There is a fine line between an acquaintance and a friend. The difference may seem obvious, but the blurry boundaries between them are more complicated than they seem at first glance as you continue to run into the same people over and over again and develop a rapport and even a routine.

There are so many smart, inspiring, and cool women (and men!) I run into all the time at my kids’ schools, the gym, the coffeeshops where I write, and even the grocery stores I frequent that I could probably hang out with some of these people on purpose for hours every week if time permitted me to do so. Or, to be more specific and honest, if one of us reached out to make the time. That’s where an acquaintanceship goes from friendly run-ins to the seeds of a real friendship–when one in the potential pair says, “Hey, let’s get together next week for coffee. How’s Thursday?”

This week’s question at The HerStories Project is from a woman who wants to do just that; she wants to turn an online (but local) acquaintance into a friend, though she’s worried her efforts will ruin the friendly rapport that already exists. I had some thoughts for her, but I would love for you to add yours, too, or maybe you also have someone in your life you would like to transition from “friendly woman I see at yoga” to a real friend.

Let’s discuss the issue here.

HerTake with Nina Badzin

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Nina Badzin is a freelance writer, an advice columnist at The HerStories Project, a book reviewer at greatnewbooks.org, and a co-founder of The Twin Cities Writing Studio. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and four children.