What My First Friend Date Taught Me
When Mason and I matched on Bumble BFF, we were both quick to acknowledge how weird this was. Weird in the sense that human beings don’t tend to be so upfront so quickly about how they feel about each other. Yet, it wasn't weird in the sense that we were both in a place in life where we were actively swiping on the app, attempting to fill the void of a lack of gal pals.
Given the fact that neither of us were super keen on the pre-meet-up small talk, we got to the point fairly quickly: coffee on Friday?
I got ready Friday afternoon as if I were getting ready for a 10th date, not a first. Casual, laid-back, but threw my favorite high-waisted fringe jeans in that I was confident she would appreciate. I got to the coffee shop first, and surveyed the room for a table that had enough space that people nearby wouldn’t overhear as we stumbled around trying to get to know one another. I ordered a coffee, took my post, and waited.
When Mason walked in we immediately recognized each other.
“Should we hug it out?” she asked, shrugging her shoulders to her ears as she got closer.
“Probably," I said. "That feels more appropriate than a handshake, right?”
We hugged — and giggled — and it felt as though we already knew each other. As though, somehow, our kindred spirits melted away any concern that the next hour would be anything other than fun.
We started with the basics: where are you from, where’d you go to school, what do you do, family? We talked about love, what we really wanted to do with our careers, what we really wanted to do with our lives, and how to negotiate the three. We talked about why we were on Bumble BFF; friends moving out of town, wanting someone to go on girl dates with, craving more female energy, craving more female connections...
When it finally hit 5pm, we were both buzzing. You see, the thing about a friend date is, when you exchange numbers at the end, there isn’t any anxiety over who will text who first or how long the other person should wait to respond. There’s just the high of knowing that a new, authentic connection has been made, without any of the potential for heartbreak.
Something truly special is created when two women carve out space in their lives to form a bond without judgement and without fear. It isn’t always easy, and it definitely requires a good amount of telling yourself to relax and not overthink it. But if there’s one thing I learned from my very first girl date, it’s that it’s always, always worth it.
Gabby Lester-Coll for The BeeHive