So I admit I am a bit of a social hermit. For the most part I’m happiest in my cozy bed, in pajamas, binge watching a murder show or reading a book. But I also know the value of lasting friendships and having a support system, so I do make an effort to be social and meet new people. What I have learned, however, is it’s not easy as an adult to form new friendships.
In school, we tend to make friends easily. We are all thrown together all day and have a kind of forced interaction that naturally generates friendships. Later, in college you have roommates and maybe a sorority and your groups also form naturally. Finally, when you’re a mom and your child enters school, you have a built in network of “mom friends” who do group school volunteer activities, carpool, sports, and playdate exchanges. No need to seek anyone out as it’s all organic.
But once your kids move into their teen years, it’s a desert out there in adult friendship land. How do you meet people? Do you just walk up and say, “Hey wanna be my friend?” because that seems like it would be a big turnoff. Do you lurk around Starbucks and Target looking for like-minded women and try to spark a conversation? Still weird, right?
What I found worked for me was to put myself in situations where I was forced to interact with others and meet new people. I figured if I was doing activities I was already interested in, I would naturally meet like-minded people. I have also really tried to make an effort to befriend the wives of my husband’s friends and colleagues, as it makes work and social events much more fun.
I also started volunteering and met some people through that. I started my personal blog, which has transitioned into this lovely media site, and met SO many great women in the blogging and marketing community. I joined groups like a hiking club, took tennis lessons and took a 3-month culinary class, which were all great opportunities to meet people interested in the same things as I am. And I learned to push all my self-doubt and awkwardness down deep inside and approach people, ask women I clicked with if they’d like to meet for lunch (pre-Covid) and keep in touch with new people I’ve met.
I would say I am still navigating this whole adult friends territory. I don’t work in a traditional office setting where I would meet people, I don’t have kids in school or sports anymore where you strike up friendships, and I have a bad habit of isolating myself. But I know how valuable solid, lasting female friendships will be for me as I get older, so I am making an honest effort to connect.
What is your favorite way to meet new people and make adult friends? Share your tips in the comments.
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