How do you make friends as an adult?

by Erika Torres

friends-seasonBy pure coincidence, Eric and I had dinner on Friday with a friend (and her fiance) whom I’ve known for eight years, and then on Saturday night we had dinner with another friend of mine (and her husband)  whom I’ve known for seven years.

I’ve known these friends for way longer than I’ve known Eric–and yet, we never hang out very often, simply due to schedules…and well, just life. However, whenever we do get together we can just talk for hours and hours and hours!

It seems that the older we get, the more valuable our time becomes.

Between Eric’s wacky fireman schedule, me being busy with school, plus family obligations–we’re pretty selective on how we spend the little free time we do have. I’m fiercely protective of any Saturdays Eric has off, simply because they’re far and few between.

In recent months, we’ve had friends move, and we’ve distanced ourselves from a few others, so the group of friends that we do have seems to become smaller and smaller.

Which is why we were both thrilled to branch out and try to develop these friendships.

As we were thinking that we needed to grow our group of friends, I wondered: how do you make friends as an adult? 

It seemed so much easier in school when you were kind of thrust into a group of people your own age. Work used to be another way to develop friends, but these days, there are all kinds of generations in the workplace as people are retiring later and later, and it’s very easy to find yourself as the only person in the department who grew up with computers.

We’ve made friends with some neighbors, Eric is trying to foster friendships with other firefighters in his department, and sometimes you really do meet new friends through old friends.

When it comes to friends, quality is always better than quantity. But I’m still curious:

How do you make friends as an adult? 


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Erin @ Gen Y Finances March 27, 2014 - 5:51 pm

I’m still struggling with this. As someone who moved across the country and works from home, I don’t know how to meet people. Thankfully, there is a little blogging community here, so I meet up with bloggers about once a month. I spend most of my social time with my husband. I really would like to develop friendships though.

Melanie@Dear Debt March 26, 2014 - 8:00 pm

It was definitely easier as a kid! When I moved to Portland, I only knew my partner. I had no friends and I didn’t want to emotionally rely on him completely. Also, I don’t think your partner can fulfill 100% of your needs, so I needed some friends! I’ve made friends through work, volunteering, a Spanish meetup group, and through friends of friends. Host a party, explore meetups over shared interests. It’s a great way to get to know new people. I’ve now also met friends from blogging!

Army Amy March 25, 2014 - 10:51 am

I so get what you are saying about different generations working together. When I started teaching, I was closer in age to my coworkers children than my coworkers. I came to really get along well with my coworkers, but we were never friends outside the work place.

Being in a military family kind of helps. Even though we move a lot, everyone is always moving and with things like FRG meetings, we have opportunities to meet new people. The biggest thing for me has been not hesitating in putting myself out there. When I meet someone cool, I invite them to get coffee, I friend them on Facebook, I ask if they want to go to yoga with me. I’m really shy, but if I don’t seize the moment and make the first move (as uncomfortable as that makes me), I won’t have any friends.

Money Beagle March 25, 2014 - 5:54 am

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve certainly noticed that I’ve had less and less new friends. This leaves me the opportunity to strengthen the friendships that are now many years old. We have had some new people enter our lives through things like our preschool, church groups, and other things, but for me, I find that many of these people have not yet made it past the ‘acquaintance’ level.

Emily aka The Three Bite Rule March 25, 2014 - 5:37 am

I hear ya. I’m much more likely to want to socialize than my husband. I just had bookclub last night. We realized how long ago it started…4+ years. When we started a few people knew a few others. Since then we’ve been to eachothers weddings and two have babies. It is less and less often that we get together but I think I make the most of it now because I really cherish these ladies. I think some of it is trying to make a friend and not getting defeated if a plan doesn’t happen.

Daisy March 24, 2014 - 9:15 pm

This is incredibly hard. We moved to a new city four years ago and while I am starting to get in the groove of making more friends – through school, a previous job, etc – my fiance is having a really tough time. We have one set of couple friends, who we like to hang out with, but other than that, J has been really trying to make friends with his co-workers. That’s the only place he can think of to make friends, because he isn’t in school and doesn’t join any teams or anything. It’s frustrating!

SavvyFinancialLatina March 24, 2014 - 8:59 pm

It’s hard making friends as adults. TIme is so limited. Most of the time I want to chill alone with my husband after work. LOL. So yes it’s hard. I enjoy and love spending time with my friends. But it’s work to drive to meet them, so sometimes it’s easier to stay at home in pjs.

Mysti March 24, 2014 - 2:25 pm

Before kids, I made friends mostly with the people I worked with. Once the kids came along….I met people through school functions.

It is hard making friends as an adult…you would think it would be easy….ya know…you already have had practice at the whole socialization thing. But as an adult you also know how easy it is to blow someone off, even if it wasn’t intentional.

