arrived in Chicago but when I mentioned it to my friend from college, she said "How 'bout a dinner club?" I once even tried to finagle an invite to a coworker's book group when I overheard her mention the titles they'd read. "If you ever need another person, I'd love to join!" She looked at me as if I'd asked to join an orgy.

I sent Sara an email shortly before Hannah was due to arrive. "What's her email address? I want to grab her as my BFF ASAP." When I next checked my Gmail, I had two responses from Sara. The first had Hannah's email address. The second said "Oops. Didn't mean to cc her. I guess the ice is broken."

Sara is the smartest girl I know, but her fleeting moments of idiocy are made worse by the fact that she has no idea she's just been a huge idiot. After she typed Hannah's name in the TO: field to get her email address, she left it there. She thought nothing of this slight oversight, cc'ing her again on the "oops!"

She'd just forwarded my first potential girl-date an email in which I laid claim to her as my best friend forever! We'd never even met! Sara is as low-key as I am overexcited, so it all seemed peachy keen to her. I was mortified.

Despite our memorable introduction-we'll laugh about it one day?- Hannah wasn't scared off by the declaration of my intentions. We decided to meet for drinks.

So here we are. Hannah and I settle into our seats, order two glasses of wine and start chatting. When she starts to ask if I'm hungry, I shout "Yes!" before she finishes the question. I eat when I'm nervous.

The conversation is off to a comfortable start. We each explain how we're connected to the other book club girls, which leads to a wider- cast name game. Oh, you went to Tripp Lake, you must know Jill! You're from Glencoe? Do you know the Bernsteins? We come from similar upper-middle-class suburban worlds. We know plenty of people in common.

Hannah grew up forty minutes outside of the city. It becomes clear, as she tells me about her recent move, that she already has plenty of friends in town. "So, you know a ton of people in Chicago?" I'm not happy with where this is going.

"Yeah, about a million."

A pause and then I hear myself saying, "I wish you didn't have so many friends."

Um, that was weird. Did I just say that? That's not what I meant. Well, it is what I meant, but I didn't mean to say it out loud. At least I caught myself before saying, "How many, exactly?" That's what I really want to know.

It may sound like the question of a crazy jealous stalker, but it's actually a logical inquiry. A person can only maintain so many social contacts. Facebook may trick us into thinking we have five hundred friends, but research shows there's a saturation point for actual interpersonal relationships.

It all goes back to the chimps. When British anthropologist Robin Dunbar was studying the behaviors of primates in 1993, he noticed their social groups were generally limited in size. Chimps, for example, could not maintain tribes of more than 50. For any species of nonhuman primates, Dunbar found the "mean group size is directly related to relative neocortical volume." In English, he's saying the size of your brain determines how many relationships you can maintain. Chimps can have about 50 friends. Since human brains are bigger, we can keep up a wider social network. The exact number Dunbar proposed was 148.4, but the Dunbar Number, as it has come to be known, is 150.

Social network means something different today than it did back in the nineties. Dunbar didn't care about the number of people who follow you on Twitter. He was talking about relationships "that depend on extensive personal knowledge based on face-to-face interaction for their stability." Reading someone's status update doesn't count.

When I came upon Dunbar's Number, I realized it was time to do some math. People don't have to be close friends to qualify as part of the 150. They just have to fit into your social group, even if you haven't spoken in a while. If you saw them, you might "have to do a lot of catching up, but they know you fit into their social world and you know they fit into yours," Dunbar told the Wall Street Journal. "You have a history." I whipped out my wedding invite list. Once I removed the guests who are exclusively Matt's friends, and the significant others who have since broken up with my friends or vice versa, I determined that I had sixty-four invitees who fit into my Dunbar web. Then I checked out the Facebook

friends who didn't make the guest list. There were thirty-six people with whom I have communicated in the last year, or who I would actually stop and talk to if I saw them on the street. I'm generally a social person, but I've been known to run in the other direction to avoid small talk. Family falls under the Dunbar umbrella, too, if you maintain independent relationships with them, so I added another thirty-I've got a lot of cousins. That put me at 130. Twenty spots left for my new BFFs. I considered wearing a sign: 20 VACANCIES, NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS!

