I recently met one of my blogger friends in person for the first time. Ashley Urke from Domestic Fashionista met me at the cutest little tea shop in Davis, California. I’ve got a great interview with her coming up later this week, so stay tuned!
This meeting was extra special for me because it was the first time I met one of my blogger friends in real life. Ever. And I’ve been blogging for almost 3 years.
It reminded me how difficult it can be to create lasting friendships as an adult.
We all had it so easy when we were in school or college. The school structure creates a world of its own, and you can’t help but connect to the people you see day in and day out. There’s something about sharing a bathroom that brings people together.
I made loads of friends in college, including my husband Chris, but things kind of fell apart when I entered the real world. My college friends and I quickly grew apart, and I felt a lot of competition with my coworkers.
My days were filled with commuting, working in a corporate office, cleaning the house, and dealing with the mundane tasks of married life like grocery shopping and running to the post office.
I didn’t have my built-in community anymore, so how was I supposed to make friends?
But it IS possible to make new friendships as an adult. It just involves a bit of planning and creativity.
Here are my top 3 ways to make friends as an adult.
Piggyback on Current Friendships
This is a no brainer. Think about your current friendships (you do have at least one friend, right?). Chances are, you’ll get along with your friends’ other friends. At the very least, you have one thing in common (your shared friend).
A fun way to broaden your circle of friends is to have a “Plus 1” party. Invite your friends over to your place or meet at a restaurant, but each person has to bring along someone else (a plus 1) that isn’t currently part of the group.
And don’t forget about your partner’s friends. Set up a group outing with several couples, and you’ll double your potential friends quickly.
Join an Online or In-Person Group
My friendship with Ashley started when we commented on each other’s blogs. It’s sounds strange, but I have dozens of friends that I’ve never seen in person.
I meet people when I join online groups or programs, or when I randomly find their blogs through a search. You can find online forums, Facebook groups, or blogs for nearly any topic you can think of.
My friend Ally lives in New York, and she recently wrote about how female friends (mostly teenagers) like to swap clothes with each other. I commented that I never had friends to swap clothes with growing up.
So Ally set me a card in the mail with $50 to buy a pretty new outfit! I’m wearing the clothes I bought with her gift in this picture. Thanks, Ally! I often get little presents and cards in the mail from my online friends.
Bird’s the word, yo.
If you’d rather make friends in your own neighborhood, check out activity sites like Meetup.com. You can search by interest (such as movies, books, sports) and find hundreds of groups in your town.
Sign up for programs, lectures, and local events where you can meet people who like the same things you do. Some of my closest friendships have started at conferences. Want to end the year with a bang? Join Molly Mahar’s Holiday Council with me, and we can cheer each other on!
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Sometimes it can be uncomfortable to try to make new friendships. OK, it can be really uncomfortable!
You’re not in kindergarten anymore, and you can’t just walk up to someone on the playground and ask, “Will you be my friend?”
But you’ll be happier if you have a few good friends to laugh with, get support from, and talk about what’s going on in your life. Even introverts can benefit from close friendships.
If you want to take baby steps on this friendship path, challenge yourself to talk to one new person every day. Strike up a conversation at the coffee shop, give a compliment to someone at your office, or leave a comment on a blog you haven’t visited before.
How do you make friends as an adult?
In the comments below, share how you found your friends.