Sep 14, 2021 - News

Survey: Two-thirds of NWA readers say it's easy to make friends here

Chart: Will Chase/Axios Visuals; Source: Axios survey

People have fewer friendships than in the past. So, we wanted to know about the status of friendships in NWA.

  • We were delighted to see that 90 of you responded to our survey. Thank you so much for hanging with us.

The big picture: Exactly two-thirds of respondents said it's easy to make friends in NWA, while the other third said it's not easy.

  • Many of those who said it's easy say people here are friendly. They also said the region has a steady influx of new residents looking to meet new people, and there are plenty of activities.
  • Those who said it's not easy often cited the pandemic and busy schedules. Some said it's difficult to make friends if you're new to the area. That feedback makes sense because "connected through mutual friends" was the top response.
Chart: Will Chase/Axios Visuals; Source: Axios survey

What's next: Volunteering, getting involved with an organization or the cycling community, and going to coffee shops were common recommendations to make friends.

  • Don't forget about meetup groups, book clubs (Alex actually made a new friend this way!), and Bumble BFF.

It's a date: We also asked for ideas on fun NWA friend dates. Many responses included mountain biking, hiking, getting coffee at Arsaga's or Onyx, or spending the day at Crystal Bridges or the Momentary.

  • Plus: happy hour and dinner at Top Golf, walking Coler Creek, completing the Fayetteville Ale Trail, or seeing a play at TheatreSquared (of note: T2 offers $10 tickets for people under 30.)

What they're saying: Thanks to reader Amber for letting us share this idea:

"Meet up at the amazing Ozark Natural Foods patio in Fayetteville, grab a coffee, catch up and then drive to Springdale to eat at an authentic taqueria. Maybe grab a day drink at Black Apple Crossing. Depending on the day, it'd be awesome to make our way to Osage Park in Bentonville, walk around the prairie and wildflower preserve, see some great sculptures around the park, and then grab dinner next door at Louise at Thaden to top off the day."

Alex's thought bubble: Most people said it's easy to make friends here, and 60% said they have at least seven friends. However, it's telling that only 20% of people said they are happy with the number of friends they have and are not actively seeking more.

  • That means if you want a new friend, just know 80% of people you bump into are probably thinking the same. And maybe they'd love an Onyx friend date.

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