Family, Self

3 (EASY!) Ways To Make Friends As An Adult (Because You NEED Them!)

Photo: WeHeartIt

Making friends when you're young happens naturally. But by the time you’re in your 40s and realize you’re missing community, finding new people — your tribe — might require a plan. If this is still a chore, you’re certainly not alone.

I see women who have been really focusing on their careers, who are widowed or divorced, who want new friends, who often need to create a new tribe — and it’s a challenge. But it doesn’t have to be!

Making new friends and meeting new people can start by simply leaving your house with a bit of intention and ENGAGING with the world around you.

Science has found that friendship changes happen around life transitions (think moving, parenthood, divorce, death of a spouse, moving cross country). Rebuilding connections is well worth the effort. People with solid friendships experience less stress, better longevity, and reduced depression.

So where do you start? You’re no doubt past the phase of combing dark bars for your people. Because, let’s be honest, after 30 a bar isn’t a grownup’s playground where you want to strike up a play-date with the regulars anyway.

Fear not – there are options:

1. Sign up for classes.

Yep, adult classes — with people who have similar interests. Have a penchant for cooking? Try a knife-skills class or wine-pairing course at a local cooking supply store. Or how about a community center art class?

Not only do you learn new skills, it’s WAY better than combing the gym. 

Or test drive a Meetup group. They're another great way to meet people with similar interests. You can join meet-ups about gardening, board games, politics, cooking … pretty much anything you can think up. And a lot of the time they are completely free (BONUS!)

2. Shake up your friend tree.

Nothing like starting with what you ALREADY have. Good people know good people. Most of us have a few friends we really like, even if we don’t always get to see them.

Why not let your current circle (even on social media) know that you want to get more social? Ask them to hook you up with people they couldn’t live without. You may just meet some of your favorites that way.

3. Invite a gal out on a “Chick Date”.

The benefits of having close gal pals run deep, and just a simple "Hello" will start a conversation with almost any woman. If you have something in common, ask her where her favorite place to eat is and if she'd like to have lunch sometime. It's not as scary as you may think … remember that a lot of women are just like you, looking for a connection with other women.

If you’re feeling like you’re all alone adrift in the waters of adulthood, get out a little! Be OPEN and share a little bit about yourself. It doesn’t take dozens of new friends to give you that special sense of community — just a special one or two who can open up the doors to a whole new world.