You can see why I want to know exactly how many friends Hannah has here. If she has a big family and a large network of buddies in both NYC and Chicago, she may have already hit her 150. If she has reached friendship saturation, what am I doing here?

Three girls about our age sit down at the table next to us. As if trying to prove just how popular she is, I see a spark of recognition flicker across Hannah's face.

Suddenly, "Hiiii!"

One of the girls who just sat down is squealing at the sight of my date. Hannah looks at me sheepishly ("I wasn't kidding!") and gets up to greet this long-lost friend. As they briefly catch up, I stare at my food. I can't help thinking of an article I just read about a British journalist. She struck up a friendly conversation with a man who then told her he had no vacancies for friends. He maintained a one-in, one-out policy. Six months later, she got a card notifying her that the guy was now open for friendship. But Hannah agreed to this dinner, so she must at least think she can handle a new friend. A new best friend? We'll see.

Once she settles back into her seat, Hannah tells me about her recent breakup. She'd gone to law school in Boston while her boyfriend was in Manhattan. After graduation she moved to New York City to be with him and took the state bar, only to have him dump her a year later. "Does Matt know any single guys I might want to date?" I rack my brain. Most of the people we know here are coupled off. There is this one guy_._._.

"Who is he?" she asks. "I bet I know him."

I tell her David's name.

"Who are you? Who are you and where do you come from?" Those are her words, and I fall a little bit in friend-love. She's witty! She's quick! Could this search really be so easy?

My friend David, it turns out, is her close family friend. They've known each other since the womb. The setup is not an option, but the coincidence has us laughing. Ever since she moved to Chicago, her friends have been trying to set her up. "I told them I had a girl- date tonight_._._._'cause this is a girl-date, you know?" Uhh, yeah, I know. "They keep telling me 'Screw girl dates. You need to go on boy dates.'_"

I wonder if this will be a common theme. Single women my age are more interested in meeting potential boyfriends than potential best friends, though I would argue the latter's a lot harder to come by and plenty more emotionally nourishing. A husband is wonderful, and Matt makes me laugh. He makes me feel beautiful, loved, protected, cared for. But when I need to talk my feelings to death, really sit and analyze why I am confused/lonely/ecstatic, he's just not up to it. It's not for lack of trying, but men can only go over the same thing so many times. They don't understand that, as women, we crave having someone validate our feelings. And then do it twice more.

When I first moved to Chicago, I took a job that turned out to be a disaster. I was to be the senior editor at a new luxury magazine. The job, and the magazine launch, kept getting pushed back until the company decided to have me "train" in their Florida office so I wouldn't up and quit. For six weeks, I spent Monday through Friday in Miami, working as a glorified intern and utterly miserable. I had just relocated to end a long-distance relationship and here I was, in a city I hadn't signed up for, and farther away from Matt than ever. When I finally decided to quit, I needed to run the idea by anyone and everyone whose opinion I valued. Matt's response was "I can't tell you what to do, but I will support your decision regardless." A textbook answer. Such a good guy. But what I wanted was someone to talk it out with me for hours. To say, "You should quit" or even, "You shouldn't." Callie, who herself had quit a job recently, stayed on the phone and walked me through the different scenarios, letting me talk out how I would make a living if I put this Miami disaster behind me. Sara said, "Of course you should quit. You're miserable! You're young! Work at a bakery." I needed someone who would listen as I repeated myself in case a new thought came up. Someone who would tell me what they already knew I wanted to hear so that I would be more confident in my decision. Though Matt said everything right, I got the emotional support I needed from my friends.

