Because it’s awesome.
I got home last night after another spectacular evening abundant in laughter, beer & leftover pizza… with a bunch of complete strangers. It got me thinking about how many times I’ve done this now & I realised that this is something I’ve only started doing since I was single.
It was online dating that got me onto it. I was meeting total strangers all the time* (*barely ever but that’s a different story)! I started drifting into ‘dating twitter’ & sharing horror stories with other women, warning each other off the particularly nasty men we encountered. Before I knew it, I’d developed a really supportive friendship circle on there and a bunch of us decided to meet up.
I was super nervous and excited and I ended up having a ball! I’d started off meeting men from Tinder & had migrated to drinking with women from Twitter. I was having sleepovers with these women, brunches, date nights, holidays. Before I knew it, I realised all the things I wanted from a romantic partner was being satisfied by these other single souls.
Minus sex. Tragically.
It wasn’t just the one bunch of girls either; bit by bit I’ve built up my social circle to something unrecognisable to anything I’ve had in the past. I feel stronger, more confident, supported & resilient & I honestly believe it’s this shift change in agility to fostering new ways of building friendships that’s been key for me in achieving this.
Not only do I have all these new mates but I’ve had job offers, work opportunities, encouragement to start my own blog & YouTube channel, invites to incredible events, befriended my idols, learned a ton about everything from Fenty to foreign politics & had a blast doing it!
That said I do have some personal ground rules on what works for me when it comes to meeting strangers from the Internet…
Only Meet Women
So with the exception of online dating, which, as a heterosexual woman I have no CHOICE but to meet men, I try to exclusively meet women from other sites. That’s not to say I haven’t met men before but in my experience they’re trying to fuck me and that’s not what I’m here for. There are obviously some nice exceptions but unfortunately they are rare & I never feel like ‘prey’ amongst women.
Know Who They Are
This is especially important if you’re meeting them alone. There was a woman recently prowling twitter who was actually one of the male accounts in disguise. The women all spoke to him like he was another woman so you need to be aware of predators like him. There’s a lot of them around. When I’ve met women alone it’s because I’m 100% confident they are who they claim to be. If you’re not certain, meet within a group or get verification from mutual online friends. Some of the women I wasn’t sure about had already been met by others that I had, so that assuaged any of my concerns.
If I’m trying to meet someone or vice versa it’s cause I think they’re cool and we would get along. If you’re trying to get something from them cause you think they’re rich, connected, whatever. State what you want and don’t use the guise of friendship to do so if actually all you want is something from them. That’s not cool. Have some morals & recognise that if someone is trying to be your friend then be friendly. Don’t use them. Or if you’re not interested in fostering a friendship then just say that too.
As you can see my guidelines are centred around safety and self preservation & the last two could actually be applied to online dating now that I’m thinking about it! It’s a bit of a dampener but I find when I adhere to my rules I have the best time & that’s why I’ve mentioned it. You do what works for you.
Last night was my first experience meeting women from Instagram and it was a little more structured than the messy twitter meet-ups I’ve previously encountered! These women were intelligent, articulate & inspired me to perhaps sharpen up my social media game. It was really refreshing to meet such a bloody gorgeous bunch & if you’re on the fence about meeting up with people you like from the Internet, ask anyone who’s done it before, that’ll be all the encouragement you need…