3 Ways to Make Friends as an Adult
Making Friends is Hard
Six months ago, I moved with my family from Nevada (where I lived for 30 years since I was fourteen), to Pennsylvania.
I'd never been to Pennsylvania before. I don't have any friends or family here. I work from home and I'm not a student, so I don't have a job or school to help me make friends.
For the first time in my life, I have to make new friends as an adult, without work or school to force me into social situations. It hasn't been easy. Here are my best ideas for making friends as an adult.
The hardest part, for me, is that the friends I met behind were people I'd known for so long. It's hard to even imagine rebuilding bonds like that, starting in my 40s. Getting out of my own way and allowing myself to get close to people is a big part of this process.
The most important thing to keep in mind, though, is that most people want connection. If you put yourself out there and seek out others who share your passions, hobbies, and interests, you'll find people just as excited as you are to make new friends.
Find a Place to Work
I'm a full-time writer. Usually, I write in my bedroom.
My bedroom is not a good place to make new friends, of course. And I don't want to give up my career to go work in an office or a shop or somewhere else where I'd have co-workers.
One of the best ways for me to make friends is to get out of my house and work somewhere I might run into other people. For me, that means the library or a coffee shop. The key is to find a place conducive to my work (which I have to actually do) that also offers me the chance to interact with other people.
I live in a very small town that doesn't have a co-working space, but if you're in a larger community, that might be a great situation. You pay a monthly fee that's far less than renting a dedicated office and gain access to a cooperative workspace where you can shop up to do your work with other creative, usually self-employed people.
Find People Who Care About What You Care About
Another idea for meeting people is to think about the things you love to do and find where other people who love those things hang out.
If you have children, you'll meet other parents anywhere they take their kids. Parks. Sports. Classes. It can actually be easier to find activities for your kids than yourself, and if you do that, you'll likely find other parents doing the same thing.
My daughter is an athlete. The first people I've met in my new town have been other basketball and soccer moms.
You can also look for people who share your hobbies.
I love gardening and this summer joining a gardening club, taking a plot in a community garden, or joining a Master Gardener program would be a good way to meet people.
I like to make things. My town has a Farmer's Market that rents space to artisans. Renting space and hanging out on Saturdays, selling a few things, would help me meet people in my new town.
Joining a church is another idea. If you find one where you feel at home, it can be a good way to really become part of a new community and start to make friends.
I'm interested in politics, so joining my party's local chapter helped me to find people who care about the same things I do.
Check out Meetup.com for groups that are already established in your area, to see if there is one you'd like to join. I found a writer's group that meets about twenty minutes from my house once a month.
Even in a town as small as mine, with fewer than 10,000 people, I was able to join several Facebook groups filled with people interested in the same things I am, like writing, gardening, and politics.
One way to make meet people and make new friends is to volunteer in your new community.
If you have children, schools almost always are happy to have parents volunteer at events or in classrooms.
If there is a cause that matters to you--anything from environmental causes to helping the underprivileged--you'll likely be able to find a place to volunteer your time, energy, and skills.
One way that I've met people who enjoy the same things that I do has been to offer to teach a free class at a local community center.
Offer to help a neighbor. I met a lovely 85-year-old woman when I offered to give her a ride home from the grocery store on a rainy day. She told me all about her life in Yonkers before she moved to Pennsylvania, and invited me to join her at a music -in-the-park event.
Volunteer at your political party's headquarters, a local church, or to help with a large community event.