It’s hard making friends as an adult, and there’s no way to sugar coat it. There are so many factors that come into play with adult friendships; work, relationships (sometimes families), and a million other things that stretch time thin. I moved to an entirely new city about nine months ago, and reality hit that I didn’t have the support system that I was use to back on the west coast. Honestly, these nine months have been the best of times but also some of the loneliest of times.
I’ll always have my good friends, even if we’re spread out across the country, but searching for new adult friendships was something utterly new to me.
In high school and college, it was easier to make friendships. In these institutions, there’s a constant pool of people, and typically they share common interests—majors, sororities, and clubs foster a ground for friendships. Plus, during these periods, it feels like the right thing to try any new friendship that pops up.
It’s different as an adult trying to make NEW friendships because what can you tell from just looking at someone? Nothing. Adult friendships take time and effort to cultivate, and sometimes after a long day or week, that’s the last thing anyone wants to do. However, we need adult friendships for our well-being.
I’ve followed some advice that’s helped me cultivate friendships and relationships, and I’m excited to share!
Everyone wants to hate on Bumble BFF, and other apps, but these are great resources. Using an app allows you to weed out a handful of people before even meeting up with them. Also, their profile is a simplified way to see their interests and chats tell you more about a person than you’d think.
It’s not enough to rely on a friendship app; in-person friendships are essential. Work, gym, and press/work events have all given me the chance to meet some people. These are people who I share a common interest with, and after meeting in these settings, it’s good to meet up outside and learn more about them.
Go For It
Making friends is as terrifying as romantically dating, but I’ve learned to go for it. If I’m at an event and there’s someone who I think I could have a good friendship with, I exchange information with them. I also put the time in and try to meet up. It’s terrifying, but you have to put yourself out there to make friends.
Friendships will only strengthen with effort. I’m a very independent person, so I have to remind myself that I have to get out of my shell and try. Easy ways to show effort are texting and checking in, making a concrete plan, or visiting their apartment.
Don’t Force It
Sometimes we meet up with people, and there’s nothing in common, and it’s awkward. That’s fine; it’s not meant to be. It was a great experience, and there’s something to take away from it. I always believe in not forcing something, because then it’s not a friendship.