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I Found New Girlfriends Using a Friendship App

Within weeks, I went from a little lonely to booked and busy with brunch buddies, lunch dates, fitness friends and mom friends with kids the same age.

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Friendship, app, touching phone, illustration, Danielle Rhoda
Danielle Rhoda
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What sorts of activities do you like to do with friends? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful children. My life is full, but there are times when I do feel lonely. I’m in a life chapter where I barely get face time with people because I'm a busy homeschooling mom with a toddler (many friends my age have children who are older).

Turns out, there are lots of women my age seeking friendship these days. According to an AARP Foundation survey1 in 3 adults living in the United States age 45 and older are lonely. And according to the University of Michigan’s 2023 National Poll on Healthy Aging, loneliness in midlife (and beyond) is caused by several key factors including having jobs in different states, empty nesters, widowhood, parenting obligations, socioeconomic disparities, and changes in physical and mental health.

Technology can help with loneliness

Last year, someone that I’d been following on Instagram DM’d me. We both discovered that we had so much in common! Our kids are similar in age, we’re both authors, and we love to travel. After a few months of messaging back and forth, we decided to meet up in person for dinner. We had a great time—and my soul felt nourished.

Athena Dixon, Author of The Loneliness Files, also agrees that online platforms can come in handy when trying to make new friends.

“I've used online platforms since I was a teenager to build relationships mainly through interacting with different communities. I utilized message boards and social media apps because they offered space to develop my voice and meet like-minded people who were far from my small hometown but traveling similar paths,” says Dixon.

People (like myself and Dixon) are looking for authentic connections which could lead to being friends in real life. So I set out in search of the best places online to make friends.

Here’s what I discovered:

Brown Skin Brunchin’ 

Who’s it for? This app and community was created by two Black women who wanted a space to connect with people who enjoy brunch. There are designated cities that have brunch clubs, but if you don’t see your own city, there’s room to create a brunch group!
Cost: Free
My experience: This might be my favorite of all apps! Powered by Black women, I attended a local Brown Skin Brunchin’ networking event – and it was everything! I don’t often get out on the town without the children, but I had the opportunity to meet about a dozen women who were fly, fabulous, and free! Now, I did have to pay for brunch, but it was worth it. I’m going to try and attend a brunch event quarterly with new friends.


Who is it for? A multifunctional community building app, Meetup is most used for people looking to connect with others through learning opportunities and hobbies. Interested in birdwatching? Starting a double Dutch club? This is a great app to meet new friends while participating in activities you love.
Cost: Varies (free to sign up, but event costs may cost)
My experience: I joined Meetup for two months and took advantage of several groups during my membership, including a sports club. I joined a group of local Black women for Pickleball at a nearby community center. There was a small $20 equipment fee to participate. Although I didn’t make it back to another practice (they were too serious for me!) I learned a lot about a sport that is growing in popularity and one that I had never tried before.

Wzyr Friends

Who is it for? This is an activity-based friendship app that’s specifically designed with adults 40+ in mind, users can meet new friends and arrange for carpools through the app. Not only can you share likes and interests in this app, there are wellness challenges and group activities galore. Also, you can join as an individual or as a couple (double dates, anyone?)
Cost: Free
My experience: I joined Wyzr and have met several 40+ moms with toddlers. I feel like I’ve found my people! Although we have yet to meet up in person (life just keeps on life-ing), I have participated in two virtual walking challenges with the friends that I’ve met through this app. I call them “accountabilibuddies” and we’ve been checking in weekly to discuss our family walking wins.


(Instagram, Facebook, X)
Who’s it for? You can meet new friends through the hashtag #InstaMeet on Instagram, Facebook, or X. It is a hashtag on these social media sites that encourages online communities to gather in person for fun activities in cities across the world. To join, simply search the hashtag for your city (i.e. #InstaMeetAtlanta) and see what activities and meetups are planned in that area.
Cost: Free
My experience: Although I met a friend from Instagram in real life, I didn’t feel comfortable meeting up with a group solely based on a hashtag. I searched for activities in the area and ended up deciding to meet at one of the activities, which was a larger concert event, with the friend I’d been DM’ing. We ditched searching for the hashtag group and simply went out for a bite to eat instead.


Who’s it for? Parents who are looking to make connections with friends who are also parents, this app is for you! Their motto is “Parenting is tough. Don’t do it alone.” This is especially helpful for older adults (parents or grandparents) who might still have school-aged children and are looking for a community to share family moments with.
Cost: Free
My experience: I like that this app is specifically for parents. I’ve been wanting to meet new, older parents of smaller children in my area, but it has been pretty awkward. I set up a family profile on this app (without pictures, because I’m not into sharenting online) and within about two weeks, I received an invitation to chat from one other family. We met up in person for a family dinner and game night which is hosted by a restaurant close by. We haven’t touched base since (wasn’t necessarily a good match), but I really appreciate the functionality of this app and its audience.


Who is it for? This app is all about the slow simmer. If you’re not trying to rush new friendships, this live-streaming platform allows users to chat online and join shared live streams. It’s a welcoming space where you don’t need to feel rushed into declaring friendship, but still have opportunities to search for friends with similar interests
Cost: Free
My experience: I am all about the slow simmer, but this app didn’t work well for me because (ironically) I have been feeling overstimulated by technology. I appreciate the live streams, but my goals are to spend less time online and more time outside.

Hey! VINA 

Who’s it for? This friendship app is for the ladies only. There are helpful articles, quizzes, and advice forums in the app, too.
Cost: Free
My experience: I really love all the brief articles and quizzes. But because I found myself going down too many forum rabbit holes, I decided to delete the app. Overall I think it’s a great app for meeting new friends.

Playing it safe: Tips for meeting online connections in person
Meeting new people online is the first step to building friendships. But when meeting new friends in person for the first time in person, always move with caution. I have been sure to follow these safety guidelines:
● Meet in a public place
● Drive your own car
● Tell a friend or family member where you’ll be
● Don’t give out personal information like your address or credit card information
● Never leave your drinks or food unattended
● Make sure your cell phone is charged and on you at all times
● Know where your nearest emergency centers are

I’m so glad that my time spent on friendship apps resulted in gaining a few new friends. Perhaps it’ll make the difference in not feeling so lonely.

What sorts of activities do you like to do with friends? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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