There’s something about adulthood that makes it harder to make friends. Are we pickier about how we spend our time, and who we spend it with? Or is it simply because we have less time to socialize in between adult tasks like work, laundry, and getting our 8 hours of beauty sleep each night?
Whatever the reason, it’s hard to deny that meaningful friendships become rarer and rarer as we get older. Our capacity for friendships, however, stays as strong as ever, meaning that while we find ourselves with fewer BFFs than we had as kids, we still crave and need them.
Not all is hopeless, though. There are plenty of resources out there for meeting people with similar interests, and just as many people like us who are looking for new pals. So before you resign yourself to a life of work acquaintances, check out these ideas for making friends and forging connections even as an adult:
1. Join an Intramural Team
Sports can bring people together in ways that few other activities can. Whether it’s the unity of playing for the same team, the bonding effects of sharing a rival or simply the amusement of sport and game, sports provide a unique atmosphere where we’re forced to work together for a common and fun cause.
Cities across the US have adult leagues and intramural teams that range from flag football to softball. Even if you’re not a sporty or competitive type, you can find more casual leagues for bowling, ultimate Frisbee, and even kickball. So if you’re looking to meet new people, check out your local parks and recreation calendar for leagues and intramurals that interest you.
2. Take an Improve Class
The most intimidating thing about new social environments is the fear of embarrassing yourself. That fear, luckily, is neutralized in improve classes, which offer warm, supportive atmospheres where participants are not only allowed to embarrass themselves but encouraged to.
Improve has soared in popularity in recent years and it shouldn’t be hard to find a class near you. If you’re interested in making friends, this could be a great avenue, as you can feel comfortable letting your goofy side out without fear of judgment. The experience is harrowing but also bonding in a unique way, which may be the reason so many improve groups end the night over beers in the local pub.
3. Try Online Dating
Before you shake your head, hear me out. Yes, online dating sites were designed for romance. But more and more people have been logging on to find platonic friendships and strike up conversations with like-minded people. Most dating sites today even have tags such as ‘Looking for Friends’, which demonstrates their worth as socializing platforms just as much as dating sites. A good comparison resource like site top10dating (apps list) can steer you towards dating sites that are better for having conversations and making friends who share your interests.
4. Join a Book Club
Maybe you’re a cerebral type who isn’t the best at making small talk in a loud bar. A book club is a perfect place to find others who share your passion for literature, ideas, and obsessive analysis. Book clubs are great because they’re structured around predefined topics, meaning you can prepare your thoughts in advance and don’t have to worry about awkwardly searching for conversation fodder. If you consider your best friends to be Franz Kafka or Jane Austen, a book club could be perfect for finding you some walking, breathing friends to hang out with.
5. Attend Trivia Nights
If you’re used to people rolling their eyes when you share interesting but useless pieces of trivia, trivia nights at a bar could be the answer. Not only do you get to show off your encyclopedic mind, but you can do it over beers in a festive environment with others who share your passion for all things trivia. Trivia nights are hugely popular in cities across the US, and it shouldn’t be hard to find a bar near you hosting one.
6. Join a Meet-up Group
Playmates are not just for kids. There are many meet-up groups that have been created for mingling with likeminded people. It is possible to do this through online services. There are different apps that allow you to meet people as per your hobbies and preferences. For instance, if you like traveling, there are groups that have been tailored to cater to your hobbies, job, and ethnicities. Hence, you are surely going to find someone to suit your taste.
A great place to meet new people online is chattoday.com. This platform has a great search function in which you can filter the results to find the ideal match. Fill in your
interests, location, and preferred age and you’ll instantly get a list of potential friends. Then, you can also find their messenger-app usernames to stay in touch. It’s easy and without any hassle!
7. Make Yourself visible of Social Media
Social media can prove to be helpful if you are looking for a new friend. You will be able to comment or like on someone’s photo or posts if you want to be friends. In case you like someone’s post and find it to be witty or find a person’s photo to be impressive, engage with them through comments or messenger. Everybody likes getting compliments. This will lead to future outings where you can meet in person.
8. Take Your Pet for a Walk
If you have a pet dog, you should take it out for a walk at the nearby dog park. It will take the pressure off associating with strangers. This is because you will have something in common already, your pet. See which pet your dog is taking a liking to and start talking to the owner. Even if you are not able to find your future best friend, you will be able to trade out funny stories about your pets. At least you will have someone to talk to when you take your dog out for a walk.
Growing up doesn’t Mean Going Alone Through Life
You don’t have let your 9-5 job prevent you from leading a fulfilled social life. Sure, adulthood poses fewer opportunities for making friends than childhood did. But there are tons of ways to meet like-minded people and forge bonds that could last throughout life. Check out a bowling league, find a social platform or head to the bar for the next trivia night. Either way, there are people just like you out there wanting to connect. Go find them!