How Women Are Using A 'Lonely Girls Club' On Facebook To Fight The Struggle Of Finding New Friends In Adulthood

She just wanted to make friends. Now she manages a group of over 30,000 "lonely" women.

London Lonely Girls Club meetups Instagram

Making friends can be difficult for a slew of reasons — maybe you moved to a new place and want to find people with your interests or just want a new friend group. Meeting people online has become an increasingly common way to make friends following the pandemic.

A 2020 study found that the average American made six new friends during quarantine. However, one Facebook group has connected people since 2018, and their membership has exploded in the past year.


A Facebook group for 'lonely' women to make friends has grown to over 30,000 members.

Holly Cooke started the London Lonely Girls Club, LLGC, on Facebook in 2018 to make some friends after moving from Nottingham to London, according to OK! Magazine.  The 26-year-old moved to pursue a job in marketing.

She expected the change in scenery to bring about a more social lifestyle. But her dreams of living a life out of a TV show were quickly dashed when the reality of the city set in.

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“I had this idea that it was going to be like something out of Made In Chelsea, and I’d be enjoying nights out every day of the week,” she said. “I moved in with some family friends, but they were my parents’ age. I’d go to work, come home, sit in my room, and repeat that cycle every day. It was hard to admit, but I was lonely.”

She describes London as “one of the loneliest cities in the world” in her Facebook group description. And that sentiment is not unfounded; numerous studies suggest that London has more lonely people than average. The mayor of London put forth a program, Strategy for Social Integration, in 2018, which estimated that 700,000 Londoners feel lonely “most of the time.”

So, six weeks into moving to London, Holly started the Facebook group. She found dating apps and Google searches not helpful in finding friends since meeting someone one-on-one can be daunting. Instead, her club creates a space with free and paid events for large groups of girls to mingle with one another. But her first meeting was humble compared to the massive numbers it draws today.


“It was all about allowing females to meet up in larger groups. That way if one person wasn’t your vibe, there’d be other people to talk to,” she explains. “Our first meetup was at a pancake house in Covent Garden. There were five of us, including a friend who I’d begged to come along in case no one else turned up.”

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The pandemic helped the group gain popularity to what it is today.

Before the pandemic, they had less than 10,000 members. Then in just a matter of months, they had over 20,000, and since then, she told the BBC that they’ve “grown spectacularly,” from the beginning of 2022 to April 2023, they’ve amassed roughly another 10,000 members bringing the total to over 33,000. 

“More people have come back to London and are wanting that connection,” she said. “London is so big; it leaves a lot of space for loneliness.”


Following the pandemic, her first meetup for 30 people booked up in just two minutes. She decided to employ waiting lists for future events. They do things from getting cocktails to tea parties to summer picnics.

Despite her group becoming popular, she explained that loneliness is still stigmatized. “Some people will look down on you for saying ‘I’m lonely’ because they think it means there’s something wrong with you,” she said.

But her aspirations are big. She wants to remove the stigma by expanding her idea across the world.


“I’d love to have a branch of the group for men and women in every city in the country,” she said. “Loneliness isn’t limited to one city, one age, or one gender.”

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Ethan Cotler is a writer living in Boston. He writes on entertainment and news.