Make new friends, but keep the old. We all know that beloved song, but if we're honest, they make the whole process sound a little easier than it actually is.
Sure, most of us love the idea of having a handful of really great friends. But as you get older, the whole making friends thing isn't quite as easy. If you're far away from family and friends or are starting a brand new job or life in a new city, things can feel even more unstable and unsure.
We get it. It's tricky to find people who like the same things as you, enjoy the same kinds of hobbies, or even who have kids the same age as yours. But we all need community and friendships to get us through the hard spots in life!
So where do you go to make new friends once you’re in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and beyond? We have a few great ideas to help get you started!
1. Join a sports team or fitness class!
For most of us, when we left high school, we left organized sports behind. But there’s nothing quite like the camaraderie of practicing for the big game, and then heading out for burgers after, whether you win or lose. Even if you’re not the sportiest girl in the bunch, organized sports or special interest teams and classes could be the perfect environment to make new friends. Try an adult volleyball league, a softball league, a bowling club, or even a pilates class! Check out Google, or local community centers and churches in your area to see what’s being offered and when. Feel free to bring a current friend along with you for the extra support and to minimize the awkward!
2. Take another look at work
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but hear us out. Even if there's no one at your job that’s the same age as you or that seems to have the same interests, you might be overlooking someone that could be a great friend! Maybe you work with a single mom who could use an occasional night out, or you have some older co-workers who have a lot of wisdom and experience to offer you! Regardless of how different you and your co-workers might seem, it can’t hurt to arrange a fun after work get together to see if there’s anyone that you connect with outside the office. Bonus: It can only help you to have a friend in the workplace!
3. Get in with the neighborhood
Whether you live in the center of a suburban cul-de-sac or in a high rise apartment building, there just might be some new friends to be made in your ‘hood! If your neighborhood has a block party or your apartments do a free pizza event at the office, why not drop by and meet a few of your neighbors? If you have kids and see another mom pushing a stroller by your place, introduce yourself and see if she’d like to arrange a playdate! There’s nothing better than a friend whose door you can knock on to borrow a cup of sugar whenever you need it.
4. Take a class
Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean that you should stop learning! There are so many different types of classes and courses that you can take to learn a new skill, and meet new people who have the same interests as you! Check the web for pottery, painting, or guitar classes in your area. Other fun ideas? Sign up to learn a new language, do woodworking or finally learn how to do coding and web design! In-person learning communities are a great place to find others to talk about your new interests with, and maybe even exchange numbers to hang out in the future!
5. Church or another faith/interest-based group
If you’re remotely religious, or even curious about a specific faith, churches, small groups, and special interests groups hosted at churches (like Mom’s Day Out, etc) can be such a great place to meet new people. As a major bonus, you just might get some inspiration and encouragement along the way as well! Whether you’re looking at Sunday morning, Saturday night, or even Tuesday afternoon options and ways to get involved, ask around or hop on the world wide web for options and locations in your area!
6. Ask your family and friends
This may feel like a given, but who knows you better than your current family and friends? Ask around and see if anyone knows someone else who lives near you, has kids the same age as yours, or are interested in some of the same things, like taking long hikes on the weekend! It just might be that your new best friend is your brother’s co-worker. Or maybe your friend’s hairstylist is looking for new friends too. It never hurts to ask and spread the word!
Do you have ideas for other great places to meet new friends? And where did you meet your current closes pals? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments!