Planning a first “date” with a new friend can be just as daunting as planning a first date with someone you have a romantic interest in. In both situations it’s can be nerve-racking
Okay, so here is some background info….basically, I met this potential “new friend,” who relocated to Baltimore FROM New York City through another friend who STILL lives in New York City. My friend who STILL lives in NYC thought that Hiwote (possible “new friend” who relocated to Baltimore) and I should meet. Finally we did meet. We actually randomly ran into each other at Merritt Athletic Club’s pool. Hiwote and I got to put actual faces with names and from that point began texting regularly. We just could never get our schedules in sync to meet for girls night or go to a simple happy hour. Crazy thing about it all was that we had become the best of friends through text, but in the words of Hiwote, “It’s time to make this friendship real!”
Our schedules eventually allowed enough time for us to get together for a quick drink on a Friday afternoon. We decided to meet for happy hour and I suggested checking out Aropoes’s in Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel located in the Harbor East neighborhood of Baltimore. I knew the hotel had recently finished renovations and I definitively wanted to check it out.
Walking into the restaurant bar area. The first thing that came to mind was, “Money well spent!”
Modern. Industrial. Sleek
Aropoes’s interior design is masculine but chic at the same time. Around the lounge you will see wood suffaces, metal stools, a mix of brown, black, and cognac color leather chairs and sofas that provide plenty of seating. Aropoe’s displays a unique fireplace feature that makes this bar very cozy. Aropoe’s will be appealing to most people. There are plenty of televisions around the lounge area which will please the person who enjoys watching sporting events at a bar. A fashionista can get as jazzy as she wants in this bar, unlike some others in the Baltimore Area. Aropoe’s as well, will please the person that appreciates a bar with a little class when gathering with friends to catch up over cocktails and beers. The design team did a great job designing conversation areas. No matter if you have a party of ten or two, there is a seating area specific to your needs.
Hiwote arrived and brought her roommate, Desiree, which was totally cool with me. We sat at the bar ordered cocktails and a caramelized onion dip with homemade chips (which I highly recommend) from the happy hour menu. I didn’t care to much for the happy hour special cocktail, so I ordered a Blue Moon instead. I will have to go back and test out the signature cocktails again to really give my true opinion of their mixology skills. I wasn’t impressed this first go around.
Schedule a short first meet up. Something you can do in under 2 hours- examples: Coffee date, happy hour, or grab dessert.
Make sure to confirm plans again once it gets closer to the day of the meet-up.
Keep it simple- DO NOT start with the question: What do you do for a living? I mean really who cares?!?! We all work and eventually you will learn what the other person does through normal conversation. Plus, that type of questioning puts a person on the spot.
Ask fun questions to get to know them. Examples: If you could go anywhere in the world right now where would you go? What was your favorite part of today? What’s the best dish you can cook? See, with these type questions you can really get to know someone’s personality.
Reframe from using your cell phone. You are trying to make a new friend! Don’t start off being rude by constantly checking emails, texting, or going on social media!
I suggest staying away from topics like politics and religion during your first encounter. Once you and your “potential new friend” have gained a mutual respect and learned more about one another, then you can go into deeper conversation topics like this.
All I can say is that my new friends and I kept LAUGHING! We found a common interest in things like, being OBSESSED with Orange is the New Black, the awesomeness of Baltimore, and relationship talk. It was definitely a fun afternoon.
Atmosphere: This is not a bar you would want to go to if you are looking for a large crowd or loud music. Well, correction, while I visited, there weren’t a lot of people in the bar area, but on any given Friday you never know. Aropoe’s features live music every Friday’s until 7PM, which was a nice touch. There was an obvious mix of hotel guest and local Baltimoreans. I do have one complaint. I did not like seeing kids in the bar area. It bothered me that kids were running around and making noise. I understand parents that are staying in the hotel want to enjoy Happy Hour too, but in my opinion children shouldn’t be allowed in the area after a certain time.
Stay relaxed and let things happen naturally. It’s definitely harder to make friends as an adult especially in a larger city. If you are over 25 years old and didn’t go to college around here it can be difficult. Keep hope alive haha! I will be posting on the blog soon giving tips on how to make friends as an adult in a Baltimore. I am on this journey now. I’ve had some ups and downs, but its still worth me putting myself out there.
Hiwote and I haven’t gotten back together since our “friend date,” and that’s okay. I understand that as an adult, friendship changes. Its not like when we were younger and had all the time in the world to just “hang-out”. Both of us are very busy and once our schedules line up again, we will go discover another charm of Baltimore.
Until Next Time,
Sent from my iPad