How to Make Friends as an Adult
Updated: Mar 21, 2020
If you are anything like me, you know the struggle of making friends as an adult. First in going off to college without any of my high school friends and then moving to a new state where I knew absolutely no one. It is scary to meet someone new and ask them to hangout. It's like dating, only in my opinion worse, because there's unspoken rules for establishing what kind of relationship it is. Where as friendships can be very casual or extremely intimate. Personally, I'm always on the look out for a best friend. That person who I can confide in, who will give me their no bs opinion. Someone who I could have game, wine, or painting night with. I want a life-partner best friend the same way I want a romantic life-partner. The trouble is, friendships like that are built, and I am always wanting the gratification now. So, here are a few things I have learned from my wise boyfriend who has a very solid, loving friend group.
Myth #1 - A friendship it built the same way a romantic relationship is
I have always thought that the whole: if you text them to hang out 3 times, you can't ask again rule also applied to making friends. This is completely false!
You have to actively and incessantly be inviting your people to go do things together. This is a friend, not a lover. We're all busy and more likely than not, our schedules are going to conflict most of the time. Keep asking. If they didn't want to be your friend, they wouldn't have communicated with you in the first place.
Myth #2 - If they liked me, they'd reach out
Odds are you are sitting on your couch, or laying in bed, bored and wishing for a friend to do something with. Well guess what? They are probably doing the same thing. Reach out.
Myth #3 - I need money to go out with friends
If you live in a city like I do, there are loads of free events to go to. Similarly, you can always invite friends over for breakfast and have a potluck. Or, host a movie or game night. Spending money can absolutely be a part of spending time with friends, but it really doesn't have to be.
Things You Should Do:
I had never even heard of EDM (Electronic Dance Music) before I met by boyfriend. Had I not said "yes" to trying something new and going to a concert in LA with him for our 3rd date, I truly don't think I would have ended up with the guy who is now my best friend.
One of my good friend's initially reached out to me on Instagram. We had started following each other after realizing we were in the same dorm together (for about 5 seconds). As it turned out we had both moved to the same area. Jordan ended up direct messaging me asking if I wanted to grab coffee. Had I not said "yes", I would not have made friends with her outside social media.
There is no shame in my game as I actively try to get my boyfriend's friends to do couples activities so I can meet and hang with more amazing women. Seriously, if you have a friend or person in you life that you can use as an avenue to make friends, do it. This is 100% how I became close friends with my gal Carmen.
This is Carmen and myself jamming out at Audiotistic (a 2 day music festival).
At the end of the day, so many of us have lost our child-like sensibilities. We used to just grab hands with a person we like and proudly exclaim, "You wanna be friends?" It hasn't gotten harder since we were kids, we've just convinced ourselves it's more difficult than it actually is.
Be brave. Say "yes". Say "hi". Introduce yourself. Invite, invite, invite. Don't take an "I can't" or "I'm busy" to be anything other than the timing just wasn't right this time. Keep at it. Keep pushing yourself. Step outside your comfort zone and be intentional with your desire to make friends.
I know how anxiety ridden (like legit panic attacks) I get over trying to make friends, but the reward of a good friend, is totally worth the uncomfortably.