When you were an undergrad, making new friends was as easy as attending class, striking up a convo and grabbing a coffee afterward. As an adult, though, it seems like a struggle to find others with whom you mesh.
As you get older, work and family responsibilities eat up more of your time, but you still want quality friendships that enrich your life with people that share your values. How can you make new friends as an adult? The following 10 methods can help you build your tribe.
1. Join a Gym
Is Zumba your go-to stress-buster after a challenging day? If so, why not seek an adult BFF while you sweat? Besides, working out with a buddy helps you keep your commitment to fitness.
2. Visit the Library
Your local library is a fabulous place to meet new people as well as score reading material. Call to see what free classes your venue offers. You could meet someone as hopeless with computers as you are and help each other master the intimidating ropes.
Many libraries are community hubs where others who seek companionship while away pleasant, air-conditioned hours. Although you don’t want to interrupt anyone engrossed in their reading, you can strike up a conversation with the woman who is also perusing the off-the-grid gardening section.
3. Get — or Walk — a Dog
Are you among the millions of Americans who wouldn’t recognize your next-door neighbor if they bopped you on the nose? What if you could correct the issue without knocking on their door?
Dog-walkers have long known that a furry friend makes people want to stop and pass the time chatting about the weather. If you dwell in an apartment where your landlord hung a “no pets allowed” sign, don’t despair. Local shelters always seek volunteers to exercise canines.
4. Attend a Meeting
Introverts can find a ray of sunshine amid pandemic clouds — shutdowns have caused online meetings to flourish. You have more opportunities to meet people behind the safety of a screen than ever. Resources such as Eventbrite have links to online conferences and retreats to match nearly any interest.
5. Sign up for a Class
Now is an ideal time to expand your knowledge base and make meeting new friends as an adult nearly as painless as it was in school. If you recently dealt with a reduction in hours or job loss, double-dip on learning and friendship by taking a course intended to advance your career skills. Otherwise, take Basket Weaving 101 and meet others who share your laid-back vibe.
6. Say Yes to Happy Hour
Guess what? Due to the pandemic, you no longer have to show up at the pub to mingle with colleagues after work. Zoom has had so many online happy-hour creators that the platform sometimes becomes overloaded. Say yes to Barb in Accounting’s invite — you don’t even have to explain why you mixed up a virgin version of the beverage of the day.
7. Show up at Parties
Depending on where you live, authorities likely frown on gatherings of more than 10 or 15 individuals. You don’t want your “I survived the 2020 pandemic” to come with the codicil “with a criminal record.”
However, many people now mingle at smaller, more intimate klatches. Accepting an invitation to your aunt’s Pampered Chef party might mean an introduction to a second cousin whom you’ve never met — but click with instantly.
The need for folks to help distribute food bank resources and run errands for elderly and disabled folks has never been higher. If you have an altruistic nature, why not meet new friends as an adult by pitching in and helping?
Just because someone has physical challenges doesn’t mean they don’t possess a brilliant wit and lively intelligence. Perhaps you will find a “Morrie” with whom to spend pleasant Tuesdays.
9. Find a Club
Do you have a passion for cosplay? Could you play or talk about “Final Fantasy” for hours? Other people share your interests, and you can find them online. Those who spent quarantine buried in novels can join an online book club, while lovers of the game of kings can find others with whom to practice pawn strategies.
10. The Pen Is Mighty
Even in today’s technological age, there’s something to be said for an old-fashioned letter in the mail. For many folks, it’s their only means of communication with the outside world. You can sign up to write letters to prison inmates, troops stationed overseas or individuals in nursing homes. Either way, you know your message brings a smile — and you get to meet a new adult friend.
These 10 Tricks Teach You How to Make New Friends as an Adult — Painlessly
While it can seem daunting to learn how to make new friends as an adult, you only need to modify your approach. Use the 10 tips above to break the ice and let your effervescent personality take care of the rest.