I don't tell Hannah about my search-I haven't yet worked out the ethics of disclosure-but when we talk about leaving Manhattan I deliver my usual line: "I don't miss the city, but I miss my friends." I explain that while I do know some girls in Chicago, I haven't made close friends like the ones I had in New York. In the three years I was in our common book club, the nine of us became extremely tight. We'd gone from casual acquaintances and reading buddies to real-life let-me-tell-you-my-problems friends. That's what I miss, I tell her.

The good news, which she told me when we first emailed, is that Hannah was recently invited into a book club and got me an invite, too. In the meantime, she says, I should come to her friend Leah's house for dinner on Wednesday.

"This Wednesday?"

"Yeah, she's having some girls over for a get-together."

It's Monday. Wednesday seems a little quick. Doesn't the two-day rule say no post-date communication for forty-eight hours? Seeing each other again that soon must be a definite no-no. But friend-dating doesn't have the same rules as romantic-dating. In fact, it doesn't have any rules at all. I can probably write my own. Still, tomorrow night is yoga and Thursday I have plans with my Mom, so Wednesday is my only weeknight to go home, watch Modern Family, and spend some quality time with Matt. On top of that, being the only stranger at dinner with a group of girls who are already close friends doesn't sound appealing at all. I'll have to pretend to laugh at stories I don't get about people I don't know. I'll probably stuff my face just to have something to do while they all gab about their ninth-grade English teacher or some other inside joke that makes me feel like an outsider. It's hard to know how to behave in those situations. You can jump right in, asking "Who?" and "Where was this?" or you can sit back and let them have their laughs. I almost always opt for the latter, sometimes to my detriment. What I think is letting them have their fun, they might take as she-thinks-she's-too-cool.

