For myself and many others, the idea of how to make friends as an adult can be pretty daunting. Getting to know someone new can be awkward, uncomfortable, or make us feel vulnerable or judged, which makes it all too easy to simply stay in our comfort zones and keep ourselves isolated.
But the older I get, the more I realize how valuable true friendships really are. In fact research shows, according to a 2010 article in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, having strong social ties can help you live a longer, more fulfilling life, and even reduce your risk of many physical and mental health problems. Simply put its important to our overall well-bing.
So in hopes of making the process a little easier for all of us, today I’ll be sharing 7 ways to make new adult friendships.
Join The Inner Circle!
But before we get to those, I wanted to quickly mention one of my own favorite places to socialize: the OGT Inner Circle! This private Facebook group is both a place for me to interact more directly with OGT Plus members, and a place for members to meet and socialize with each other.
If you’re interested in joining a supportive community of homemakers where you can swap ideas, ask questions, and of course, make new friends, join OGT Plus today!
7 Ways To Make New Friends As An Adult
1. Take A Class
Remember back in school, when you could strike up a new friendship simply by sitting next to someone in class? You can tap back into those opportunities by signing up for adult education classes in your area!
No matter what you’re interested in learning, whether it’s a new hobby like crafting or photography, or additional training for work, there’s likely a school district, community college, or university in your area offering a continuing education class you can sign up for. On top of learning something new, you’ll also be surrounded by fellow students who share your interests (AKA potential new friends!) :-)
And from what I’ve read in the Inner Circle lately, several OGT readers have already had success with this particular approach. Lorraine has made many new friends through her Master Gardener events, and Cathy made friends with the members of her quilt guild!
2. Join A Book Club
For bookworms, there’s no better friend than one who shares your love of books. And there’s no better place to make a friend like that than at your local library!
Many libraries either operate their own book clubs or host meetings for local book clubs, so ask a librarian for information about those. And if they don’t have any books clubs yet, start your own! A shared love of books is a perfect foundation for building new friendships.
3. Walk Your Dog Often
Walking your dog or taking them to the dog park can be a great way to meet people. From bonding with another dog owner about your dogs’ quirky antics, to chatting with a dog lover who wants to pet your dog, the opportunities to interact with others are endless!
While these chance encounters may not always result in lifelong friendships, you and your dog will both get better acquainted with your community, and get some exercise while you’re at it!
4. Join A Meetup Group
Since it was launched back 2002, people have been using Meetup to find and form communities both online and in real life. There are groups centered around hobbies, interests, careers, ethnic groups, and pretty much anything else you could think of! It’s a great way to meet others with similar interests, make new connections and develop new social circles.
To use Meetup, start by signing up a free account on their website or app. And in the extremely unlikely event that you can’t find an existing group that appeals to you, you can even start one yourself and get recruiting!
5. Download An App
But Meetup isn’t the only app that can come in handy during your hunt for new friends. For women, there’s Hey! VINA, a Tinder-esque app created to help match women with potential female friends!
Another app that may be useful for friend-finding (but at the very least will be useful for getting to know your neighbors) is Nextdoor, the social network for neighborhoods! Once you sign up, you can interact with other Nextdoor users in your neighborhood to discuss local issues, plan neighborhood events, and even buy or sell stuff.
6. Reconnect With Old Friends
When seeking out new friends, don’t forget about the social media tools you already have at your fingertips, like Facebook! Reach out to old friends to try and spark up a conversation. We all grow and change over time, so you’ll never know who you might hit it off with unless you’re willing to try!
7. Join A Team Or Exercise Group
If you enjoy team sports or exercising with a group, that can be a great way to meet new friends! For the team sports folks, try contacting your community’s parks and recreation department to find out about adult sports leagues in your area.
And don’t worry if you’re not particularly athletic, because many teams are more interested in playing for the fun of it than they are in being ultra competitive. It’s usually not hard to tell which is which—they’ll probably tell you, or you can always ask!
And for those interested in finding a running/walking group, social networking services like Facebook and Meetup are your best bet. Even if your searches don’t yield results, posting on Facebook to ask about local running groups may provide some promising leads!
Do you have a tip for making new friends as an adult?