Are you looking for YOU friends, or “couple” friends? I know as part of a couple, alot of the times one half of the couple (say it was the wife), is FRIENDS with someone, and the spouse kind of gets dragged along. If you are looking for couple friends…maybe you could take a couples cooking course or something? That way you both meet the people at the same time! If it is just for YOU…then maybe at the gym??

NZ Muse March 24, 2014 - 2:21 pm

I used to stress about this till I realised I don’t really want anymore friends, it’s hard enough to keep up with the ones I do have.

I apparently have made one new friend through work / career stuff though, a professional contact who’s my age and went to my university – we’ve gone to a couple industry events together and she introduced me to someone as a ‘friend’ the other night which gave me all the warm fuzzies. We have a lot in common and so while we’re probably not going to hang out on weekends, we’ll talk on Twitter, email each other, have the odd lunch date, talk career etc.

NZ Muse March 24, 2014 - 2:22 pm

Oh, and I have her to thank for that – she did all the hard work always inviting me to stuff so I was the passive party in it (but hey, she is in PR, that’s what she does). I’m glad she did!

CeCe @Pink Sunshine March 24, 2014 - 1:47 pm

As an adult I’ve made a few through work, one who is now the ex of a friend (we liked her so we kept her) and that’s pretty much it!! I feel like I have enough friends for the amount of time I have to spend with them.

Tonya@Budget and the Beach March 24, 2014 - 11:40 am

Sign up for recreational classes. Taking beach volleyball class is a HUGE way that I’ve met my my current friends. Good friends. I like, but I hate all the emails that come with it, so that’s the only downside of that.

Ris March 24, 2014 - 10:38 am

Making friends as an adult is hard! When we moved to a new city it took me a while to find like-minded folks I could be friends with. I connected with my local alumni club, joined a running group, and even found a few folks on Twitter. It took a lot of time though, and some “misses”.

Megan - FireWifey March 24, 2014 - 10:23 am

We’ve met a bunch through church, and then FFW. I think work and maybe when you have kids, who your kids are friends with?

Ceci Bean March 24, 2014 - 9:41 am

I think it isn’t that different than looking for someone you want to date. Find activities to do that would introduce you to people with like interests (running group, book club, stitch’n’bitch, etc) or have friends over and invite (or ask them to invite) friends of theirs you’ve met and would like to get to know better.

Mrs PoP @ Planting Our Pennies March 24, 2014 - 8:18 am

It’s hard! I totally related to some parts of the book “MWF seeking BFF”, though not the crazy obsessive parts. =).

Michelle March 24, 2014 - 8:16 am

We have actually been thinking about this a lot lately! I have had the same group of friends since high school, and I don’t want to lose them. However, we are thinking about moving to another state and I’m afraid I won’t make any friends. He thinks it will be easy!

Shannon March 24, 2014 - 7:05 am

I had to search out friends when I moved to VA. I knew no one and I wasn’t finding a job so I looked into area volunteer programs. I took a Girls on the Run training, hijacked the email list and sent a mass email to everyone telling them I was new to the area and did anyone want to get coffee. I had two responses. Luckily one of those responses led to meeting my friend Anna who took me to her book club and three years later, I’m now one of those women who has a posse of women friends. It’s the best.
I’ve actually found it harder to find couple friends that my husband and I both jive with. As we got older it got harder to find people without kids who could pick up and go out on a Thursday night. Now that we’re soon to join their ranks I think our social circle will expand.

Christine March 24, 2014 - 6:01 am

I have the same problem. My husband is military and there’s this perception that there’s a ready made group of friends wherever you go. Maybe for him, but for me not so much. I’m friendly with some of the girls I work with but same as you, any time that we’re actually both off of work at the same time I”m super protective of. Maybe I’m limiting myself too much?

Misty March 24, 2014 - 11:11 am

I’m not sure how close to base you live, but the base I used to live near had a fitness center with yoga and zumba classes. A lot of the military wives would go there after they got off for the day and then go to the Burger King on base afterwards to hang out until their husbands got home. I know that’s how a ton of my friends were able to meet new people.

Debbie March 24, 2014 - 5:17 am

Have had the same issue and we are at the same place you are!

Debt and the Girl March 24, 2014 - 3:45 am

I have been thinking this very same thing lately. I have actually been thinking of joining a few clubs around town to further branch out and just kind of get me out of my shell. But like you said, its just about finding the time. Ugh!

Giulia March 24, 2014 - 3:37 am

Honestly I know a lot of people for work but I can call friends few people, with most of them are friends from childhood with a pair we knew into workplace and build a friendship, probably is more easy create friendship with person that have similar interests, values because there is a instant connection.


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