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MWF Seeking BFF 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author seems incredibly vapid..... all she talks about with her friends is celebrity gossip
Beverly_D More than 1 year ago
I’m a blogger. The author of this book, Rachel, is witty and self-deprecating and clever. And she’s a blogger. I should love this. But sometimes, what works a separate blog posts, spread out over 1 to 2 weeks for a year doesn’t “work” put together as a book. So, I like this. It’s informative and entertaining. What put me off? Although interesting, the many references to research material on friends and friendship were off-putting to me. When I feel in need of a friend, I don’t need reference material telling me that my health is so much sh*ttier, and my life will be so much shorter, if I don’t have a bosom friend or four. I don’t know if anyone needs to be sold on the value of friends. I certainly don’t feel more cheerful about life if somebody tells me I am now more susceptible to dying of, say, cancer of the pancreas, because nobody likes me. On the other hand, were I the potential target of Rachel’s efforts, would I feel like a potential friend, or a lab rat? Especially given that Ms. Bertsche already had several childhood and teen BFF's. Who wants to be on tenterhooks for half a year or more, waiting to see if one is qualified or winnowed out for a spot as Chicago BFF number one? (After “real” BFF’s #1, 1, 3 & 4?) I got the feeling many of Ms. Bertsche’s potential BFF’s did their own winnowing. The whole concept of ”52 Girl-Dates in a Year” makes it feel like Rachel was more interested in that; the potential of a book, and the ongoing blog material, rather than the search for actual friends. If Rachel had found a wonderful potential BFF on date number eight, for example, do we get the feeling she would’ve abandoned the ongoing search? I felt, oh hell no! I felt that, regardless of how wonderful potential BFF’s from dates # 8, 17, 22, and 31 were (picking numbers at random), Rachel was going to see it through all the way to Girl-Date #52, because her *primary* goal was to turn this into a book. I do think this book is great, compact research for those who’ve moved and are looking for friendship; everything from friend to friend intros, to Rent-A-Friend. Yes, people (especially women-people) can get lonely and there are many wonderful tips on meeting people, getting over shyness, learning how to ask for girl dates and friendships. But I wonder, where is the beauty and joy in time spent alone? I think it’s great that even as a the newlywed Rachel was not focusing on her new hubs as the Be-All and End-All of her life. But what about retreating to the woman cave once in a while? If there was one word I’d give this work, it’s “frenetic.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book starts out really funny then gets a lil muddled up in the tiresome monotony of making friiendship connections as an adult female. I connected to the subject matter and thats why I gave it at 4 stars. Now the author has inspired me to put myself out there!
Buckstar More than 1 year ago
I may be too old(mature)for this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For anyone who's ever moved to a new city and realized it's not always so easy to make friends as an adult (especially when it's your "second city", as Bertsche explains). For anyone who's moved for love or work and found herself without all the BFFs childhood/high school/college brought about easily. For anyone who has always valued her female friendships and what they bring to the table---and knows how important they are, even when you're very happy in a romantic relationship. Highly recommend. For me it was so very easy to relate to both the subject material and the author (...after all, I love Harry Potter and a whole lot of TV ;-D).
SmplexlyRee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I¿ve had to think about this one for a while. The premise got me from the beginning, but I think the initial execution of thought-to-paper was a little too clinical for my tastes. The first few chapters of the book are FULL of references to various friend-theme scientific studies¿so much so that it seems on almost every page the author is telling us where some data appeared. I understand, a little anyway, why she did this ¿ but it just seemed to me a little over the top and not -quite- necessary.After the first few chapters, though, the writing relaxes and we get into the flow. Yes, there¿s still some references to studies, but they¿re done more casually and there¿s much fewer. The sudden shift to a more casual writing style was what kept me reading, and I¿m really glad I did. Mrs. Bertsche is definitely a fun lady and that shows in the way she puts pen to paper (or finger to keyboard, whatever!). I was intrigued to read about her girl-dates; she gives just enough detail about each to keep the readers interest piqued, but not enough to make you wish she¿d just hurry up to the next one, already.The ideas and themes within the novel are, for someone who is also a transplant to another state and has had little time to jump into the epic social swing of things, quite interesting. She introduces a way of thinking about girl-dates and `friending¿ that makes it seem the norm rather than something quirky that people might look at with raised eyebrows.All in all, I really enjoyed the book and I look forward to sharing it with some of my friends.
