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MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search For A New Best Friend

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3.43  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,515 Ratings  ·  1,556 Reviews
When Rachel Bertsche first moves to Chicago, she’s thrilled to finally share a zip code with her boyfriend. But shortly after getting married, she realizes that her new life is missing one thing: friends. Sure, she has plenty of BFFs—in New York and San Francisco and Boston and Washington, D.C. Still, in her adopted hometown, there’s no one to call at the last minute for g ...more
Paperback, 349 pages
Published December 20th 2011 by Ballantine Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Emma Sea
The book left me cold. This is one of those 'turn-my-blog-into-a-best-seller' books. The author worked in publishing, and it's pretty clear she thought this project up as a stepping-stone to getting a book deal, rather than something she did out of genuine passion, which just happened to take off.

I thought I'd enjoy this from an ethnographic pov. The author is an NY private school, summer camp, sorority-joining kind of woman, and I am not. Sadly the novelty wore off pretty quickly, and I skimme
...more
Rach
Jan 22, 2012 Rach rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone. Seriously.
It's official. Though I have a strange aversion to having friends with the same name as me, Rachel Bertsche could be my new BFF. Or one of them, that is. If we lived in the same town. And if she knew who I was. And it's not only because I found Rachel's thoughts on friendship to be thoughtful and relevant, but that while reading her words, it felt like we would "click," that if we were sitting and having a conversation, on a girl-date or something, we wouldn't be lost for things to talk about. W ...more
Amy
Jul 12, 2012 Amy rated it liked it
I strongly suspect the author was looking for a hook for a book idea more than she was desperately seeking a BFF. Strongly.
In her new (old: college town) city of Chicago she had not only her husband, mother, and extended family including cousins she was social with, but four work friends she ate lunch with "every day" and friends through her husband that they went out with every few weeks. Whaaaat? Thats not the lonely life, my friend. You may *want* more friends, but you are busy on a regular b
...more
Kitty Frye
Jun 27, 2012 Kitty Frye rated it it was ok
I think this might have made a good essay but when Rachel decided to go on 52 "friend dates" in an effort to find a new BFF, I don't think she needed to describe each one in detail. I gave up after the first dozen and felt like I probably wasn't missing anything life changing in the rest of the book. For one thing, I couldn't relate to her at all. She has every evening and weekend free to eat sushi and do yoga with potential BFFs. For me, I struggle to find an hour for myself and when I do I act ...more
Catherine
I'm sorry. I cannot take one more "I'm so bored with my pampered little life that I'm going to do ________ for a year and journal about it even though I can't write my way out of a paper bag some idiot will publish it and I'll laugh all the way to the bank."

On second thought, please look for my upcoming book entitled "My Year of Trying to Pimp a Book: How I wrote a book in a week, pretended it took a year and chronicled every last minutiae of detail regarding my boring-ass, spoiled suburban life
...more
Jill
Jan 26, 2012 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Generally, I'm not a fan of, what I call, the "faux-moir"--fake memoirs where the author embarks on some sort of adventure or scheme to satisfy the book deal they already have. They combine their experiences with research to lighten up what would otherwise just be classified as non-fiction, or a straight-up memoir. So, especially since I'm in a book club with the author, I'm relieved that I did like the book . . . a lot. I wouldn't have picked it up if my book club weren't reading it, but now th ...more
Jennifer
Feb 14, 2012 Jennifer rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2012
I picked up this book as I thought it would be interesting and something I would like. A lot of people complain about how hard it is to make friends in my city so I thought it would be fun to see what someone else does to make a new bff. Well...I just couldn't take the author. She was SO desperate and rediculous that I had a hard time reading it. I was read my husband sections like listen to this?!? Apparently he cannot be my best friends because then who do I complain about him to? Makes sense ...more
CB
Dec 29, 2011 CB rated it it was ok
More cons than pros. Here's my dish:

I really wanted to like this book. I even read the whole thing to try to like this book. But honestly, by the half-way point I began to realize there wasn't going to be a twist, a learning, a climax for our author. The formula - find a girl date, provide a quick headline from friendshipology studies, go on girl date, and proclaim 'girlfriend love' or 'we just didn't click' - was followed unwaveringly throughout. Like 52 times!

I also must say, it got really an
...more
Jen
Jan 24, 2012 Jen rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Four years ago I set out on a quest much like the author's - after graduation most of my friends had either moved for work or returned home and I'd been happy to be friends with my boyfriend and his pals. When we broke up, I set out to make some new connections by various means - the most successful being setting up a social group for solo gig goers to meet up and go to concerts together. Through this I've made several friends who are I hope "lifers" (as Bertsche calls them).

Therefore, when I r
...more
K
Although I think this book would have worked better condensed into a long article, with only the most interesting anecdotes and insights and no filler, I still found it undemanding, mostly enjoyable, and occasionally provocative -- kind of like a good friend.

