The Struggle of Making Girl Friends

Kristina Nguyen
5 min readJan 4, 2019


It was a crisp Saturday afternoon and I had a hole in my dinner plans that needed filling. I go through my mental Rolodex and decided to message my friend Jess, a girlfriend from my college degree program who I hadn’t seen in a month, and asked her if she was free for dinner. We effortlessly worked out our plans and joked how she’d pick me up for our date and treat me right.

As we were recounting our tales from prior weekends while sitting at the bar and eating Thai food, I steadily began to uncover something.

“I went to Anika’s friendsgiving a couple weekends ago,” Jess remarked.

“Oh nice, I was at the Texas vs. Iowa State game that night,” I replied. “Who all went? Was it Jordan and them?”

Jordan is a longtime friend of Jess and mine who is also from the same college degree program. Anika is the girlfriend of Jordan’s roommate, Dakota who is another longtime friend from the same freshman year crew.

I’m recalling in my mind now that I did not have this on my calendar, and therefore was not invited. Commence the series of investigative inquiries:

“It was Anika’s event right, so she invited you?”

“Did she friend request you?”

“Did Meg (Jordan’s girlfriend) also friend request you?”

I’m sure you can conclude Jess’s affirmative answers to my questions and infer that I am not social media friends with either Anika nor Meg. But aside from me sounding like a woefully unpopular teenage girl, this conversation segued into a common refrain I and many of my other girl friends have encountered since we became young professionals, which is that making girl friends is hard.

There’s something about making girl friends that is like getting your PhD in biochemistry. It’s a meticulous, never-ending lab experiment where you try various setups to get statistically significant results. You smile, chit chat about professions, the weather, family, current events, pop culture, and other fruitless topics that never manage to catch a spark. Or you joke overtly, jab lightly, talk boorishly, laugh raucously, which results in alienating her.

It’s a delicate balancing act that I waver between, being socially adroit in turning the dial to adjust to personality types. But despite being “a social delight,” as Jess put it in a statement of slight consolation (and straight fact), more times than not I’m left with a hollow interaction.

You may be thinking that this is an offshoot of a similar issue that people in their twenties and beyond face, which is that making friends in general is hard, regardless of gender. And yes, if you’re not a stunningly attractive person who has a gravitational pull, then no doubt about that.

But the interesting thing is that all throughout childhood, high school, and college, I was only friends with girls. I had one platonic guy friend who I hit up and confided in. There were acquaintances scattered about, guys who I bantered with, but no one who I regularly and reciprocally hung out or talked deeply with. It was once I started my career working in predominantly male settings when I began learning how to make and cultivate male friendships. I’m sure it helps that my humor is crass and interests are in sports and drinking heavily, as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my girls. They are lifelong friends and the best girls in the world. I wouldn’t be writing this if I wasn’t craving more female interaction. Sadly, the last good girl friend I made and still keep in touch with is from my first job three years ago. I would not classify myself as a girl who is only or even primarily friends with just guys, but definitely a girl who is trying to crack the code on how to get more awesome, cool, strong chicks into my life.

If I were to throw out a hypothesis, it’s that girls are creatures of habit who appreciate the familiar. If you see a girl every day at school or work, you’re probably more inclined to get to know her and build a relationship with her. I have been unsuccessful in retaining girls into regular friends in my first, second, or even third social interaction whether it be through friends of friends or guys’ girlfriends. I don’t see them regularly enough to be a mainstay, so what’s the point?

Then again friendship is a two way street. And you know what? So many girls are boring. Straight up uninteresting, dull girls. They are most certainly nice, and if you’re boring, I’d hope that you’re at least nice, but man is it painstaking to hold a conversation with them.

That brings me to my selection bias, which is that I am very picky about who my friends are (as it should be).

The first hurdle, is she boring, lame, and/or ugly?
If so, I can’t be friends with her, enough said.

Second hurdle, is she a bitch and/or self-centered?
I’ve never had a girl friend who has a downright ruthlessly mean personality (not mean-spirited, there’s a difference), nor one who is so vain she only talks about herself and has little regard for me and a friendship.

Third hurdle, can she tolerate me?
More on this next.

And if she’s made it past all those hurdles, we finally have to be compatible and actually like each other. By the time she’s at the finish line, slim pickings remain.

Friends have asked me if I think that I’m a polarizing person. I can see validity in that question; I’ve been characterized as having a strong energy. But despite having been called not classy, ratchet, ridiculous — those are unwavering aspects of my personality that have molded me into the ball of dragon energy that I am today (shoutout to my brother Kanye).

I hold my friendships in extremely high regard, they’re the most important people in my life. I would go to lengths to do things for my friends. I’ve made and kept numerous great friendships by laying the building blocks of social principles and firing clips from my arsenal using my brand of charm and funniness.

I know I’m capable of making girl friends, so what is it I’m missing? Probably putting myself out there more and an increased persistent effort. Good friends take time, this is true, especially good girl friends. But damn if I can’t just drone and ponder on something that’s been plaguing me.

So, where the dope ass ladies at?



Kristina Nguyen

More of a rants and raves than a tedium report.