Making friends as an adult isn’t something any of us are really prepared for. In school we are encouraged to make friends with our classmates, and when we go off to university, we go through the process again. But then, you’ve found your friendship group and you’re set for life, right? Wrong. What happens when everybody grows up, moves to different areas and begins a hectic schedule of adulthood?
While there are people that remain close with their friendship groups from school, not all of us are that lucky. Having moved back to where I studied my degree recently, where everyone I originally knew had left, I found myself having to start over and trying to figure out, how do you make new friends as a twenty-something woman?
JOIN A CLASS
As a way to encourage myself to try new things and meet new people, I decided to begin trapeze classes (I’m about six months in, and still no closer to being remotely graceful). Although this was definitely scary and made me feel like I was back at school, doing the god-awful ‘ice breaker’ introductions and bonding over how flippin’ difficult the moves were, worked wonders. It definitely challenged me to come out of my shell and even though it still sometimes makes me feel like a nervous wreck, I feel so much more confident after a class.
If your main goal is to meet new people, I would avoid joining classes that aren’t very social and purely just for exercise. Try and find a fun class that encourages social interaction such as dancing , aerial exercise or pole fitness.
GO ON FRIEND DATES
Work is one of the best ways to make new friends but when I started a new job, I found a few people I connected with but I wasn’t sure how to transition from colleagues to friends. Of course there are work-dos but these only tend to happen a couple of times a year.
From my experience, you almost have to treat it like you would a romantic interest. Swap numbers. Follow them on Instagram. Ask them on a friend date. You may feel like a bit of a loser but you’ll never move past the ‘acquaintance-zone’ if you don’t take a chance. Like romantic dates, some might work out, whereas some might not.
SKIRT – TOPSHOP, JUMPER – OLIVER BONAS, BOOTS – RIVER ISLAND
GO THAT EXTRA MILE
I still have a handful of people from my childhood that I like to catch up with every now and then, but there is usually at least a 6 month gap between each brunch date because as mentioned earlier, we live in different cities or time just seems to pass us by.
However, I find that sometimes you just need to make that extra effort, commit to a date in the near future, and travel to see the other. Maybe you could take the travelling in turns? Maybe one could pay for the travel while the other person covers lunch? It is definitely worth it as I always feel such joy when I have had a 4 hour natter with old friends about the good ol’ days and what they’ve been up to recently (over coffee and cake of course).
I have a long way to go before I find my group of ‘gal pals’ but I’m definitely getting there. I think there is no way around it, to make friends as an adult you need to put yourself out there and try not to worry about what people think of you. You would be surprised at how many others find themselves in these situations.