It can be challenging to learn how to make friends as adults. When we’re younger, it seems that we’re surrounded by groups of friends no matter where we turn. High school or college classes, the soccer team, or drama club. The reason it seems easier to make friends as children and teens are that you’re placing yourselves in situations where those around you have similar interests. It provides you with the opportunity to bond.
Why Making Friends As Adults is Hard
As adults, our interactions and activities become a bit more formal. We go to work, to the gym, and other obligations. While there are sure to be many friendly people at these places, busy schedules can make it impossible to plan a spontaneous happy hour or a trip to the mall.
If you’ve recently moved to a new town, it can seem even more challenging to make new friends as an adult. Maybe you’ve recently gone through a friend breakup or had a friend ghost you, so you’re hesitant to make new connections. Here are some tips to help you get back out there.
1) Find a Local Online Community
Lots of towns, housing communities, and local special interest groups have online meetup places these days. Are you a new mom in Atlanta, GA? Or a poodle owner in Denver, CO? Or a resident of a townhome community? Chances are that there’s an online group for you. Do some searching. Many of these groups schedule regular meetups, and the best part is that you know going into it that you’ll be around others with shared interests.
2) Pick Up a New Group Hobby
From pick-up basketball games at the local gym to book clubs and pottery classes, there are plenty of hobbies that you can take up in a group setting. Similar to finding a local online community, you’ll be in a place with others who have shared interests and exposed to new people. Keep reading to tip #3 to see how to turn these casual meetups into budding friendships.
3) Make the First Move
Sounds kind of like dating, right? That’s because it is. Instead of waiting for friends to come to you, make the first move. That co-worker you get along with so well in the office, or the person you share jokes with at yoga every week? Invite them out for a cup of coffee or ask them if they’d like to go shopping over the weekend. Make concrete plans to get together, with a date, time, and place. Lock it into your calendar.
Maintaining Friendships as Adults
Once you’ve made the first move and established the basis for a friendship, it’s important to maintain that friendship. As adults, we get busy. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of canceling plans or losing touch with people. Just like romantic relationships, though, friendships take work.
Make follow-up plans, manage your time, stay in touch via text message, and keep putting yourself out there to develop GR8 friendships.