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Reader’s Lounge: MWF Seeking BFF

Up until now, Rachel Bertsche has always had a best friend to call on at the last minute when she just wants to get out and talk with another woman. But now, she’s moved from New York City to Chicago with her then-boyfriend now-husband and she is looking for a local girlfriend outside of work and finding it harder than dating used to be. “Loneliness isn’t being alone, it’s feeling alone.” Rachel starts a blog and challenges herself to set up 52 “girl-dates” over the course of the next year.

Meeting for coffee or dinner, going to book club together, taking cooking classes, walking in the park or joining a theater improv group, among a number of other choices, Rachel even tries “speed friending.” As in all relationships, some are total duds and some blossom into something so much more. Interspersed within her experiences is the eye-opening research she so painstakingly accumulates on the whole subject of relationships. Rachel found, “Psychologists say that women have face-to-face friendships, while the male kind are characterized as side-to-side.
Women like to engage in conversation, men like to bond over an activity.” Do we talk over lunch or do we sit side by side and watch a baseball or soccer game? When her year of experiment is completed, Rachel not only has insights into the making of friendships, but she’s also made some new connections. She has some new girlfriends, her marriage has been strengthened and she’s added a book contract to her life. Not bad at all for a year’s work.
MWF Seeking BFF,
My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend
By Rachel Bertsche
Ballantine Books, 2011, $15
Alexandra Fix is the author of ten non-fiction children’s book, including the series Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (Heinemann Library). Over the years, she has truly enjoyed being a children’s librarian, registered nurse, freelance writer, mother and grandmother.


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