Rachel Bertsche, a newcomer to Chicago, felt isolated and friendless. Too old to meet people at college, too young to meet them at Mommy & Me or preschool gatherings, there was simply no natural way for her to make friends in her new ci
...more
Paula
Dec 29, 2011 Paula rated it it was ok
I picked this up from the library because the topic of adult friendship interests me. I didn't realize it was one of those books that started as a blog, and tracks a year-long "project" (think Julie & Julia or My Year of Living Biblically, etc.), in this case, one woman's search for a best girlfriend after moving to Chicago from New York.

This could still have been a worthwhile book, but it reads like a very long Marie Claire article (the author has, in fact, written extensively for women's m
...more
Nina
Jan 03, 2012 Nina rated it it was amazing
I loved this memoir about trying to make friends in a new city. Not easy to do without college dorms or childhood memories keeping relationships connected. I thought 52 "friend dates" might be too many to read about, but I was wrong. I sailed through this book in a few days and really enjoyed the mix of research about friendships and connections along with the author's real-life experience of setting out to meet new people.

Highly recommend.

My FULL rave is on my blog: http://ninabadzin.com/2012
...more
Lety
Jan 26, 2012 Lety rated it it was ok
The book gets repetitive and tedious. By the end the author is mostly congratulating herself on how she is a friending expert now, and illustrates this by dwelling on superficial observations about how much better she is at approaching people than she was at the beginning of the book. She is introspective, but not in a way that feels relatable or relevant to the reader. There is nothing revelatory.

By far what most annoyed me about the book was the way she would introduce her own opinion about th
...more
Jaclyn Day
Jan 02, 2013 Jaclyn Day rated it really liked it
Friendship is hard to define, yet all of us can point to multiple instances where we either instantly clicked—or didn’t—with someone. The fact that friendship relationships are so similar to romantic ones in their development and their maintenance is what makes the premise of MWF Seeking BFF so compelling. When I went to my sister and mother’s Master’s graduation this weekend, I sat watching all of the groups of graduate friends huddled together taking photos and celebrating and remembered back ...more
Krystal
Jan 14, 2012 Krystal rated it it was amazing

What do you do when you are friendless in an unfamiliar big city? You put out an ad for friends, of course! The author moved to the Windy City after marrying her college sweetheart, from that statement alone everything sounds hunky-dory...however, she had to leave behind her two best friends.



Rachel's story is hysterical. This book will easily make the reader laugh, experience several awkward moments with Rachel, and hold his/her breath to see if the friendship will work out. The way the author w
...more
Julie Ehlers
Jan 02, 2015 Julie Ehlers rated it did not like it
I got to page 137 in this book before I realized that the rest of it was just going to be more of the same: mildly entertaining anecdotes of various "friend-dates," each followed by a bit of armchair psychology and a passage about what "studies have shown." Oddly enough, most of the actual studies Bertsche cites are not specified or noted at the end of the book, so she was likely recycling material from other people's works (like Cacioppo's Loneliness, which she refers to often).

In all, this was
...more
Tamsinwilloughby
Mar 24, 2016 Tamsinwilloughby rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
Rachel Bertsche moves to a new town to be with her long distance partner and finds that she really misses having local friends. So she decides to go on a year of friend dating - one date a week. She finds friend prospects in various ways - asking her friends to set her up with people, joining groups, posting an essay to the internet, even renting a friend once. This book follows along her journey, interspersed with research about things like the effects of friendship on our health or what takes ...more
Olga
Sep 08, 2012 Olga rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
The curse of the introvert is that while I enjoy spending time with people I know getting there (aka making friends) is a challenge. I frequently wonder how some people go from barely acquaintances to friends in no time and apparently with no awkwardness and lately I've been thinking about the general subject of friendship more than usual. So when a friend gushed about this book I jumped at the chance to read it - here's someone asking the same questions and apparently she has answers too!
Rachel
...more
Jessica Knauss
Dec 14, 2011 Jessica Knauss rated it really liked it
Rachel Bertsche moved to Chicago by choice, but it was not by choice that she left her lifelong friends in New York behind. She finds that her husband cannot provide her the kind of support she knows she could get from good local female friends. She finds herself in the fix that so many of us do today: we know we want more friends, but without the kind of structure provided by school or summer camp, we're puzzled as to how to go about it. Unlike most of us, she takes a forward-thinking approach ...more
Felicity
Dec 26, 2011 Felicity rated it really liked it
I was pleasantly surprised. Rachel Bertsche had done her research (as in read the appropriate psychology textbooks and all that). More on that later.

Bertsche has been living in Chicago for two years with her boyfriend, now husband, when she decides that as friends aren't coming to her...she's going to go out and find some friends. Bertsche wants close friendship...a BFF as the title suggests, someone she can call and ask to brunch at the last minute on Sunday morning just to hang out (her defin
...more
Romany Arrowsmith
Jul 24, 2015 Romany Arrowsmith rated it did not like it
You know those people who think they're really good conversationalists, but are actually really terrible, and no one has ever been honest with them about it? They're the people who consistently miss social cues, or make jokes which only elicit awkward silence and forced laughter, or tell pointless, rambling stories only tangentially related to the topic at hand at parties, or obliviously only ever talk about themselves. Listening to this book (audible edition) was like having a five hour convers ...more
Patrick
Full disclosure - I bought this book for my wife a few years back when she was commenting on how hard it is to make good friends as an adult. I thought it'd be helpful for her to see that she wasn't the only one having this issue - that it was, in fact, pretty common. But she wasn't that interested in reading it, so it sat on my Kindle for years, unread. There's something unsettling about an unread book purchase, something about not following through, taunting you every time you scroll through y ...more
Amanda
Mar 17, 2012 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
I picked up this book because of the familiarity of the story. Relocated to a new town...left all my close friends on the other side of the country...miss them like hell.

