Why is it so hard to make close friends when you become an adult? When you’re a kid you can just walk to up anyone and ask to be friends. BOOM! Now you got yourself a best friend. Something changes between those young school years and after college. You don’t see those same people every day anymore, and suddenly, you don’t know how to make close friends outside of school.
I realized after I ended a toxic 5-year relationship that my friend circle had shrunk. The couple of friends that I managed to keep during that tumultuous time helped me get my life back together. While I loved and appreciated their support, it made me see how many friends I had lost contact with. I felt ashamed about a lot of things in my life during that time and couldn’t bring myself to reach out to them.
My friend circle shrunk even more after I moved from Alabama to Missouri where I didn’t know a single person. I craved those deep, soul-searching conversations. I missed not having to worry about being myself. I wanted to have a game night but found myself with no one to call. I became afraid of rejection and getting hurt by the people in my new environment.
During my search for the solution for making friends as an adult, I ran across tons of cookie-cutter advice. As a geek, I needed a more creative and introvert-friendly solution. After chatting with friends, both online and IRL, I came up with some tips that I’m using to finally expand my friend circle so I can make those deep connections and plan those D&D and gaming nights that I’ve been wishing for.
Most likely you already have a friend group. Maybe you’ve just grown apart, haven’t made time for each other, or haven’t spoken about anything deeper than the latest memes or the last Marvel movie. This is the perfect time to reconnect with those friends! This also a good opportunity to get to know new friends even better. Send out a text or give them a call to catch up and make plans to hang out. Are your friends online? Make plans to hang out in real life! If the distance isn’t holding you back, meet at a public space and get to know each other in person.
- Reconnect with old friends
- Get to know new friends better
- Meet online friends IRL
As an introvert, it’s hard for me to reach past my small circle sometimes. The best opportunity I have had to combat this has been getting to know my coworkers. I have made fantastic friends at work and through them I have met some really cool people. That brings me to this: ask your friends to introduce you to their friends! You never know if some blind friend dates could be exactly what leads you to find your best friend. If you don’t have awesome coworkers, or you find that your friend’s friends aren’t your crowd, check out Geek Girl Brunch! It’s a monthly meet up group with chapters all over the world.
- Get to know your coworkers
- Meet friends of friends
- Check out Geek Girl Brunch
Be a Regular
You know how in movies people notice the regular coffee shop gal, the regular dude jogging every morning at the gym, or the gender fluid student always on the same bench in the courtyard? There’s some truth into being a “regular” to get noticed and meet new people. If public spaces aren’t your scene, there’s plenty of online ways to become a “regular.” If you browse blogging platforms, become a regular commenter! If you have a Facebook group you love, get active and post/comment as often as you feel comfortable! If you’re active on Discord, join a discord community you care about and get to chatting and sharing!
- Regularly comment on blogs
- Be an active Facebook group member
- Hang out on Discord with other active members
I’m relatively new to using apps to find friends but there are great apps out there to make new friends. I just started using Hey! Vina and have matched with a few people so far. I really enjoy their matching process and the cute quizzes you can take. There’s also Bumble BFF which is inside of the Bumble app itself. Meetup is also a great app to find events you’re interested in near you. Try something new or go with something familiar to meet new people.
Be a Friend
I’m a firm believer in being what you want to see in the world. If you want best friends, be a best friend. If you decide to use the meetup app, host your own meet up! If you want to get closer to the friends you already have, throw a party, either for a holiday or come up with a cool theme. If you find that you’re not great at hosting, the best thing you can do is accept and show up to any invitation that you can. Be the friend you want to have.
- Host your own meet up
- Have a get together/themed party
- Show up to invitations
When we can no longer rely on forced interaction through school, college, summer camp, and other events that allow you to make friends easily, you have to find other solutions when you reach adulthood. Try reconnecting with old friends or online friends. You can get introduced to friends of friends of join a cool community to expand your friend circle. Be a regular at all of your favorite online places that you frequent. Find apps that make making friends easier when you already have a full plate with adulting. The last, but best thing, you can do to make lasting friendships is to be a friend.
Do you have any advice for making friends as an adult? What has worked for you? Let me know in the comments!
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