I’m writing this partially because it was highly requested by readers. But also because it’s time for me to start making more of an effort on this topic as well. I found myself in a group chat the other day of everyone talking about their kids. Or pregnancy. Or getting pregnant. All these big life moments that I can’t relate to. While I’m thrilled my friends are having the absolute cutest children on the planet, and I am very excited about being fun Auntie Jessi, it was a reality check that I no longer have any single friends.
You may remember this post from last year on a big friendship breakup I recently experienced. Since this happened at the beginning of the pandemic, I haven’t really made much of an effort to make new friends. Instead, I sort of held on tight to everyone close to me because I realized how precious time was thanks to COVID-19. But now that life is getting a little back to normal, I noticed my social circle has drastically changed.
It’s time to expand my social circle a bit and make an effort to make some new friends. Which is always a challenge as an adult. I feel like I’m at a point where I have to truly put in the work. I’m no longer in an office setting, I’m not attending any gym classes, and my single friends are all married. It’s time to get back to the things that I know help to foster friendships.
How To Make Friends As An Adult
Building friendships as an adult is not as easy as it was back in the day when we were kids. Or even fresh out of college. We’re in a different season of life and living in our little routines and bubbles. Without getting off the hamster wheel of your day-to-day life and habits, you won’t change things up in your life. This goes for a lot of things, too. But making new friends can be super gratifying and great for your mental health. But it may require you to get out of your comfort zone and take some effort.
Friendships take time to build and they don’t happen over lunch or coffee. Sure that’s a good way to start it. But meaningful friendships blossom through shared experiences. Whether they’re funny or sad, it’s those unique experiences that bond people, create memories and build friendships. So whether you’ve moved to a new city, or are in a new season of life, or just want to expand your social circle, this post is for you!
Connect With Your Neighbors
Saying a quick hello to a neighbor is well, neighborly. But maybe go above and beyond and invite them over for a happy hour, or brunch. If you both have pets, maybe ask to go for a walk or visit a dog park together. This is a really easy way to ease into a social setting. And if all of this overwhelms you, just invite them over next time you’re hosting something. I used to love to host brunches at my house for girlfriends. It’s the perfect way to invite a neighbor over that doesn’t feel like too much pressure since there’s a group of people around to support you.
Start A New Sport
This is one I’m leaning into and it’s not only great for getting in some physical activity but good for meeting new people. Whether you join a more fun and social sport like a kickball league, or bowling league, or try something a bit more serious like tennis or something, these activities can get you in front of new people to connect with. I feel like a sport helps to alleviate some social anxiety because you have an activity to focus on versus having to be forced to hold a conversation. It’s a really natural way to connect with people! And if you can’t think of a new sport to try, think about what you did as a kid that you loved. I was a figure skater and also tried my hand at tennis. Revisiting old childhood favorites can be a fun way to explore some ideas!
Head To The Dog Park
People with dogs have the easiest time meeting other people with dogs. Head to a dog park and the options are endless. But you have to make some effort. If you’re connecting with people at the dog park, ask for their number so you can schedule the next time you all go. This builds some trust and a connection. Once you feel more comfortable, ask to grab coffee afterward or a meal with a dog-friendly patio.
Ask Your Friends For Help
Don’t be afraid to ask your existing friends for help. It may make you feel vulnerable to ask, but you likely trust your friends and they have your best interest in mind. Don’t be afraid to say “hey, I’d love to meet that friend of yours you keep talking about, she sounds great” and offer to schedule an activity together. This isn’t weird! And nothing will change if you don’t step outside that comfort zone that may feel icky!
Start A Book Club
Whether you start one or ask a friend to join theirs, a book club is a great way to meet new people. It also gets you reading which is a nice little plus! Book clubs are fun little social gatherings with no pressure at all.
The Thing To Keep In Mind
Going back to shared experiences, the thing to keep in mind with meeting new people and making friends is to make that effort. You may have people in your life already who are just casual friends or acquaintances, and those people can become good friends. It just takes the effort to make plans and have shared experiences. This is why joining a gym like CrossFit or a league sport like kickball are ideal for making new friends. You are having shared experiences with people. It’s just easier. More effortless. So while you may want to connect with your neighbor over coffee. Try also asking them to go for a hike, or visit the local farmer’s market. These little activities are what truly build meaningful good friendships over time. And more quickly too! You start to build memories and inside jokes and that’s what friendships are all about.