Making Friends as Adults

Making Friends as Adults

Making Friends as Adults


I was sitting at the park the other day and overheard two little boys have this wonderful interaction:

“Hi, I like tractors.”

“I like tractors too. This is my dinosaur.”

“Cool! Can I be your friend?”

“Yes! Let’s play with dinosaurs on trucks.”

I wish I could approach a nice person, tell them what I like about them, and then ask them to be my friend. If only it was that easy!

Friendship is the glue of our communities. The bond that we forge with others is vital to our emotional well-being.

Seeking and making new adult friends, on the other hand, becomes even more difficult.

Here are a couple reasons why:

We have fewer opportunities to meet new people. We no longer have new classes every semester, an endless number of high school clubs, activities, or summer camps to attend, as we did when we were kids.  

Our objectives have changed. The first goal for children is to have fun. You want to have a good time. Recess, school breaks, after-school play dates, and camp are all options. We work as adults, have family commitments, and must pay our bills. Play, fun, and relaxation are often placed on the back burner.

We don’t put ourselves out there because we’re afraid of being rejected.

We keep our distance because we’re concerned that someone is secretly toxic.

We’re afraid of being taken advantage of, so we take a step back.

But here’s the catch. Friendships are important. The money will come and go, and professional success will fade with time, but friends will only add to the quality of your life.

I believe that finding, building, and maintaining fulfilling friendships is one of the most important things we do in our lifetime. When we connect with someone, it releases oxytocin. That’s the “bonding” hormone. It is associated with empathy and trust, and you can increase it just by hugging someone!  

With a friend, you can learn, play, and heal together. It’s human connection at its best!

But I also know that it’s hard to make new friends. Here are a few ways to make it easier.

Adult Tips for Making New Friends

It takes some work to make new friends. It requires you to put yourself “out there” emotionally. You form a friendship with someone because you have similar interests. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, it doesn’t matter how old you are. We generally like people who like the same things we do.

  1. Take classes or join a club

What are your hobbies and interests? What type of groups could you join to meet new people and make new friends? Book club? Study group? Or perhaps check out community colleges or language schools. Join a writing group or other kind of class that fits your interest.  

  1. Ask your existing friends

Expand your social circle by tapping into your network and see who’s in their network. Looking for a gym partner or new Yoga buddy? Maybe you’re a foodie or wine lover. Find people you want to participate in these activities. 

  1. Volunteer for a cause that you care about.

Find a cause that you care about and donate your time to it. Helping others or something else (such as walking dogs at your local animal shelter) makes you feel better and helps you to share your experiences with those who share your values.

  1. Find meetups for your interests (there are a number of meetup sites on the internet).

Meetup groups have something for everyone. Are you a tech professional and love to nerd out about computer programming and technology? What about photography, traveling, or birdwatching? There’s a group for you and you’ll have a lot to talk about with others who share the same interests.

  1. Consider joining a support group.

Have you recently lost a parent or recently divorced? Do you struggle with your mental health or have a chronic illness? Look into joining a support group.

  1. Use your pets or kids to your benefit

Find playgroups or activities for your child or grandchild and you’re bound to meet some like-minded parents. What about a football or baseball game? Take your dog to a dog-training class. You can find others who also share the same interests and your pups can have a playdate as well.

  1. Organize something yourself

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Create it yourself. Try creating a writing group for authors if you’re working on finishing your book. Share a love of poetry or karaoke? Organize a get-together at the local library or nightclub.

  1. Use social media to your advantage.

Find an online community in your area that you can take offline. Perhaps a running community or an entrepreneurial networking group.

Friendship is one of our greatest assets. It’s true that not everyone has best friends from childhood, but that’s okay. We can make amazing friendships as adults—it just takes some creativity and a little bit of courage. The connection you make with someone else is worth it!


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