Lonely? How to Make New Friends as an Adult

friends in the ocean
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Let's stop pretending like making friends is easy. If you struggle to meet new people, here are some easy tips to get you out there.

I made one of my best friends in elementary school simply because I asked if she wanted to play hopscotch with me. She said yes, we played hopscotch and bam, we were friends for years. I wasn’t worried about whether she liked my outfit, if I was funny enough for her, or if she was going to leave me to play hopscotch with another girl tomorrow. Life was simple.

Fast-forward 20 years later and wow, making friends is tough as an adult. While I do my best to stay close with my college friends, we’re all dispersed around the country and I want to spend time with people who are close by. But, without the built-in structure of going to school or doing the same after-school activity, how am I supposed to meet new people? And if or when I do, how are we supposed to connect? 

These questions plagued me when I got out of college. Though I’m certainly not adding a bunch of new pals to my Rolodex (you know, if I had a Rolodex), I have managed to make some new friends over the years. If you’re struggling to make new friends as an adult, don’t worry you’re not alone. Here are some tips for making a new friend or two.

Get a Side Job

Working at a flower shop
Photo by Amina Filkins from Pexels

This may not be possible for everybody (especially if you have a very demanding work schedule), but it’s certainly something to consider. If you have an extra few hours in your week, get a part-time job at a local store you love.

About a year ago I started working at a clothing store that staffs women around my age and I instantly made a handful of friends. I only work there twice a week, so I’m not overwhelmed by the hours, but it’s a great way to meet new people. And, not only have I made solid friends, but I’ve also made a little extra money too.

Friends of Friends 

Thanksgiving
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Another easy way to make friends as an adult is to get to know your friend’s friends. Host a get-together or a game night (once it’s safe to do so, of course), and ask the people you know to bring a plus one.

And, on the flip side, if you have a friend who invites you to one of their friends’ parties, GO! Do you know someone who’s in a book club? Ask if you can join. Who knows, you may meet your new BFF. 

Get Active

Young woman in exercise gear stretching
Photo by Nathan Cowley from Pexels

Start going to workout classes at your local gym or sign up for a recreational league in your area. If you are consistent and go to the same workout class every week, you’ll probably start to recognize the other regulars and get to know one another. And, if you decided to go the rec league route, you’ll already have a sport to connect over.

Use Your Dog

A dog at a dog park
Photo by Matthais Zomer from Pexels

I’m not saying you should get a dog to make friends, but I’m also not not saying you should get a dog to make friends. Whatever your reason is for getting a pup, if you do happen to have one, make it a point to go to your local dog park every day.

There’s a good chance other dog owners will be around and you’ll have an instant thing to talk about — your dogs! You can also use it as an opportunity to set up dog playdates, which is really just an excuse for you to get to know someone new. Win, win!

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