definition: friend dating

Friend Dating: (verb) to put forth effort in meeting potential acquaintances of the same sex, in hopes of developing a long-lasting friendship.
I have decided that "friend dating" is way more complicated than actual dating. As one of my girlfriends recently said, "Friend dating is harder, because you can't just smile and flirt... or touch their knee to make them like you." (I'm pretty sure if I would have touched anyone's knee, that would have been pretty weird.) But just like regular dating, you have to decide what to wear, make intelligent conversation, search for common interests, etc. It's all very stressful.

Lance and I realized that many times when you move to a new city, you have at least one "starter friend."
Starter Friend: (noun) an individual that assists you in friend dating. someone that is willing to introduce you to their own circle of friends.
However, when we decided to make the move to Louisville... we literally knew no one. Not a soul. No "starter friends." This makes "friend dating" much more difficult. But we are getting out there. We are committing to really give this whole "friend dating" thing a shot. Lance has met a few guys playing basketball at the seminary, and a few others in his classes. (I'm pretty certain that Lance will not be using my "friend dating" term for any of his very manly outings.) However, I have been on a few "friend dates" myself...

Date #1... This was actually more of a blind date. We were set up by a mutual friend that is on the other side of the country. Me and date #1 actually have tons in common... we are both accountants, we both went to college in Alabama, we both played college volleyball (and realized we probably actually played each other), and we both married our college sweethearts. The date went really well... it was a lunch date, so we were on a time limit... but we were happy to finally meet one another face-to-face. Our second date is scheduled for this Friday... and we decided to invite the hubbys this time:)

Date #2... This date was actually a double date. When we came to visit the seminary campus back in April, we met one couple that we stayed in touch with during our decision process. This other couple wasn't entirely sure if they were going to start seminary this fall... so Lance and I put the full-court press on them. We had already decided they were going to be our friends... whether they realized it or not. So, Saturday night our new couple friends invited us over for some authentic Indian food... and it was fabulous... as was the conversation and fellowship. Really looking forward to more time with this couple.

Date #3... My third friend date was last night at this really awesome local coffee shop. I met date #3 at the church Lance and I tried out this past Sunday. She is a single, young professional, a couple of years younger than me and has lived in Louisville for two years now. She was super nice and really easy to talk to. Our second date is scheduled for this Saturday... for a little shopping:)

So... overall, I feel pretty good about my adventures in "friend dating." Let me know if you have any "friend dating" tips...