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Since the new year, I’ve made a few close, strong friendships with women who have been such a welcome addition into my hectic life. I met each one separately at widely varied work-related events: one that I was a panelist at, one that was a charity gala and the third, a hot, new restaurant opening.

You know when you meet someone and you either instantly click with them or you don’t? Well I clicked with each one immediately, so before we got distracted or had to run off into the night, we did what everyone living in the year of 2018 does when they meet someone they hit it off with: we followed one another on Instagram. From there, the DM’s began, friendships formed, bonds were made, and before I knew it I was setting dates with them to hang IRL.

So how can you follow suit and create female friendships as an adult, when many already have a tight knit group of friends? How do you go about asking someone you once met to hang out with you without looking super desperate? Here are my top tips:

Slide into their DM’s

Think of pursuing a potential friend the same way you would pursue a potential partner. Reach out to them directly. Send them a DM the day after meeting them saying something simple like, “It was great to meet you last night at _______,” and referencing an inside joke or something that you two talked about. This will remind them of your meeting, and will keep the connection alive.

Simply say hi to that woman you always seem to run into

When I was better at time management (#workinprogress) a major focus of mine was a work/life balance. I found myself unwinding daily at a pilates and movement studio around the corner from my place. This place had a great vibe, attracts the creative set and has an almost cult like following. After seeing a handful of the same regulars there day in and day out, I finally broke the ice and would chat with them before or after class. Whether it’s at a fitness studio, your go to coffee spot, your local watering hole, or someone at the dog park, just say hi and talk about whatever it is that brought you both to where you are. When you meet someone at a place you’re a regular at you know that you have common interests from the get-go.

Work the room at parties

I get it. It’s so easy to latch onto the one of, or the few people you know when hitting up a party of any sort, but by doing that, you miss the opportunity to meet new friends. Don’t be afraid to separate from your friends. Notice someone in the room that you recognize from social media, or you know of through other people? Approach them, indicate how you know them and see if a steady conversation flows. If so, exchange Insta info and, as per my instructions above, you know what to do.

Be self-aware

If you think you’re coming on too strong, you probably are. I treat starting new friendships with other women the same way I would the process of meeting and then wooing a crush. If you don’t hear back after the first message, feel free to follow up again. But if you’re hearing crickets, let it go. They know how to reach you should they care to down the road. Timing is everything.

Be authentic

Once you start hanging out IRL, treat your conversations the same as you would with any of your tried, tested and true friends. The more open and honest you are about who you are, what your past was and where you’re at now, the more likely you’ll create a healthy and long-term friendship. The whole point of friendships is to be a team, to lend support and enjoy one another’s company. That’s not obtainable if you’re trying to make them like you or hiding parts of yourself. Maybe in your early twenties, but not now.

Still not convinced? Instagram queen and everyone’s dream bff Busy Phillips, recently told InStyle, that she uses the world wide web to meet new friends. “I’ve met so many friends online, back from the days of Myspace,” Phillips says. “I’m just open to meeting friends in whatever way.” If the stars can open up to making friends online, then what have we got to lose?