finding new women friends . . . online

I've long been thinking that I'd love to try using Okcupid to start meeting new women friends, and forget about it as a dating site. 

If time would ever permit, the idea would be to search women's profiles for girls with similar interests to mine, and shoot them messages along the lines of "Looking for new women friends -- platonic : ) -- to hang out with, go see a film, get some coffee." 

And, if I happened to find enough like-minded souls, who didn't think it was totally weird to be approached on a dating site, I might even end up with enough new friends to form a book group.

Guess what?  A few enterprising women have come up with a trio of sites to facilitate women like me finding new friends.

The sites profiled in the Huffington Post (who read about the topic in the NewYork Times ) include: (update 2018: they have ceased operation), GirlFriendCircles and Girlfriend Social.  Girl Friend Circles is a pricey paid site, but apparently, the other two are free.

After a cursory glance at the two free sites, Social Jane lets you do a sample search by zip code to get an idea of who's in your area.  But a search using my zip code turned up few profiles nearby, and quite a few from as far away as La Grange, Ill. and Hammond, Ind.  Girlfriend Social wouldn't let you peek until you join the site (which I chose not to do, for now).

To read more, here's the Huffington Post story, and if you try any of these sites, please let me know how it goes!  Ditto, if you decide to use your dating site to find women friends instead of guys : ) .  I really think that would be the most promising route, as the selection of women would be much larger, and perhaps more interesting.  And, as a side benefit, kind of fascinating to see what other women's dating profiles look like : ) ~