Five ways to make friends as an adult
When it comes to making friends as an adult, it is definitely no walk in the park. As children and teens, we are immersed in activities, hobbies, and environments overflowing with peers our own age and with similar interests. As we get older, there is a lot more leg work that goes into searching out viable and compatible friendships, not to forget to mention, a lot less time to do so. But friendship is vital to our mental well-being and happiness. So much so, that two studies conducted through Michigan State University, found that as we age friendship becomes a stronger indicator of health and happiness, even more so than our familial relationships. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs also emphasizes the importance of love and belonging before we can feel secure in our own purpose and worth.
As an adult whom recently moved cities in the past year and found myself having to start from scratch socially, I struggled initially with finding ways to meet new people. That was until I heard about Bumble BFF. I know, I know, you hear about meeting friends on a dating app and immediately cringe. But I have personally made many wonderful friendships through the app and often recommend it to my own clients. It allowed me the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals and women who share similiar interests, values and goals in life.
If Bumble BFF scares you, there are other avenues to meeting others on-line. You can find individuals with similar interests virtually on FB Lives, Instagram, Tik-Tok, Webinars, or virtual events through Eventbrite and so on. All it takes is a similar interest and the courage to be vulnerable to connect with others online. As with anything online, make sure to do your due diligence and put safety precautions into place before meeting anyone in-person for the first time.
But what if the virtual world isn’t your thing and you prefer face-to-face contact? Join a local sports league or club. Whether it’s a dodgeball league, a bingo night, a chess club or a book club, there are regularly scheduled events for almost any hobby you can think of. Some helpful resources for finding these options are MeetUp.com, Eventbrite.com, Facebook Groups, or local Instagram pages for your city.
Maybe you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for on any of these sites? If you have the courage, create it yourself! When I moved to Austin I immediately began searching for a networking group to meet other Therapists in town, but as much as I looked I couldn’t find what I was looking for. So I decided to create it myself. Now twice a month, I host a coffee meetup where I have the opportunity to meet professionals in my industry who not only become great connections for my career, but also good friends.
At the end of the day, the quickest, most effective way to make friends as an adult, is to just put yourself out there. Attend a church service, a young professionals meeting, a new yoga class, a trivia night at your local bar, frequent the dog park, meet other moms at your local park, or start volunteering at your local animal shelter. Immerse yourself in activities and events that align with who you are and what you look for in a friend. Then allow yourself to be vulnerable and initiate conversations. You will never meet someone if you don’t try!