s we grow up, we grow out of a lot of things. Certain habits, interests, and even relationships. But the one thing that we as humans never stop needing is connection. Good friends are everything, even in adulthood -- especially as it can be a time for so much change.
If we have learned anything from Carrie Bradshaw, Samantha Jones, Miranda Hobbes, and Charlotte York, it’s that people, places, and opportunities come in and out of our lives, but the bond of strong friendship remains, and is unbreakable. Friends are the people you turn to when you need to vent, even if it’s about something seemingly ridiculous. We all have to express ourselves somehow, and what better way to do it than with like-minded people who make you laugh and support you?
Something else we’ve learned from the ladies of Sex and the City: it is possible to meet your absolute best friends in adulthood! Making friends can be challenging. But once you find the environments in which you thrive and the types of people you thrive around, it’s not so bad! It’s also so important to continue to nurture those friendships, whether they are new or old. In any friendship journey, remember to show kindness, be open, and trust the process.
Where can I meet new people as an adult?
If you frequent yoga, pilates, or Zumba classes -- or just the gym in general -- that could be an excellent place to meet people. First things first, you already have one common interest. Check!
Your common interest in working out or a specific style of workout can spark many conversations. How did you both get started in yoga? Do either of you know any other pilates classes to try out in the area? Have you heard of the smoothie shop around the corner that is known for the best post-workout refreshments? Want to stop by together after class?
You can simply bond over the intensity of the workout or the music playing -- maybe it wasn’t your style, and they know an instructor with the best workout jams. You could go together! Meeting for a workout class once a week is an easy yet steady start to building a strong friendship.
Hobbies and passions
It’s common to join clubs or student organizations related to your interests in high school and college, but have you ever thought about doing that as an adult? Maybe you haven’t, but now is the time!
Whether it’s sewing, reading, crafting, biking, or anything else that piques your interest, there are others who love it, too. And they are probably seeking connection and a community just like you. The best way to bond with others is over something that you all have a mutual love, respect, and understanding of.
The first step is to ask yourself this: what are you passionate about? This is the hard part -- digging deep and discovering something you are so passionate about that you actually want to spend your free time doing it. Especially in adulthood, hobbies and passion projects may take a back seat to responsibilities such as work, family, and children.
After you find your passion, find out where you can explore it. That may be at a book club, a local craft store that holds weekly classes, or even with a group of people who like to bike or exercise together. Classes and organizations are a sure fire way to make friends, and yes -- they do exist for adults, too. Do some research and find out what or who is available near you in terms of your interests. Who knows? Your latest passion and newfound friendships may be only one click away!
Speaking of one click away, it is 2021 and the whole world is basically one click away. That’s all thanks to social media. Social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok offer us 24/7 access to any and every niche community we can imagine.
If you’re interested in something like cooking, makeup, or fashion -- there is a social media account for that. There is a hashtag for that. There are PEOPLE who want to talk about it with you! Some of the strongest friendships are fostered with the send of a direct message. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone via social media, even if your previous interactions have been limited to the occasional like or comment on each others’ posts. Social media is for being social, right?
Nowadays, there are even apps specifically created to help you meet like-minded people. And no, these apps are not just for dating.
Bumble Bff is a great way to make new friends. It seems scary at first, but it is possible to meet people using the app. Chances are if you are feeling lonely, others are too. On an app like Bumble Bff, similar to dating apps, making the first move to start a conversation can be challenging. You mull over what to say, how to word it, and the best time of day to send a message.
But remember, with Bumble Bff (and honestly any regular dating app!), you are all on there in search of the same thing. You set up your profile for a reason! A wonderful friendship is on the horizon, literally one swipe away.
It may seem like the old bring-baked-goods-to-your-neighbors-and-introduce-yourself is only acceptable to do when you or a neighbor first moves in -- or maybe it seems like it only happens in movies and tv shows. Even if you don’t become instant best friends with any of your neighbors, it can’t hurt to put yourself out there. Plus, even having a familiar face to say hello to around your neighborhood can be comforting!
How can I establish genuine friendships?
Invite someone out
Now you know where you can find friends as an adult, but how do you form genuine friendships? Friendships with people you can rely on. Friendships that are not surface level! Believe it or not, meeting people is often the easy part -- taking it to the next level can be tough.
Turning an acquaintance into a friend is a lot easier than it seems. You don’t have to know someone well to invite them out for a drink or to see a movie. It can be scary to be the one to reach out first. But, if you are having good conversations with a coworker or a friend-of-a-friend, they likely consider you a potential friend, too.
There are also always those people you gravitate towards in a group setting -- office parties, workout classes, friend-of-a-friend gatherings -- because they are fun to talk to and probably make you feel comfortable in the occasional uncomfortable situation. You will never know where a friendship can go until you try!
The next time an acquaintance strikes up a conversation about your common interests, make plans with them. And if someone invites you out, try to say yes to them, too! It may seem out of the blue, but the fact that they are also interested in getting to know you is a good sign.
Lower your expectations
When you keep your expectations for friendships low, they very well might surprise you. I met one of my very best friends in a college class that I wasn’t even excited to take -- somewhere most people might not expect to meet a new friend!
That’s not to say that you should keep expectations low in terms of how friends should act -- we’re looking for quality friendships here! But friendships take time, and often the way you meet them will not be how you expect. Be open minded. When you are, you can make friends literally everywhere you go. You know those people who are so outgoing and unapologetically themselves that it seems like they can make friends with anyone? It can be a lot to handle, but secretly we all want to be that person -- but it does not need to be a secret anymore because we can all be that person if we want.
Being open minded just gives one a certain vibe about them. It’s a positive energy that attracts other people. There is no blueprint for friendship, so don’t place too many expectations on yourself or on others. It will happen naturally!
Keep in touch
It’s one thing to get coffee with a new friend every now and then, but if you want to foster deep and genuine friendships, focus your efforts on reaching out to them! To take your friendship to the next level, remember the things they tell you and refer back to them in your next conversation. Send them a quick message when you see something they will think is funny. Follow up with them to see how that big interview or blind date they mentioned actually went. It’s all about the little things, and showing that you care -- it’s how quality friendships develop.
It’s important to keep in touch with old friends too, even on your quest to make new ones. You may be seeking to make new friends because you’ve just moved to a new city, and while that is all well and good, it will not happen overnight. And that is totally okay! But do not completely isolate yourself if genuine friendships are taking their time to find you. Reach out to your old friends, even just to check in, say hi, and tell them that you miss them.
A strong friendship doesn't mean you have to talk every single day -- adulthood is a busy time! It just means that you are there for each other, you have fun with each other, and you are always just one text or call away. Put yourself out there and see where it takes you.
Header image courtesy of MSN.