Man Overhears Two Men Strike Up An Unlikely Friendship In An Unlikely Place — The Urinals

The two guys' awkward urinal convo ended up being a master class in how to make friends as adults.

men bro'ing out at urinals  Mykhaylo, DenBoma | Canva 

It's one of the hardest things to do as an adult, finding and making new friends — and many studies say it's even harder for men. But a man on TikTok recently overheard a random encounter in a most unlikely place that quickly led to a budding friendship, and it's a lesson in the power of just putting yourself out there. 

Two men's chat at adjacent urinals ended up being a master class in how to make friends as adults.

Tyler, a TikToker known as @tylernol4thypain on the app, was recently at a concert when he had to do that most dreaded concert-going ritual — a visit to the crowded venue bathroom. While he was standing at one of the urinals, he said he "overheard a conversation between two men."


"One of the [guys] was like looking at one of those posters above the urinal for shows, bands that are coming to the venue in the future," Tyler said. "And then they said out loud, I assumed just in like a pondering kind of drunken way, 'oh, cool. I didn't realize that [band] was coming, I [expletive] love them."

Out of nowhere, another guy at an adjacent urinal said, "oh, no way, dude, I [expletive] love them." A whole conversation about this band they loved ensued, and when one guy remarked that he'd love to go to the concert "but it's not really my friends' cup of tea," the conversation took an unexpected turn.




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"The second [pee-er] was like, 'oh, well, I mean, I would go with you, dude,'" Tyler relayed. "And the first person was like, 'oh wait, really? You would?' And from across a long line of [pee] filled urinals, this person turns and says, 'yeah, of course, dude, I love their music. But also like new friends, right?'"

Women are of course infamous for going into public bathrooms and coming out with a bevy of brand-new best friends, but for men, and especially straight men, there tends to be an unspoken code of keeping your eyes fixed on the wall and not saying much (lest your fellow pee-ers think you're hitting on them, of course, which is a whole other conversation). 




"I absolutely want to make it clear that this is not an invitation to talk to me at the urinals," Tyler quipped. But especially given the loneliness epidemic in America — studies have shown that most Americans have at most one close friend, and the situation is even worse for men — he couldn't help but be kind of moved by the moment. "I don't know, I think there's something there," he joked of urinals being a possible vector for male friendship, "the spark of magic."

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Experts say being willing to put yourself out there in this way is the biggest key to making new friends as an adult.

It's not just your imagination — it really is incredibly difficult to make new friendships after a certain age, and psychologists say one of the key reasons why it's so hard to make friends as adults is because our increased self-awareness makes us less trusting than we were when we were kids—we're much more guarded. Add to that our lack of time as adults and the two key ingredients to forming friendships — "continuous shared interaction and vulnerability," according to psychologist Marisa Franco — are both pretty hard to come by. As Franco put it to NPR's "Here and Now" in 2021, "as we become adults, we have less and less environments where those ingredients are at play."


But when it comes to the question of how to make friends as adults, what these two guys did at the urinals is precisely it. Therapist Amanda Chils advises adults looking for friendships to go to places like cafes, the gym or events with the intention of talking to at least one person there, and to seize any common ground that emerges in the conversation as a launchpad to suggest a hangout. 

"I know this seems scary and weird," Chils told us, "but I have found that the most direct way is often the best. The script I use and teach is, 'Hey, you seem cool; we should be friends/hang out sometime. Can I have your number?'"

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We've all had those encounters, whether romantic or platonic, where the perfect moment to reach out came and went because we let our fear get the best of us.

It's the kind of thing that always makes you wonder what could have been. 

I had a moment like this a couple of summers ago while camping my way through the West for several months. A guy from Wisconsin named Dan and his family from Wisconsin camped next to me in Utah, and Dan's request for guidance on how to beat the crowd at nearby Arches National Park quickly turned into a lengthy conversation about our hiking and camping adventures that spilled over into other commonalities, too.

The next morning, he invited me over to his and his wife's campsite for some of the elaborate pancake breakfast they'd made on their campfire, and partly in my haste to get on the road to my next destination in Nevada and partly because of social anxiety, I reflexively declined — and instantly wished I hadn't.



I could sense he was hoping to strike up an actual friendship — exchange Instagrams, maybe, and keep in touch — and I cut him off at the knees because I let anxiety get the best of me. I've never forgotten the quick flash of disappointment in his eyes, and I often wonder if I might have finally found that hiking partner I always wish I had if I'd just gotten over myself and eaten a dang campfire pancake. (Dan if you're reading this, hit me up and meet me at Arches!)


Simply putting yourself out there is, for a lot of us, the hardest part of all this — for some of us it's downright terrifying (don't ask me how I know). But as scary as vulnerability is, most of the time it's much scarier in our heads than in reality, and sometimes all it takes to make a new friend is to just simply ask for one.

Granted, chatting someone up at the urinals is certainly not the most orthodox place to do it! But you truly never know where you might find your next new bestie if you're willing to just put yourself out there. 

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.