It’s the millennial struggle: your BFF is backpacking through South America, your high school friends are busy with their new band that’s a mix of eletronica-folk-rap inspired by Queen Bey, and you don’t have anything in common with your coworkers (they either don’t exist or they don’t get your selfie philosophy.) We are a bizarrely lonely generation.
A lot of us (myself included) have turned to the World-Wide-Weberverse to soothe our loneliness. After all, we find our dates on Tinder and great-grandma’s portraits on Reddit – why not make a new BFF on Bunz, or YES NEW FRIENDS?
I have spent months scouring the Internet for new platonic buddies. Prior to my mission for lady and lady identifying pals, I met my romantic partner on Plenty of Fish. I would like to think I am an expert on finding diamonds in the digital rough.
Based on my extensive and sometimes scary research, here is my comprehensive guide to the new adult friends you will meet online.
Let’s get this hot mess out of the way. The Swinger pretends to be straight, or not interested in romance.
“I just wanna meet some ladies! Boys are dumb!” She’ll repeat as she slugs back rum and cokes (or fruity tequila mixed drinks.) She’ll rant about her man, or lack thereof, and rant some more about how she just wants to focus on her “squad.”
The night usually ends abruptly. The Swinger tries to get into your pants, or you just so happen to run into her friends, who try to get into your pants. Or you into an orgy.
You may give her the benefit of the doubt that she didn’t mean to end the night with awkward sexual advances, but it will happen the next time you see her. And the next, and so on until you’re tired of it. If you pussy-up enough to explain why you don’t want to pursue the friendship, she’ll turn into a mess of tears. Through the tears she’ll confess that sex is the only way she knows how to relate to people. You’ll comfort her, cuz, hey, she’s still a person and you’re nice! But then she’ll grope you.
Similar to her online dating trope, the ghost is a certified Cool Chick. She will be super into messaging you, and then disappear into the ether once you suggest meeting for beer or coffee.
The Extreme Hobbyist
I really want to like these people. I really and truly do. They seem so cool with their hang-gliding or hand forged replicas of Medieval Spanish armour. They have compelling Instagram accounts and an intoxicating joie d’vie.
But then their hobbies must become your hobbies.
Suddenly, you’re in roller derby and being called “Hermione Pounder” and being abused by the most majestic and terrifying thighs you have ever seen.
Or, you’re hanging from the CN Tower in a weird Star Wars type jumpsuit.
If you’re lucky, the hobby will be benign and involving a couch: like knitting or commemorative teaspoons.
But it will never be benign and involving a couch. You will get bruises. And you will hate the Extreme Hobbyist for every one of them.
The Internet Troll
There are two manifestations of the Internet Troll.
- The Awkward Dungeon Master
This poor soul simply doesn’t understand life beyond the keyboard. She’s trying very hard, but her personality is only available on Chrome.
2. The Living Meme
Ahh, the Living Meme. I have been this person. The Living Meme is obsessed with Reddit (or whatever the kids are into these days. Vines? Is that still a thing?) The Living Meme really wants you to like her. So, she recycles jokes and talks about her fandom. However, she can only discuss pop culture, but obscure pop culture. Like the similarities between Firefly and Attack on Titan, and how they were influenced by .hack//SIGN
Guaranteed the Living Meme idolizes Joss Whedon and/or Matt Groening.
She might be cool, but her obliviousness to reality and lack of individuality make it hard to maintain a friendship.
True story: I met an awesome girl on Bunz. We will call her Lola, because she played basketball and shared my love of bunnies. Lola was downright cool. She had snappy one liners, and hot outfits. She was idealistic about the world at large, she had ambition and energy to match.
After a few messages, we agreed to meet. I suggested a bar that night, which she said no to due to it being a school night. Dumbass me didn’t clue in then: university students are always up for drinking on school nights! We arranged to meet at one of my favourite craft beer bars that weekend.
Fast forward to the weekend. I arrive at the bar early, as I usually do. I sent her a selfie so she knows what I look like and what I am wearing. She teased me for lack of technique. It was cute! I order a delicious Great Lakes Brewery Pompous Ass, one of my favourite Toronto beers. I’m about halfway through when Lola arrives.
Now, in all fairness, it is very hard to tell a woman’s age. Fashion and make-up can make us into anything. Lola had already told me she was into fashion, so I didn’t think anything of her super-chic urban hipster ensemble or green lipstick. I thought it was fashion. We all also know that pictures lie: since Lola was so hip, I thought she just had her filters figured out.
I realized her age when she didn’t have her ID for her Corona. Yes, the bartender gave me the dirtiest of dirty looks. Yes, it was embarrassing. Yes, she tried to sneak some of my beer. Yes, she asked me to buy her vodka. Yes, I ran the hell out of there.
Learn from my lesson. Don’t take teenagers to craft beer bars. Or any bar.
(For the record I did not give her any alcohol, nor did the bartender.)
The Pyramid Scheme Girl
It astonishes me that pyramid schemes are still a thing! Hey, government, what gives?
Pyramid Scheme Girl, like the Extreme Hobbyist, has that awesome love of life. They have a mission to fulfill, and you can change the world with a minor start up fee of your life savings!
Don’t drink anything she gives you. Especially Kool-Aid.
Very similar to Pyramid Scheme Girl. This lass is probably into some obscure type of yoga she studied while backpacking through some county you’re never heard of. She reads self help books for fun and participates in trendy diets. She probably grows her own kale.
The Guru wants to be Oprah. She tries to help you organize your closets to match your authentic self and tries to talk about personal mission statements.
You’ll lose contact when she begins her start up. Or when she realizes your personal brand won’t evolve past Netflix and unwashed hair.
The Truly Annoying Person (TAP)
This is the person that put her heart and soul out there. She writes a sincere message or post about loneliness and how much she misses having girlfriends. Her words touch you. You message her.
TAP will seem perfectly normal on screen. You won’t understand how such a beautiful person could be so lonely! You both lament her fate, and agree to meet.
When you meet, you understand her loneliness. But not for the reasons she thinks you do.
TAP is lonely because they are so goddamn irritating, and completely unaware of it! She pries, chews with their mouth open, belittles the barista, talks over you, and typically won’t use deodorant. TAP just sucks.
The worst part is that there isn’t a “right” way to handle them. You invested in her online, so you can’t just walk away. However, there is no nice way to tell someone that you fantasize about stapling their mouth shut and rubbing potpourri over their cat sweaters. Unless that’s a vey special turn on for you.
Usually, TAP will turn you into a Ghost. You won’t know how to help them be less annoying, nor will you know how to end the fledgling relationship. You’ll just disappear, and be another pain trophy for poor Truly Annoying Person.
The Jane Lane
Finally, we come to the best of the bunch: The Jane Lane! Named for the greatest BFF to the greatest female protagonist, The Jane Lane is a true bosom buddy. She is just as strange as you: she listens and asks interesting questions, while sharing compelling anecdotes. You’ll share interests, and respect each other’s differences.
The Jane Lanes rock. They are true friendship love, and equally rare as romantic love.
We love you, Jane Lanes. Keep being the best you can be, because you make the world the best possible place!