Frances from York asks….

I have received my first set of profiles 2 weeks ago and I have not heard from anyone yet, when should I expect some contact and how long should I wait to hear?

There are two or three people that I am intending to contact from their profiles but I have not done so yet.

Sarah says…

This is a great question that I am asked frequently and I am delighted to have a chance to answer it.

The short answer is that it would be well within our entire comfort zone to wait patiently for our perfect person to contact us. However, in friendsfirst experience of 13 years, by far the most successful friendships and relationships are established by those who have been proactive and chosen to take the plunge with regard to making contacts. I speak to both male and female members every day who are all feeling equally nervous about beginning new friendships, and we cannot say often enough that any member, be they male or female, would be delighted to receive a letter, phone call or email from another member. We would urge you pluck up your courage, and write a few lines just to introduce yourself, try to imagine what sort of information you would find interesting and engaging if it were coming to you. You have already in fact, been successful in the hardest part of this, which was to take the decision to join friendsfirst. It would be a shame for you not to use the shortcut we now provide!!

With regard to the question of replies, there is not a definitive answer, as each person’s “reasonable time scale” will vary. I have conversations with members every day, who are worrying that they haven’t had a response to the profile mailings or to a contact they have initiated. However I also have daily conversations encouraging members to prioritise sending replies, as someone is waiting to hear from them. The time it takes to write that letter is a treat to yourself, and an essential part of the process of making new friends, and it won’t write itself. Try not to keep anyone waiting for a reply, as this can begin to erode the confidence that has gone into making that first contact, and we all appreciate prompt action and a pleasant response. It is always possible to follow up the first letter with another, which will remind your potential new friend that they had meant to reply and possibly busy lives had taken over, it does happen to us all at times. Above all, do not worry, and do not stop being active towards your own happiness!!