So here’s an awkward topic: how do you make friends as an adult?
When we were younger, we had countless opportunities to make friends. School, summer camp, sports teams, music groups; we were surrounded by people our age with whom we shared similar interests.
As we get older and our schedules fill up, however, those opportunities seem to disappear. What’s more, the friendships we held throughout high school and college often thin as people move, get married, have children, change careers, etc.
You: Yikes, Paula! What a downer of a post!
Me: I know; stay with me, because today I want to talk about how to make friends as an adult.
How to Make Friends as an Adult
Small Group vs. Big Group
As I’ve gotten older (and grown increasingly introverted), I’ve discovered how much I value close relationships. Large parties make me uncomfortable, and I’m terrible at small talk, but when I have an opportunity to sit with a few friends and share what’s going on in our lives, I feel that valuable sense of connection.
On the other hand, there are many people who thrive in a large social circle. They love interacting with lots of different people, and they enjoy moving from group to group. They recharge with others.
Here’s the deal; both of these options are fantastic. The important thing is knowing what you need in your life. As Maggie Maye explains, a critical component of our lives is “maintaining inter-human connections.” So think about what’s most important to you – small or large groups – and keep that preference in mind as you consider the below strategies.
How can you make friends as an adult?
As I mentioned above, children easily form friendships with those whom they share common experiences: school, sports, summer camp, etc. Well, here’s the good news; the same principle applies to making friends as an adult.
You can start by looking for people with whom you share a common bond. Your workplace is an obvious place to start, as you likely spend 40 hours a week together. With that being said, you may work from home or – perhaps – you have no desire to spend additional hours with your colleagues.
If that’s the case, then it’s time to start thinking about your other interests.
What are your hobbies? Is there a skill you’ve always wanted to develop? What is something you’re particularly passionate about?
Highlight a few ideas, and then start looking for a class or opportunity to meet others who share those similar interests. Check out Groupon, peruse your community center classes, or even do a simple Google search. I assure you, no matter your interests, there are others who are thrilled to talk with you about it. Case in point, I have a friend who is a total gamer, and she told me she was able to meet new friends in Final Fantasy 15. Who knew?
If you are passionate about volunteering, seek out a local shelter or soup kitchen. This is a great place to meet other like-minded givers like you who are working to make the world a better place.
This may seem like another obvious suggestion, but I think a surprising number of us aren’t as close with our neighbors as previous generations have been. I know I’m not.
With that being said, my neighbor came over last week to borrow a tablespoon of cornstarch; this was one of the first times we had any conversation of substance, and it was wonderful getting to know him. What’s more, my husband and I were invited over to his house for dinner in a few weeks. Who knew friendship could blossom from a tablespoon of cornstarch?
Join a Sports Team
What better way to make friends than working together toward a common goal? Seek out a local softball, volleyball, or basketball league and start building those connections. Not a “team sport” kind of person? Then check out the nearest climbing gym or bowling alley. There is something out there you’re bound to love 🙂
As a bonus tip, I also want to mention the value of online relationships. I have gotten to know several incredible women as a blogger, and it is this platform that made it possible.
There you have it: 5 ways to make friends as an adult. Which one will you try first?
How do you make friends as an adult? Have you ever struggled with this challenge? Let me know below!