The Struggle is Real!
Let’s be honest. Making friends as an adult is not easy. Remember the days when sharing a toy meant instant friendship? Unfortunately, meeting new people and making friends in adulthood isn’t as simple as it was when we were kids. Things are… complicated now. How do you meet people without it feeling contrived?
If you’re anything like me, meeting new people can feel like a daunting task. My anxiety likes to take the reins and make me ask questions like “What if this gets really awkward? How am I going to bail? What if they don’t like me? What if I say something dumb?” In high school and college, meeting people didn’t seem so hard. It seems that there were always opportunities to make friends.
Making friends is not a one-size-fits all experience! For me, I have to make meeting people as convenient as possible because, quite frankly, I am a busy lady and if I don’t make it easy for myself, I know I have the tendency to back out on plans. Consider how much time you’re willing to spend with your new friends, and if their lifestyle will mesh well with yours.
Making Friends Online
There are tons of places to meet new friends online! One of my favorite ways to meet people has been through BumbleBFF, an offshoot of the popular dating app, Bumble. I have met several wonderful ladies through this app! It can feel sort of awkward to base a friendship off of a couple of photos and few-word description, but don’t be discouraged. Choose a few photos of yourself that reflect your personality. I’ve also put up pictures of myself with my husband, which led to some fun couple dates! Make sure you’re concise and descriptive in your profile. There are plenty of profiles about “watching trash TV and drinking wine,” so find a way to stand out from the rest!
If you’re looking for less one-on-one interactions and would feel more comfortable in a group, Meetup might be a perfect option for you! This site has a meetup group for every interest you could imagine, from running groups to game nights. Meetup is a great way to find friends who share your interests.
Are you part of your hometown’s Facebook group yet? Lots of cities and towns have their own Facebook group filled with information about upcoming events in your community. It can foster a sort of neighborly vibe in an otherwise disconnected town.
Making Friends in your Community
Speaking of your community, take a look at what’s already going on in your town. Consider volunteering! VolunteerMatch makes it easy to find places to volunteer within your city. Volunteering has allowed me to meet friends who were passionate about the same things I was. Plus, I got to play with baby squirrels. How fun is that? It’s a win-win.
Clubs and extracurriculars were a fun way to make friends as a teenager, and they can be just as fun as an adult too! Most communities have intramural sports teams to join. Your local YMCA or church may be another place to look. Book clubs are a good option if you’re not athletically inclined like myself! Often, libraries have their own book clubs listed on their websites. I’ve attended book clubs in breweries which was a great way to take the pressure off.
Making Friends in your Circle
Do you have friends that you’ve lost touch with over the years? Sometimes when the idea of meeting new people feels overwhelming but I’m still feeling social, reaching out to people who I haven’t seen in a few months or even years has been a comforting option.
Or, maybe you have some coworkers that you’d be open to getting drinks with after work. I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to expand my social circle and find new friends that weren’t “work friends.” But I spend 40 hours a week with those people and have gotten to know many of them very well! Now my coworkers are some of my closest friends!
I have met some of my favorite people by asking other friends to introduce me to their circles. If you’re getting together with a friend, ask if they’d like to invite someone else along! Some easy ways I’ve done this in the past is with bonfires, Halloween parties, and game nights.
Making friends as an adult can seem daunting, but it is doable! Being social is like exercising a muscle. It requires you to just go out and do it. If you don’t connect with someone the first time, it doesn’t mean that you won’t make a friend the next time. Get out of your head and get social!
How have you been making friends as an adult? I’d love to hear from you! Leave me a comment about how you’ve met new people!