bolgai on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The curse of the introvert is that while I enjoy spending time with people I know, getting there (aka making friends) is a challenge. I frequently wonder how some people go from barely acquaintances to friends in no time with zero awkwardness and lately I've been thinking about the general subject of friendship more than usual. So when a friend gushed about this book I jumped at the chance to read it - here's someone asking the same questions and apparently she has answers! Rachel's memoir is not just a collection of amusing anecdotes about her 52 new girl-dates in search of friends. She's also done some research on the subject of friendship and the narrative is liberally sprinkled with references to books and articles on the subject as well as summaries of her interviews with experts. This did give the book more of a dry air of an almost scientific article than I would have preferred but at least we know without a doubt that the author has thoroughly done her homework! She is also letting us into her life outside the friend-search, giving us a glimpse of how hew new husband was dealing with the whole thing (from what I can tell Rachel better hang on to her Matt, he¿s a keeper), her existing friends' and family's support, and her own analysis of herself and her quest throughout the year. It¿s interesting to see the transformation of her wish list for the perfect friend from tentative to defined and grounded in the present and her transformation from a young woman seeking companionship to a young woman who has much to offer not only to a potential friend but also to herself. I really enjoyed reading Rachel¿s insights into what it takes to build a friendship, her take on our culture where admitting that you are looking for friends is tantamount to admitting that you are a weirdo looser, and her thoughts about one¿s spouse being one¿s best friend (or not). I can relate to her nervousness starting out on this adventure and applaud her for not leaving a stone unturned, and for turning into a yes-woman of friend-making in the name of having a social life, which is obviously very important to her. While I wouldn¿t want to repeat Rachel¿s experiment (`exhausting¿ doesn¿t even begin to cover my impression of the commitment she made over the course of that year) many of the lessons she learned I would like to apply to my own life. After all, when has it hurt to have more friends?
Krystal18 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What do you do when you are friendless in an unfamiliar big city? You put out an ad for friends, of course! The author moved to the Windy City after marrying her college sweetheart, from that statement alone everything sounds hunky-dory...however, she had to leave behind her two best friends.Rachel's story is hysterical. This book will easily make the reader laugh, experience several awkward moments with Rachel, and hold his/her breath to see if the friendship will work out. The way the author writes will captivate the reader. Rachel's style of writing is fluid, down-to-earth, and infused with humor. Rachel literally holds nothing back, she is very candid with the reader. The potential candidates for Rachel's BFF are fun to get to meet. They each have different qualities and mannerisms that will make them stick out to the reader. The reader will also be able to follow Rachel's reasoning and logic for why a friendship didn't work out or may work out. It's funny to think of speed-dating for friendship, but Rachel will help the reader see the merit in it. One statement of Rachel's that sticks out as a pearl of wisdom is when she states that society has made it acceptable to be a woman seeking a man and vice versa, but not a woman seeking friendship from other women. She also goes into detail about how female friendships are taking a hit in recent years, this information should be interesting to readers-particularly readers of the female persuasion. Overall, this book was hilarious and absorbing, highly recommended to adult/young adult readers.
ethel55 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I picked this us because I believe the premise, that it is hard to make friends as an adult. At first, I thought I'd just jump from "friend date" to "friend date", that being the meat of the book. But soon, Rachel's voice gave way to some self-reflection, quotes from reliable friend studies and I was hooked. Rachel's still young enough to have the cushion of making friends via college connections, but some of the other ways she put herself out there were very interesting! I would love to revisit this newly married after she has children. That's quite a game-changer in the world of friendships, both keeping and making them.
nmagel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Less than two years ago I found myself in a very similar situation as Bertsche. I moved with my husband, son and brand new baby to a new town where we knew no one. Add to that the fact that both of my Grandmothers died, I dislocated my knee and couldn¿t be near my only sister as she gave birth to her first baby within two months of the move and I was feeling really sad and lonely!I found this book very relatable because of my experience. I have since made a few friends just as Bertsche did by putting myself out there. I trolled the internet for local groups and meet-ups, joined a local parenting website, took my kids to the beach and the parks, hung out in Starbucks and at the gym. I even signed up for classes at the local library. It worked! I was out of my comfort zone, but I can now say I have a nice group of about eight girlfriends to socialize with, plus a pretty cool book club!Bertsche is an engaging writer. She is funny and candid. Some of her stories were laugh out loud funny and some were even cringe-worthy. I love the honest approach she took in writing about her experiences. She could easily be a friend of mine if I lived in Chicago. Besides hitting home because of my similar experience, this book is full of tips on how to be a better friend. I realized that if I want friendships to grow, I need to be the initiator a lot more. That also goes for keeping up my old friendships, because those are just as important. There are also great ideas on how to make even more friends.This book was a light and engaging read. It was just the right blend of funny, endearing, memoir and sociology. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who had a move to a new location and was on a search for new friends, as well as anyone looking to be a better friend. I absolutely loved this book, and we will be discussing it at my new-ish book club at our next meeting.