Bertsche does a great job of taking a blog and elevating it to a book. She sprinkles research in with her ancedotes and reflects on her own abilities as a friend. I learned some new things (it takes bi-monthly dates for 3 months to reach "friend" level, the four levels of friendship, the idea of having "brain room" for 150 frien
...more
Ciara
yet another stunt memoir, this time following the trials & tribulations of a newlywed devoting herself to making a new best friend in a year or less. rachel bertsche moved to chicago to be with her new husband, leaving her closest friends behind in new york city. even though her mother & eventually her brother & his wife follow her to chicago, rachel still misses having lady friends with whom to gossip about celebrities & get pedicures. she decides to go on one friend date per we ...more
Mari
Dec 05, 2012 Mari rated it liked it
I checked out this memoir digitally, which I think is the best invention ever (or not, but I really like being able to do that ... I'm not one to crave zillions of digital files of books I'll never read again, can't sell or give away and never remember to try to loan out to someone who has the same device as me, etc.).

Anyway, the book itself is about the author's year-long quest to make friends in Chicago because all her friends live elsewhere.

There's a fair bit of friendship/relationship resea
...more
Kara
Jul 09, 2012 Kara rated it really liked it
Shelves: nook, non-fiction, memoir
Four and a half stars.

I read this with a friend who said she found herself "over-identifying" and having to put it down to walk away because the book IS her life. I felt like that too. Maybe a lot of people feel like this.

I moved from California to Michigan for work. The two really good friends I made both moved away after the first year and a half. Now I feel like all of my friends are my boyfriend's friends who have adopted me, and I've been on the lookout for a new best friend. Even before I
...more
Alex Templeton
Apr 16, 2012 Alex Templeton rated it liked it
3.5 stars. This memoir--yes, another contribution to the writing-about-a-year-doing-something genre!--is about a woman who moves to a new city to live with her husband and finds herself wanting of friends. She decides to go on 52 “friend dates” in a year to see if she can expand her social circle. As I can completely relate to her situation (and, apparently, so can a lot of other women--who knew?), it went on my list. At first, I was a bit put off. At times, Bertsche seemed to have a more Sex-an ...more
Angela G
Apr 01, 2012 Angela G rated it it was ok
Half diary, half junior college research paper, this book was almost embarrassing to read. Full disclosure -- I did not finish this book because the whining just became too irritating. The author is young so I will attribute her overarching desire to find a new best friend to immaturity and lack of personal history. Friends are lovely but friendships very rarely last forever. The evolution of our own lives cause people to change and relationships to weaken. Instead we should cherish our relatio ...more
Jodie
Mar 24, 2012 Jodie rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
Girl date number 1, fail, rinse, repeat........

Desperate to find a new BFF, Rachel sets off on dating 52 girls in order to find her new BFF. Like some naive school girl, wrapped up in how popular she was at 16 at summer camp, and how great college was she sets off on this bent in order to have a friend she can call up EVERY Sunday and have brunch with. High maintenance much? I am convinced their is not a person on the planet that could measure up to this girls standards.

I just wanted to shout a
...more
Jenifer Jacobs
Jun 24, 2013 Jenifer Jacobs rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. It made me think so much about friendships - and how important they are in my life. This was modeled for me by my parents, who made friends front and center in their lives, and who, if humanly possible, got me where I needed to be to see/make my own. I loved the bits of research thrown in, and also ideas about childhood versus adulthood friends. I feel like I had my own friendship crisis after moving here, but now feel filled up and blessed in all areas of friends, old ...more
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Rachel Bertsche is a journalist in Chicago, where she lives with her husband. Her work has appeared in Marie Claire, More, Teen Vogue, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Fitness, Women’s Health, New York, CNN.com, and more. Before leaving New York (and all her friends) for the Midwest, Bertsche was an editor at O, The Oprah Magazine.
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“But on a Sunday morning when I want to grab an omelet over girl talk, I’m at a loss. My Chicago friends are the let’s-get-dinner-on-the-books-a-month-in-advance type. We email, trading dates until we find an open calendar slot amidst our tight schedules of workout classes, volunteer obligations (no false pretenses here, the volunteers are my friends, not me, sadly), work events, concert tickets and other dinners scheduled with other girls. I’m looking for someone to invite to watch The Biggest Loser with me at the last minute or to text “pedicure in half an hour?” on a Saturday morning. To me, that’s what BFFs are.” 24 likes
“Popular culture has made it okay to yell "I want a man!" from the rooftops, so why are we still embarrassed to say, "I want a best friend"?” 18 likes
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