Friendship seems so easy when you’re young. You just kind of hang out with whoever is in your classes or lives on your street. But, then, when you’re older, friendships are more of an effort.

And, you have to really work to find the good ones. It can be intimidating, and it can feel a lot like, well…dating.

Here are some of the ways that finding new friends is similar to a first date.

1. You are extremely worried about making a good first impression.

2. You plan out your outfit and make sure you actually do your hair.

3. This is especially the case if you met first over social media. 

4. You have a pep talk with yourself to go over appropriate conversation starters.

5. You creep their online profiles to look for common interests or mutual friends.

6. You are very careful not to accidentally like or comment on any of their pictures. Because, awkward. 

7. You know you shouldn’t, but you get really nervous before you meet them.

8. You find yourself wondering how you ever made friends in the past because this seems really complicated.

9. When you finally meet, you wonder: “Is she a hugger? Handshake? Casual wave or salute?”

10. “No, definitely not a salute. Why would you even consider saluting?”

11. “You are the First Lieutenant of Awkward, honestly.”

12. When you finally decide to go in for the hug, you wonder if you have chosen poorly.

13. You nervous chuckle and move on hoping that she doesn’t think you’re a weirdo.

14. When you finally get talking, you are very careful with your responses because you have no idea what kind of humor offends her.

15. You try and act like you are comfortable anytime there is silence, but you feel fidgety and extremely uncomfortable.

16. You bring up some of your favorite things to see if she is compatible with your interests.

17. If she is, you count that as a major win and conversation flows a little more naturally.

18. If not, you are back to the drawing board scrambling for any common ground you might share.

19. At this point, your encounter will either be looking pretty promising or you’ll be trying to figure out how to politely dismiss yourself from the situation.

20. When you part ways, you’ll likely start following each other on all social media accounts (Even though you were already doing that…”Was that wrong? Was I supposed to wait for initiation?”) 

21. You’ll be left with another decision: hug or wave over the shoulder as you run toward your car? (Okay, graciously trot with quickness back to your vehicle. You’re a classy lady.)

22. You’ll wonder if you should message the person and let them know you had a good time or if you should play it cool.

23. But, if you play it cool, what if they think you’re just being snobby?

24. Agh. You go for the cool yet approachable text saying you had a good time with a smiley emoticon.

25. Or, if you really did NOT have a good time, you just pray that the encounter fizzles out never to be mentioned again.

26. But, let’s say it went well. You get a text back!

27. But…there are no emojis. There is a lot of punctuation. 

28. It seems very cool and stand-offish to you.

29. You internally yell at yourself for being over-eager.

30. A couple of days go by and no further communication.

31. You go back through your conversation, checking for any moments where you may have screwed up.

32. I mean, you did laugh at something that wasn’t a joke. And then you also made a joke that definitely didn’t get a laugh. 

33. But, you also had some common interests and good conversation, minus the awkward pauses between topics.

34. You decide that this could easily go either way.

35. You try and put it out of your mind, but you really liked her!

36. She is the kind of girl you could see being really basic with or telling all of your stories to while you go on adventures together.

37. She didn’t seem catty and you really liked that. She was chill. No wonder her texts are so cool. She is cool. Much too cool for using one hundred exclamation points or excessive smiley faces like SOME people. *cough cough* you *cough*

38. So, maybe you shouldn’t have told her right off the bat that “I feel like we are meant to be best friends!”

39. But, I mean. It was honest! Is honest bad? Maybe…

40. Hey. Either way, you put yourself out there and you’re trying.

41. Because adult friendships are much harder to initiate and even harder to make sure that they are the quality relationship you’re looking for.

42. You know that you need the right person because a good friend is supposed to be your confidante and support system.

43. In a lot of ways, friendships can be even more important than some first dates.

44. So, always remember. If you scared someone off and you never hear from them again, that’s all the answer you needed.

45. Or if you didn’t mesh well with them, it’s probably better not to force it.

46. But, there will be a few shining moments when you are going to find a friend and things are going to click. 

47. The conversation will be effortless. The interactions will be genuine.

48. So if you’re thick in the trenches of “friendship first dates”, hang in there.

49. And, hey look at that! She texted you back. Things are looking promising.

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