When you were a kid, the chances are that you made friends pretty easily. Unless you were extremely shy or introverted, it wasn’t too difficult because you saw the same kids at school every day. Even in college, you had people all around you in the dorms and in your classes.
But fast forward a decade, or two, or three. Most of us get a job, get married, and have kids. We settle into the routines of our lives. And sometimes those routines are not conducive to meeting new friends. You get so involved in hanging out with your husband, or taking your kids to all their sporting activities, that somewhere along the lines you forget to hang out with your friends.
And for some people, they might suddenly find themselves single after a divorce. For example, let’s say that you had young children when you got divorced. You maybe have been friends with other moms in the neighborhood that you met at the park. But when you are the only single mom, you can’t exactly ask the rest of them to go out to the bars with you on your free nights. So you might have to start all over and make some new single friends.
Or maybe your job keeps transferring you to different locations. It’s difficult for a lot of people to just pick up and leave their lives to start another one. You don’t know anyone, and so how do you even begin to make new friends?
Whatever your scenario, most of us at some point have found it much more difficult to make friends as an adult. So is it hopeless? Are we destined to be hermits for the rest of our lives?
Of course not!
There are many ways you can make new friends. And here are some of them:
If you have never heard of this website, you need to check it out. In a nutshell, it’s basically all about meeting like-minded people. They have many groups you can join, from single parents to canoeing fanatics. All you need to do is search for topics that interest you, and then find a group to join. Some groups are more active than others, but all of them get together face-to-face at some point.
It doesn’t matter what kind of classes you take. You could go back to school to pursue another degree, or you could just simply take cooking classes if that’s what interests you. It doesn’t matter what you take, just get yourself out there by taking courses that interest you. And then you’ll probably meet similar people, so get to know them.
There are endless places you can volunteer. Some of them include: homeless shelters, Parent Teach Organizations, at your child’s school, the local animal shelter…and the list goes on. What are you passionate about? Who would you like to help? You will almost always meet other volunteers who have the same outlook that you do.
Get in involved on social media
It’s amazing how much social media can open up your social world. You could meet someone from New Zealand and become “virtual friends” by Skyping over a glass of wine. Or you could search for special interest groups to join, such as the 28 Day Self Care Challenge Group on Facebook. But when you join a group, make sure you participate in the conversations. You need to involve yourself. Another way to meet people on social media is to have banter with other people on your friends’ posts (or your own). Maybe you and another person get into a discussion about something. If that happens, friend request them and get to know them. And then you can go out for a glass of wine or a cup of tea sometime.
Join a church
Maybe you are Catholic, but you haven’t gone to church in a long time. There’s no better time to start it up again! But you can’t just go to church and then go home. You have to talk to people and attend meetings they might have so you can get to know people. Even if you’re not religious (but maybe more spiritual), you could join a non-denominational church or a spiritual discussion group. It’s always nice to find people who share your views.
Join professional organizations
Maybe you are so wrapped up in your marriage and your kids that you don’t have any time left for yourself. But you need to carve out some time. And joining a professional organization is a great way to meet other career women (or men). Groups like Zonta or Women in Business Networking (WiBN) are great places to start. They regularly have lunch meetings with speakers, and other events as well. Meeting other women who are career-minded is a great way to jump-start some friendships.
Join a book club
Maybe you like to read! If so, don’t do it in isolation. Books stores such as Barnes & Noble have groups you can join. And even if you can’t find any there, just go out on the internet and find some. But make sure you find the right one for you. For example, if you’re really into reading thriller novels, then find a group who read those kinds of books. Or if you’re more into self-improvement, find a group that is focused on reading Dr. Phil’s books and other self-help ones.
If you’re extroverted and outgoing, it might be easier for you to make friends than if you are more introverted and shy. But regardless of your personality, you have to make an effort and get out there. New friends aren’t just going to come knocking on your door – you have to go look for them. But if you remember nothing else from reading this, don’t forget to find like-minded people who are passionate about the same things that you are. When you do, you will probably make lifelong friends.