Finding Friends

I was hanging out with a friend today who asked me, “How do you meet new people when you are an adult?”

When you’re in school, you make new friends organically, just by sitting next to someone in class, or participating in the dozens of activities that are at your fingertips in school. You have opportunities galore to meet people, hang out with people, and get to know people. In high school you homeroom, sports, rallies, and projects. In college you’re in a dorm with roommates and activities, sororities and fraternities, and 24-hour hang-outs.

But as an adult, it’s not so easy. You have to be intentional about making friends. If you’re fortunate enough to have people at work you can make friends with, that’s a plus, but beyond that, you have to be creative and deliberate.

Remember how in an earlier blog post I talked about doing the hard thing? Getting out and making friends is one of those hard things. But doing the hard thing will pay off!

Here are six quick ways you can meet people:

Family

Yep, how about sis? Maybe you fought like cats and dogs growing up, but now’s the time to cultivate that relationship if she’s nearby. There’s nothing richer than a friendship with family members.

Volunteering

Find out what kinds of opportunities are available in your community for volunteering. A pet shelter? Homeless shelter? Soup kitchen? Beautification or restoration group? You’ll not only do a good deed, but will also meet other community-minded individuals you’ll likely have something in common with.

Community activities

In the city where I live there are meetups that invite community members to come and meet with like-minded people. Hiking groups, sports groups, writing groups, the list goes on and on. There are also groups advertised that, for a fee, you can meet other single people and go on trips, day activities, or meet for dinner.

On-line group members to meet in person

If you’re in an online group, see if there are any group members in your area, and plan a time to meet up in a coffee shop. If you’re leery of meeting strangers, meet during the day at a public space.

Church

Many churches and other religious organizations will offer activities for single people or for the general populous. Don’t be afraid to join in the activities in order to get to know people, even if attending church is not your thing. It’s likely that you’ll meet some very nice people. Be sure and join in the activities – classes, small groups, discussions, festivals, etc., because you’re unlikely to make connections if you’re just attending a group service. There are often opportunities for volunteering through churches as well.

Take a class

Seek out adult education or community classes that seem interesting to you and sign up! Going to a class week after week is a sure way to get to know new people. Language classes, art classes, music classes, exercise classes, financial classes, or learn something new like becoming a realtor or CPA. If you find it mildly interesting, sign up!

Where are the good people? They’re likely out doing things – volunteering, getting involved in their community, hanging out in fun places. Find them! And join in.

And just a note: You’ll likely NOT find them in bars. Don’t resort to hanging out alone in a bar hoping to find McDreamy. He’s not there. Mr. Creepy is there, and Mr. User is sitting right next to him.

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