Skip to main content

How to Make Friends as an Adult

Making friends as a grown-up can be surprisingly difficult. You’d think that being out in the world and living on your own terms would make it easier to connect with like-minded folks, but the reality is that adult life isn’t always conducive to relationship building. There are work obligations and family obligations and before you know it, all you want to do with your leftover time is unwind with some TV or a good book.

But things don’t have to be so bleak, and it is totally possible to forge dynamic friendships later in life. For some tips on how to find new pals in your 20s, 30s, and beyond, check out the guide below.

Related Videos

Identify Your Interests

When you were a wee little thing, your friendships were most likely born out of circumstance, revolving around the schools you went to or the company your parents kept. While that was all well and good back then, things don’t really work like that in adulthood. So, what are grown-up friendships based on? Shared interests. While there are exceptions I’ve found that my best friendships as I’ve gotten older have been borne out of a mutual love for something: comedy, photography, writing, old movies. By identifying my hobbies/interests (and seeking out those who share them), I’ve been able to meet some pretty fabulous people.

how to make friends as an adult computers
Priscilla Du Preez

Join an Organization

Another great way to connect with new folks is to join an organization or club. Maybe it’s aligned with one of your hobbies (like a community chorus, sports league, or volunteer group) or simply has to do with where you live (like a co-op board or neighborhood watch). Regardless, it’ll likely involve regular meetings, which will give you the opportunity to hang out with the same people over and over again. Since friendship is an alchemy of consistency + chemistry, this kind of “scheduled” mingling works wonders for burgeoning relationships.

Put Yourself Out There

Once you’ve established some fun, new connections, it’s important to put yourself out there. What I mean by this is that it’s totally okay (nay, encouraged!) to tell folks that you like them and would enjoy getting to know them as friends. This kind of open vulnerability can feel odd, but if you and your soon-to-be pal are truly vibing, it should be met with warmth and sincerity. If you don’t want to so blatantly state that you’re interested in befriending someone, just make it clear you’d like to hang out with them again.

Follow Through

But, after setting that expectation, make sure to follow through. Adult life is busy, so it’s crucial to get beyond the “Oh my God, we should definitely do drinks!” refrain and actually make some plans. It demonstrates your interest and shows your new friend that you meant it when you said you enjoyed their company. Don’t be aggressive or weird about it, but do send a text with a specific idea/time in mind for your first solo hang. If you’re worried about being too formal, suggest a group outing  with multiple acquaintances or ask if they’d like to grab a drink before a social event you’re both going to. These low-pressure scenarios provide ample space for getting to know each other, while also leaving room to part ways if things go south.

how to make friends as an adult travel
Matheus Ferrero

Pay Attention

When you finally snag that coveted friend date, pay attention to what they say. Sounds simple, but active listening is one of the hardest skills to master. It involves focus, asking questions, remembering details, and avoiding distractions. Commit the basics to memory (what they do for work, where they live, what weekend plans they’ve got going on) and follow up with relevant questions next time you see them. This demonstrates your interest and indicates that you’re actually taking in what they’re saying. And hopefully, once they sense your commitment, they’ll send that same positive energy right back to you!

Make the Effort

At the end of the day, the oft-repeated Maya Angelou quote truly does sum it up best: “People will forget what you said … but they will never forget how you made them feel.” So, choose warmth, honesty, open-mindedness, and compassion when interacting with new folks. This big-hearted glow will attract pals like curious moths to the flame, and will surely surround you with a community of joyous, loving people.

Editors' Recommendations

The 9 Best Subscription Box Gifts That Will Make Anyone Smile
A cat near a "Hello" Doormat" and a subscription box patiently waits for the door to open.

One of the best things about giving a gift to a loved one is seeing the joy and appreciation color their face upon opening the present. Hearing about them using or enjoying the product continues to bring further happiness and makes the entire gift-giving process worth the difficulty of finding the perfect gift. Nowadays, there's an entire market of hundreds (if not thousands) of subscription boxes that you can give to a loved one.

With subscription box gifts, you get to relive the joy of delighting in the gratitude and excitement of the recipient opening something you've given them every single month. In this way, subscription box gifts are the gifts that truly keep on giving. You'll get to form a bond with your loved one, with monthly check-ins to hear all about the new and exciting products that have arrived. Make this holiday extra special by giving one of the best subscription boxes from the list we've compiled below.

Read more
How To Increase Serotonin Naturally to Boost Your Mood
Happy man with serotonin.

If you have ever battled the winter blues, been diagnosed with clinical depression, or simply have struggled to feel happy, low serotonin may have been to blame. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps elevate mood, reduce stress and anxiety, and regulate digestion and sleeping patterns. It is produced by the body in the brain as well as in the digestive tract. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression, which is why one of the major classes of anti-depressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)) works by decreasing the reuptake of serotonin from the brain.
However, the good news is that you don’t necessarily have to take prescription antidepressants to increase serotonin levels in your brain and feel happier. There are natural ways to stimulate the body to produce more serotonin, effectively increasing the concentration of serotonin in your brain, which can better regulate mood.
So, whether you have concerns about taking prescription antidepressants and would prefer trying natural ways to increase serotonin, or would like to add natural ways to boost serotonin to your pharmacological management of depression, keep reading for the best, research-backed ways to naturally increase serotonin levels.


Read more
How Long Does a Tempur-Pedic Mattress Last?
TEMPUR-Adapt® Mattresses.

Buying a Tempur-Pedic mattress is a process that should be done with an ample amount of care and consideration. Not only can mattresses be quite a significant financial investment, but because they serve as your foundation for sleeping night after night for what should be many years, it’s extremely important to buy a high-quality, comfortable mattress. After all, a poorly made mattress will break down prematurely and may fail to provide the support, pressure relief, temperature regulation, and comfort you need to get restful sleep. You can even develop back pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, or neck pain from a bad mattress, and you may find yourself constantly disturbed by the restlessness of a bed partner if your mattress does an inadequate job arresting the transfer of motion.

Tempur-Pedic mattresses are among the upper echelon of mattresses in terms of quality, comfort, and effective design, which is why they are consistently one of the most popular mattress purchases every year and adored by nearly every customer. Each Tempur-Pedic mattress model is specifically designed to precisely adapt to the weight, shape, and temperature of your body to eliminate potential pressure points and intimately contour to your body to provide maximal cradling support and comfort. The materials and construction of each mattress minimize motion transfer and enhance airflow and heat dispersion.

Read more