How, exactly, does one make friends as an adult? From childhood through our early 20s, the opportunities to meet like-minded people are plentiful: Recess! After-school clubs! College! But once you get into the rhythm of a 9 to 5 job, it can be difficult to go outside your immediate circle and have meaningful conversations with anyone that’s not in your apartment or your office. Below, these six BFFs describe the random, unexpected ways they made it happen.
How Allie met her BFF: “I was taking an Uber from downtown to the Upper West Side, where we both happened to live at the time. I remember we first started chatting because the third person in our Uber Pool was taking too long to come to the car. From there it was non-stop chatter. We bonded over SoulCycle, where she worked at the time and the love for our neighborhood. I remember when I got out of the car she mentioned exchanging numbers and asked something along the lines of if that was weird, and I said no, not at all. It is so hard to meet friends as an adult, and I was so excited! About a week later, we did our first spin class together. Funny thing is, it almost felt like a first date [with] who was going to text who first and what it would be like when we first hung out. Luckily, it worked out for us.”
How Brooke remembers it: “I was at a birthday dinner downtown. For dessert, I ordered blackberry sorbet, and it turned my ENTIRE mouth black. After a while panicking in the bathroom, I couldn’t get any of it off, so I decide to forego the bar-hopping and head home after dinner. It set the timing up to fulfill a little slice of destiny.Allie and I were matched as Uber Pool co-riders both going home to the Upper West Side. We exchanged numbers and went to a SoulCycle class together. A couple weeks after that, we went for sushi, where she met my boyfriend-at-the-time. She agreed with me that he was extremely weird and totally sucked, and right then and there, I knew that Allie and I were just getting started.”
How Ashli met her BFF: “I was out with a group of mostly acquaintances and just doing my own thing, having a good time on the dance floor. I sort of looked up and was drawn to this other group that seemed to be having fun. Somehow Alysha and I ended up next to each other, and our vibes clicked. We were just dancing near each other, laughing, and at some point, Alysha goes, ‘Want to get a drink?’ So we got drinks and introduced ourselves. I said I was a graduate student at Columbia, so we sort of bonded because Alysha had done grad school there as well. I think we were honestly just excited to meet another fun, educated woman of colour with good energy. We exchanged info. and met up a few days later for coffee. It’s always really funny when people ask how we met because we became close friends really quickly, and I think people assume we’ve known each other much longer than what we have.”
How Alysha remembers it: “I second all of that.”
How Susan met her BFF: “Elise and I were sat next to each other on a flight from San Francisco to New York City. Elise noticed I was struggling with something on my iPhone, some momentary tech glitch. Of course her suggestion was right. We got to talking and didn’t stop the entire flight. We ordered wine and asked each other lots of questions. We both agreed we recognised in each other an enthusiasm for life and living. Elise is great company because she’s so positive, energetic, warm, and experienced in living a full and varied life. She’s inspiring but also very real, girlie, and frank. I feel so fortunate to have her in my life. An added bonus was when we swapped addresses at the end of the flight, [we realised] we lived at opposite ends of the same street in downtown Manhattan.”
How Elise remembers it: “I was flying back from San Francisco where I had been visiting my daughter who teaches at Berkeley. There was a very attractive young woman sitting next to me, struggling with her cell phone. I asked if she would like some help. She looked very startled and I wondered if it was my age, that she would not think people my age would be tech savvy. After I got the phone working, we talked all the way back to New York, where we live on opposite ends of the same street. And we continue to talk whenever we can.”
How Chloe met her BFF: “Lindsey and I were both 21 when we met. I had just graduated college a semester early and had started my first big-girl job in the city. Linds was in her last semester and had been hired as a company intern. I was super excited by how nice, funny, and professional this girl was. I immediately liked her and was totally annoyed I couldn’t just ask her on a friend date since she technically reported to me. In the last week of her internship, she came to me for advice about whether or not to take a job offer she’d received. The caveat was that she would need to move to the city ASAP, since she had been commuting from Philadelphia. Turns out, I had a room available, and offered it to her on the spot. She accepted both offers, and we spent her first night in the apartment drinking wine, watching Jonas Brothers videos, and hysterically laughing. Four years later, we still live together, and not much has changed.”
How Lindsey remembers it: “Chloe was an editorial assistant when I was an intern so technically she was my boss, but we were so close in age and had a lot in common so we ended up bonding. Toward the end of my internship, I got a job offer at a magazine and needed to start two weeks later, so obviously I was panicking about finding a place to live. Luckily, Chloe had a room open, and I jumped at the chance to move in. The first night after I moved in sticks out in my mind the most. We basically were just hanging out, chatting about Nick Jonas, and cracking up. It was clear that any boss/intern vibes were gone, and we could live our bestie truth.”
How Elle met her BFF: “I was living in this fourth floor walk-up apartment with three other women. There was a near-constant rotation of roommates and when we needed to fill a room in July 2016, I did the classic asking around/posting on Facebook thing. My friend said a friend of hers from Australia was moving to New York City and was looking for a place. So Sienna came at looked at the room, and I remember her being so funny, I was really impressed by her job as a human rights lawyer, and she was wearing these really great earrings. But there were lots of weird vibes with my roommates, and they didn’t want to give Sienna the room. When I messaged her saying that we weren’t giving her the room, I asked if she’d like to hang out sometime because she seemed great and it was deeply not my decision. We haven’t stopped hanging out since. We’re going to the Grand Canyon together next month and hiring a convertible to really Thelma-and-Louise it up.”
How Sienna remembers it: “I was househunting, and this mutual friend of ours linked us so I could check out a room Elle had free. Elle is like a literal ray of sunshine, and we clicked immediately but turns out her roommates weren’t so into me. We joke it just proves they were the worst. She sends me this very lovely room rejection message, and we are both like, ‘But let’s get drinks soon.’ I love the story because it’s such a heartwarming reminder that random, wonderful people can come into your life in the most unexpected and unlikely ways.”
How Hanna met her BFF: “We were hired as marketing research interns for a tech company. When I went to add Jacky on Facebook, I realised I knew the two people in her profile picture — I had gone to high school with both, and one was a good friend! We also found out our birthdays are three days apart, so there was instant Leo connection. I think we took both of those things as a sign and became good friends. Over the years, we’ve basically combined friend groups from various circles and do a joint birthday party because it’s just easier.”
How Jacky remembers it: “Retweet Hanna’s side of the story. I will add that strong friendships are forged through harrowing experiences, and that internship was rough.”
This story first appeared on ELLE.