tomgirl571 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Rachel Bertsche's MWF Seeking BFF: MY Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend was one of my favorite reads of 2011. I read it over the Christmas holiday, and it was the perfect read. Basically, the book chronicals Bertsche's quest for a new best friend after moving to a new city with her husband and leaving behind all of her best buds. She realizes how lonely she is without a friend to call up to hang out with at a moment's notice, so she decides to go on one "friend date" a week for an entire year. Bertsche enrolls in clubs, classes, etc. in the hopes of meeting potential new friends. It is a super fun and very hilarious read.When I picked up MWF, I was expecting a light, fluffy read. I figured I'd like it, but it wouldn't be anything special. Turns out, it's anything but, and it turned into one of my favorite books, and sort of changed the way I think about friends. I was affected by the book immediately. Bertsche goes into detail about how much she loves hanging out with her husband, but how she misses having those conversations you can only have with your best girlfriends. We get a very intimate look at her own life, which made me love the book more because I felt close to the author. This book encouraged me to see my friends more, because I've been lazy about getting together with them for a long time. I loved Bertsche's take on making friends after college. Having just graduated last May, I realized how right she was when she said that it's a lot harder to make new friends once you're out of school. Of course, I still live in my hometown and have my bffs around me, but eventually I know I'll be living in a new city with no close friends nearby. Bertsche is a hilarious author. She's a confident woman, yet she has no problems writing about how awkward she can be at times when meeting new potential friends on "friend dates". It makes you think back to first date moments with guys, and I loved how honest she was about how intimidated friend dates can be, even more so than dates with guys. I really loved how she slowly emerged from being kind of shy on first friend dates to feeling completely comfortable. What was really intriguing was when Bertsche started thinking about what made her click with potential friends and what made dates awkward and not go so well. She also backed this up with articles about friendship. Some of the things she mentioned for clicking with people were obvious, like having things in common, like a shared love of reading. However, she said that having common dislikes was a big factor in clicking as well. Sometimes though, having things in common doesn't gaurantee you'll hit it off. Bertsche said that the friend dates that turned into true friendships always involved a lot of laughter. Which makes sense if you think about it. If you're not laughing with someone, you're not having fun with them. There were a few parts that were super emotional, especially for me. Bertsche lost her father a few years ago, just like I lost mine, and the chapter where she goes home for Thanksgiving and feels his loss a ton, I completely connected with that, especially since I read that particular passage on Christmas day, when I was really missing my own dad. Basically, I loved this book so much. It is very easy to read but it is also super informative, and I felt like Rachel and I were friends by the end. Especially since we're both apparently obsessed with Law and Order SVU....I read this in 2 sittings and couldn't put it down. I've also been recommending it like crazy. I love it, especially since it's the main reason why I've been seeing my friends so much in the new year!
justmelissa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm getting ready to move from California to New Jersey, where I know no one, so the timing of this book couldn't be more perfect! Rachel provides so many different alternatives for meeting new people, there should be tested techniques for all types. I was worried when most of her first "dates" were with friends of friends. That's great for a sorority sister from a nearby college where many acquaintances have settled in Chicago, but not helpful for me as a person who has always had (and preferred) a small circle of close friends. In addition to her various strategies for meeting people, MWF seeking BFF served as a motivator for me. What a great reminder of the power of girlfriends and the happiness they can bring into our lives! And, I also appreciated the inclusion of scientific studies about friendship - so informative!Even if you aren't new in town, I'd recommend this book as a gentle tool for building social networks (the in-person kind). Rachel's humorous stories of her not-always-successful-outings make the idea of building friendships into an adventure instead of a chore. I can't wait to get started!PS. I did not follow Rachel's blog before reading the book so I can't comment on how much of the content is original and how much is a rehash of previous postings. Hopefully other reviewers will be able to comment.
