How to Make Friends as an Adult

How can you make friends as an adult? If you feel like you never have time, check out these ideas.
How to Make Friends as an Adult

Last update: 08 October, 2020

Friends come and go throughout your life. When you’re a child, making friends often seems easy. But as an adult? How can you make friends as an adult? In this article, we’ll give you some great tips on how to meet people. Maybe you don’t have time to socialize, you’re too stressed, or you feel overburdened by responsibilities. Whatever the reason, don’t lose heart! Making friends as an adult is possible.

Everyone knows that friendships are a crucial part of life, but some interesting studies analyze the particular benefits of friends. A study from the University of Virginia, for example, found that making friends at any age increases your empathy.

Psychologist Julianna Holt-Lunstad, professor at Brigham Young University in Iowa, says that the lack of a social support network is a more significant risk factor for mortality than obesity or a sedentary, inactive lifestyle. Are you convinced of the importance of making friends? Don’t miss these tips for fostering adult friendships!

Two couples hanging out.

How to make friends as an adult

A study conducted by the non-profit organization Relate found that, in the United Kingdom, one in eight adults doesn’t have any close friends. Although it isn’t always easy to make friends as an adult, it’s not impossible. Keep reading for some ideas on how to make meaningful friendships.

Sign up for activities

One of the best ways to socialize is to participate in group activities. You can sign up to take a class or a workshop, join a group, or volunteer. If you live in a city, there’s bound to be something you can get involved in. If you live in a rural area or a small town, check out what the closest city to you has to offer. Friendships are worth traveling for!

This is a great way to meet people and learn something new along the way. Or maybe it’s your chance to re-discover a hobby you haven’t pursued in years. The advantage of signing up for something you’re more familiar with is that you’ll meet people who have similar interests. If you sign up for something new, on the other hand, you’ll step out of your comfort zone and have some new experiences. Either option has its advantages. It’s a win-win situation!

“Don’t be afraid to expand yourself, to step out of your comfort zone. That’s where the joy and the adventure lie.”

-Herbie Hancock-

Exercise or play sports

Another idea along those same lines is playing sports or exercising. Whether you decide to get a gym membership or take up jogging, you’ll have plenty of chances to meet people your own age. But it’ll require a bit of effort on your part, especially if you’re more of an introvert.

If you need a little help, there are plenty of sports clubs and organizations for adults. Hiking and running clubs are especially common. Sites such as Meetup are perfect for reaching out to people with similar interests. Do some online research and see what sparks your interest the most. You don’t have anything to lose but loneliness and those five extra pounds.

If that weren’t reason enough to get moving, studies show that exercise is vitally important. Sports psychologist Miguel Morilla emphasizes the importance of physical exercise to improve your individual and social well-being. That, in turn, can help reduce anxiety and depression. So, not only is this a good strategy for meeting new people but a tool to improve your overall quality of life.

Keep an open mind

If everyone were extroverted, we wouldn’t be writing this article. For you introverts out there, don’t worry. You can still make great friends. Just try to keep an open mind when you meet new people. If you’re really shy, set a goal of introducing yourself to people little by little. If you join a running club, for example, try to talk to someone new at every meeting. You can also try going to your new activity with someone you trust, at least at first.

Extroversion is a personality trait that’s natural to some people. But what a lot of people don’t know is that you can actually “learn” to be extroverted.

A recent study, conducted by researcher Seth Margolis and published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology suggests that extroverted people are happier overall, even when they’re actually introverted.

As you can see, this trait helps break the ice and connect with people, which is very helpful to make friends at any age.

A group of friends at dinner.

Stay in touch

Staying in touch with the friends you make along the way is an obvious but sometimes difficult way to have lasting friendships. After all, it’s not important just to make friends: you have to know how to keep them!

You might be asking yourself how it’s possible to stay in touch when you have so many other responsibilities. Well, just try to carve out a little bit of time to see or call your friends. You don’t have to spend hours with them every time, but sending messages, a quick call, and suggesting plans will let your friend know you care and that you’re still there for them.

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”

-C.S. Lewis-

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.