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

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  12,589 ratings  ·  1,754 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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Average rating 3.44  · 
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 ·  12,589 ratings  ·  1,754 reviews

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Emma Sea
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: auckland-library
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
Jul 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
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
Dec 06, 2011 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
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
Jun 27, 2012 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
Dec 26, 2011 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
Jan 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, usa
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
Jan 26, 2012 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
Feb 13, 2012 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
Dec 29, 2011 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 magaz
Jan 02, 2012 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
Jaclyn Day
Jan 21, 2012 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
Romany Arrowsmith
Jul 24, 2015 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
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 city.
Julie Ehlers
Dec 21, 2011 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
Jan 02, 2012 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:
Charlene Carr
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
An interesting read with a lot to like and a lot I could have done without too. The account of the 52 friend dates got tiring, but what I really found interesting was the information on friendship – its benefits, how to be a better friend, how to put yourself out there, etc. The author clearly did a lot of research. Not a book for everyone, but if you’re actively looking to expand your friend group but haven’t been seeing progress, this book may give you just the kick in the butt you need! If yo ...more
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
Feb 02, 2012 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!
Jessica Knauss
Dec 14, 2011 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
Nov 24, 2011 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
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
Mar 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
4.0 Stars - Reread Oct 2016

I'm a sucker for the "do-something-for-a-year memoir" so I tend enjoy these types of stories.I loved the idea of devoting a year to female friendship. With interesting research and humor, this was a very enjoyable to read. I would recommend this to anyone looking to expand their social circle or would simply like to focus more energy on his/her friendships. Given the age of the author and the pop culture references this book primarily speaks to a younger female audienc
Angela G
Apr 01, 2012 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
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the story as it is often hard for me to talk to strangers too. Rachel's experience with her 52 dates with potential BFF's was both humorous and an eye opener. I see where I don't invite someone to talk to me too. this was good for me to learn!

In chapter 12, she states "Plus, women push themselves harder under a partner's watchful eye." referring to working out. I will say that may be the case for her, but for me, if someone is telling me what to do or competing, i tend to walk away. I
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 week in an effort ...more
Dec 26, 2011 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
 Ariadne Oliver
Mar 22, 2016 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
Apr 30, 2012 rated it liked it
I'm not quite certain how I feel about this book, hence, the 3-star review (which I then changed to 2, then back to 3). I'll try to map out my thoughts as clearly as possible, but I'm not even entirely sure where this review is going to go. Here goes nothing!

1.) I liked the premise immediately. As someone who moved after college to a new city for grad school, made plenty of friends only to have them pick up and leave following the completion of their degrees, I can relate. Why? Because I'm one o
Aug 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Let's be honest, the title of this book sucked me in. I too am a MWF seeking BFF. I checked out this book from the library and hadn't read until one day I wanted something different to read and started reading it, and couldn't put it down. I feel this woman's pain. Rachel relocates to Chicago as a newly wed. She gets a job and is happily married but missing one thing in her new town. Friends. How many times have I gone through this in my adult life moving and trying to make friends again. The sa ...more
Mar 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, nook, non-fiction
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
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Rachel Bertsche is the author of The Kids Are in Bed: Finding Time for Yourself in the Chaos of Parenting, MWF Seeking BFF, and Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me. A former editor at O, The Oprah Magazine, her work has appeared in Marie Claire, More, Teen Vogue, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Fitness, Women’s Health, New York,, and more. She lives in Chicago with her husband and two children. ...more

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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.” 26 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"?” 20 likes
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