BookDivasReads on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For many people, male or female, it is difficult to acclimate in a new city or state especially when you don't know anyone other than your spouse, their co-workers and your co-workers. Some people are able to establish friendships with co-workers that exist outside of the workplace, and others simply can't because there are no common interests. Some people find new friends with common interests at book clubs, exercise classes, cooking classes or even at places of worship. Rachel tries many of these tactics and more in her search for a new BFF. Rachel isn't a needy, clingy woman that relies on her husband as her sole contact outside of work. She has a full life with friends, family and often traveled out-of-state to weddings, etc. keeping in contact. But we all crave someone to hang out with on the weekends, call when we're having difficulties at home or work, shop with, etc. Rachel's friend-dates are her attempts to find this person in her new hometown. She "dates" women that she may have overlooked because they were older, different ethnicities, or simply different. She is highly descriptive in describing these dates and her expectations. I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I began reading MWF Seeking BFF simply because I'm not a memoir reader. However I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, although it did seem to drag a little in the middle sections. I don't know if I could have the chutzpah to put myself out there as Rachel did when she moved, but I can understand her goal and rationale. This book provides a glimpse into why friends are necessary in order to be a well-rounded person, in addition to providing a glimpse into Rachel¿s quest for a new BFF. (Couples with close friends apparently do better than couples without close friends according to one quoted sociology study.) If you enjoy memoirs with a humorous bent then MWF Seeking BFF may be just the book for you.
BookAngel_a on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was a little skeptical at first, but I absolutely loved this book!Rachel Bertsche moved to Chicago for love, but as wonderful as her new husband is, she misses being close to her best friends. So she decides to go on 52 "friend dates" for a year to hopefully find some new best friends in Chicago. When she finds good friend potential, she tries to plan follow up dates with each girl. In order to keep meeting new potential friends, she attempts everything - signing up for classes, going "speed friending", reconnecting with old friends, striking up conversations with potential BFFs wherever she goes. She even tries to "rent a friend." Oh, and did I mention she has a full time job?? I don't know how she managed to do it all, but somehow she did.Along the way, she does research about friendship and tries out suggestions for meeting people and being a good friend in return. She doesn't hesitate to make light of herself and her shortcomings, and she is totally honest when the friend dates go badly. She learns a lot about going outside her comfort zone - sometimes new friends could be those we least expect.Bertsche has a funny writing style - she made me laugh - and yet the book is also educational, and inspiring. As you read it, you will be moved to reach out to your own friends, and appreciate them more than before.(I received this book through Amazon's Vine Program.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very insightful and makes you want to go friend date!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hello, Trey
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm only about half way through the book, and although I'll probably finish, I often find myself rolling my eyes at Ms. Bertsche.  Like some other reviews mention, the occasional rhetoric about friendship/ lonliness studies is a stark shift in writing style-- from formal, to almost trying too hard to be witty.   Although it's well-writen in a vocabulary, descriptive sense, it reads like an author's first book.  (Because it is?)   The author comes across as pretty immature most of the time, making many references to her obsession with TV and awkwardness about befriending someone older/ younger and in a different stage of life. Another put-off is her judgy-ness.  Just because she calls herself out about being judgmental, doesn't mean it's okay to do.   All in all, I'm not impressed so far.  I picked up the book because as a MWF, (although, I am a stay-at-home mom of a toddler, GASP, a different life stage), I can relate to the topic, like many women.  Ultimately, if we were to friend-date, I don't think I'd call her back.
X_in_SF More than 1 year ago
This is a really easy read and is pretty entertaining and helpful, overall. The author is fairly young, so if you are 35+ you might find her a bit juvenile, but the message and story are still good and for the most part, I think I was probably of a similar frame of mind when I was her age. I was laid off from a company that I worked at for many years and when I left, I lost a support system that I hadn't realized wouldn't translate to life after leaving. I was not sure how to go about making new friends, and more importantly, I was embarrassed that I didn't have more friends (at my age!). Reading this book made me realize that there are a lot of people in my situation and that I shouldn't be so shy about approaching people. It also shares the author's failures (emailing a friend to go out with no response), making me feel better about my own. The author also touches on the subject of finding friends like you had in college or growing up - the kind you can call anytime and talk about nothing and whether or not this person is possible to find once you get older.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
im about to leave i just wanted to say good-bye one more time! Bye!! I'll be on if i can but no promises we will be pretty busy in d.c. ill miss you guys!!!! Johnna
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey connie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ya it was on the raidio
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago