Apr 8, 2022 - Things to Do

How did you meet your D.C. bestie?

Illustration of two pandas with their paws around each other.
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

👋🏻 Hey, it’s Chelsea.

Over the past two years, many of my relationships have wilted as my friends moved away or Zoom fatigue drifted us apart. It’s made me think a lot lately about how to nurture my friendships.

Why it matters: Making friends as an adult is hard. And the past couple of years have made it harder.

  • Nearly half of Americans reported having lost touch with at least a few friends during the first year of the pandemic, according to the Survey Center on American Life from June 2021.

Yes, but: Some workplaces are reopening, recreational sports leagues have returned, and more people are re-emerging into warmer weather and sunnier days.

And people want to make friends. Last September, a couple of hundred people turned out to a Georgetown meet-up by DMV Besties, a community of adult friendship-seekers born largely out of TikTok.

My D.C. bestie: I, too, sparked a pandemic friendship: my friend Kam Burns.

  • We had been orbiting each other’s social circles for a few years since we both work in media — except he worked in New York.
  • But when he landed a job in D.C. in early 2021, I reached out over Twitter and our friendship blossomed.
Chelsea and Kam
Chelsea and Kam. Photo: Chelsea Cirruzzo/Axios

How we bonded: One of our early in-person meet-ups was at the National Arboretum during peak bloom. I’d gotten my second Moderna shot that morning and, to celebrate, we picnicked in the cherry blossom grove.

  • Since Kam was a newcomer to D.C., I became his tour guide.
  • We’ve eaten our way through the stalls of Union Market on Friday nights, saw Harry Styles in concert, and walked the gardens at Hillwood Estate.

How it worked: It can be hard to maintain friendships in a town where people have 1,201 things to do at all times, but Kam says consistently showing up — like going to a pottery class or instrument lesson — helps you click with the people you see.

  • “You just have to be proactive about making plans. Everyone kind of expects the other person to do it. And the reason I think we've been successful friends is we're both planners,” he says.

Now, I want to hear from you:

  • How did you meet your D.C. bestie? And what advice do you have for people wanting to make new friends?
  • As we head into summer, I'll highlight the unique ways you and your bestie connected in hopes of inspiring others.

✉️ Email me at [email protected]

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