Figuring out how to make friends as an adult can be daunting, but it can also be exciting!
When you’re young, potential friends are everywhere. Between school, extracurricular activities, and camps, you’re constantly presented with opportunities to meet new people.
But as we grow older, our lives become busier. We become consumed with work, dating, getting married and having kids.
With so many other responsibilities, nurturing existing friendships becomes tricky, let alone finding time to discover new ones.
However, staying social is key to leading a healthy life, particularly when you’re older. So, here’s our advice on how you can do it.
We don’t mean to oversimplify it, but the key to making new friends is surrounding yourself with new people.
The prospect of forging a friendship when you’re at home on your own can feel overwhelming, but when you’re surrounded by new people, it often begins naturally.
So make an effort to put yourself out there and try new hobbies. Join a meetup group, take an exercise class, or volunteer for a worthy cause.
That way, you’ll meet people with similar hobbies, values, and motivations. Plus, when you’re engaging in an activity together, you’ll have built-in icebreakers and plenty to talk about.
We’ll let you in on a secret: You’re not the only one wondering how to make friends as an adult. Everyone is in the same boat.
So why not do your social circle a favor and bring together a new group of people? Invite friends over for a dinner party and ask each guest to bring someone the group doesn’t know.
You’ll meet a host of new and interesting people, plus you’ll give many people the opportunity to do the same.
Even if no one hits it off and forms a new lasting friendship, you’ll still have a nice night. What have you got to lose?
If you’re looking for a friend, they don’t necessarily have to be a brand-new person you’ve never met before. Why not try reconnecting with someone from your past?
Reach out to a former coworker you used to have lunch with, your college roommate you always got along with, or that friend from high school who recently moved back to town.
Since you two aren’t starting from scratch, there’ll be fewer awkward silences, and you already have shared experiences to keep the conversation flowing.
It’s a second chance to rekindle a friendship that faded or could have been.
When you make a new friend, there’s an unsaid sense of pressure that you have to invite them into your life completely, but there doesn’t have to be!
While it’s wonderful to have friends who know everything about you, not every friendship has to be that deep.
It’s perfectly normal to have a friend you play tennis with, exchange recipes with, or live-text while you watch The Real Housewives—and to have that be the extent of your friendship.
So relax and don’t put pressure on one singular friendship to satisfy all your needs. Instead, go to specific friends for particular things.
That way, you’ll keep your social circle broad and maintain healthy relationships with more people.
Friendships are a lot like romantic relationships: If you want them to be successful, you have to put in the effort. You have to, you know, be a friend to your friend.
Make an effort to call or text your friends regularly to keep in touch, update them on your life, and schedule time to meet up.
We’ve all had a friend who didn’t do these things, and those relationships fizzled out quickly.
So be the kind of friend who regularly checks in or organizes group activities. Sure it might require a little extra effort, but it’ll mean you’re always being social.
Remember, when it comes to relationships, when you make an effort, you reap the rewards.
If you’re still wondering how to make friends as an adult, know that it takes courage and vulnerability.
True friendship takes time to nurture and grow, so don’t be discouraged if you aren’t thick as thieves after just one meetup. Instead, be patient.
Enjoy every encounter you have with a friend, regularly meet up with them and take an interest in how they’re doing.
In time, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a circle of like-minded people who care for you. Good luck!