Okay, so I seriously cannot be the only one struggling with making friends as an adult, right?! Just say yes so I feel like less of a loser. Thanks. But do not fear. I have done my research, tried several options and I am here to share my findings with you.
One of the downfalls of moving to a new city where you do not know anyone is that you have to start from scratch in the friend department. Of course, you still have your friends back home. But I’m talking about the bestie for the restie friend types you need that live within 5 miles. The ones you can call after a breakup and they will come running over or can grab drinks with after a long day of work. Who is going to pick you up after you collapse from your
3rd 5th shot of tequila?!
Yes, those are the kinds of friends I need in my life. Don’t we all? After living in Dallas for a few years I realized I was severely struggling with developing friendships. During college, I had more friends than I could count. I always had someone I could call no matter what mood I was in. I had my diehard drinking friends, my Netflix and chill friends, my family game night friends (Monopoly anyone?), and an assortment of friends that were always down for pretty much anything. So, I thought I would have no problem making new friends when I moved to a new city.
Girl, I was wrong. Turns out it’s a lot easier to make friends during your college years when it’s greatly encouraged to socialize and during a chunk of that time you are spent tipsy together. But now, out in the real world, where it is not socially acceptable to be drunk all the time (FYI), you have to actually work at making friendships last. This just wasn’t working for me and I knew I was going to have to find alternative ways.
So began my Google search: How to make friends as an adult.
I was thrilled to see I was not the only one with this issue. I found numerous suggestions and I definitely tried most of them. I’m going to save you the trouble and let you know what did and did not work best for me.
Become friends with your coworkers
This was one of the most popular suggestions I found and one of the most annoying. Don’t you think I would have already tried this option? Forming friendships with your coworkers can be tricky depending on what type of environment you work in and what type of friend you are looking for. There were plenty of happy hours after work, but I never felt like I could truly cut loose or find a serious friend via my 9 to 5. Obviously, I wanted to keep my job and in my experience, it is best to not mix an abundance of alcohol and coworkers, especially if you work in a more professional environment.
Join a class to meet people with similar interests
Now this was something I had not thought of and there were plenty of classes and events I could attend. Fitness, art, cooking, education classes. This list could be endless and there is always an event happening. I didn’t have much success with this path. I still struggled to make it past the acquaintance phase and into something more. But I believe this could be a promising approach if I put in a little more effort.
I actually downloaded this app with high hopes. I made my profile, selected my interests and saw loads of fun Meetups to attend. However, I quickly became intimidated by this app. I didn’t chat with anyone (was there even an option for this?) or attend a single meetup. I am definitely an extrovert, but the idea of meeting a large group of strangers at a random location who may or may not already know each other, scared me away. Maybe I didn’t give this option a fair chance, but I kept the app and would peek in every so often then quickly exit and forget about it for another month.
Alternative Friend Apps
This one is the winner! A year after not using Meetup I decided to delete it and see what else was out there. So once again I asked Google to help me find friends and this time Google blessed me. I downloaded Bumble BFF and Hey! VINA and I was instantly hooked. This is coming from someone who had success with Tinder, so the idea of getting to swipe again made me oh so happy! Unlike Meetup, these allow you to review profiles of other friendless potentials and swipe left (NO) or right (YES). So it’s much less intimidating as a one on one chat. You both know you are obviously looking to make friends so it makes you feel much less awkward and removes the pressure. I have been using both apps for several weeks and I have met with at least one new girl every single week. I have a few reoccurring friend dates and I can definitely see these blossoming into great friendships!
Moral of this post is do not give up. I understand how lonely it can feel if you do not have companionship. Social media does nothing to help this as you are constantly seeing posts of others’ lives (FOMO much?). If I ever find myself in a situation where I am starting all over again, I will tell myself to just go for it. Power through my anxiety, don’t be afraid to be awkward, and just be the social butterfly I know I can be!
Have you also struggled with finding friends in your adult life? Let me know in the comments what worked for you!