Making Friends as an Adult
Growing up watching shows like “Friends” and “New Girl” made many of us excited to become adults and make memories with found families. Making friends as a kid was easier through school, clubs, and sports, but what happens when we become adults? Once we graduate, move to a new city or country, and potentially outgrow previous friends, where and how are we going to make the quality friends we grew up wishing for?
Taking the first step is always daunting when putting yourself out there, but it is also the most important when making new friends. As much as we’d like our lives to be a TV show where life naturally brings meaningful friends our way, it’s not as easy as television makes it seem. Sadly, you aren’t going to find friends sitting alone in your bedroom; you have to get out of your comfort zone and put yourself in places to meet new people. Making yourself approachable, actively engaging with people in social situations, and putting in effort to build relationships may be scary, but the risk is worth the reward.
What do we do once we have accepted the vulnerability and effort needed to make friends? That depends on you. What are your hobbies and interests? If you enjoy reading and analyzing books, join your local library’s book club. Are you interested in learning a new craft? Then join a class that teaches that craft. If you enjoy yoga, Pilates, CrossFit, or simply exercising then join a gym. This makes it easier to make friends when you have something in common, regularly see each other, and enjoy the same activity together.
Clubs and hobbies not your thing? Then try simpler methods like asking a friend, relative, or coworker if they have anyone they could introduce to you. Blind dates don’t always have to be romantic; they can be platonic as well. Another method is to compliment people you see in public. It may sound strange but complimenting people can start a conversation that can open the door to friendship.
If you don’t feel quite comfortable meeting people in person just yet, then consider using social media to find new friends. Apps like Bumble BFF, Yubo, Meetup, and Friender are specifically meant to connect people looking to make new friends. This lessens the fear of rejection, knowing that there are a lot of other people who are also putting themselves out there in hopes of creating new friendships.
No matter how or where you try to make new friends it is important to remember that you are amazing and the friends you do find are lucky to have you. It may take longer to make meaningful friendships than you had expected, but that’s normal. Try to remind yourself what you’re looking for in a friend, and you will realize that those friendships are worth the wait and effort.