It wasn’t that long ago when making new friends seemed effortless and simple. For many of us, elementary, middle, and high school were all something that we had to navigate at one point in our lives. With that, it was a great learning environment for both academic and social skills. Throughout those years we often take for granted how easy it can be to make meaningful friendships and find your tight group of people when you’re all regularly brought together under the same roof.
However, as we get older, life begins to shift. We find that it’s not so easy to make new friends as a 20-something, 30-something, or beyond. We begin our careers, fall in love, get married, travel for both work and pleasure, move away, start our own business, and even raise children. Life gets busy and sometimes friendships, old or new, get put on the back burner. We then begin to realize that fostering true friendships isn’t as easy anymore.
Therefore, I’ve compiled 6 helpful and actionable tips for making meaningful friendships in your 20s. Because at the end of the day, making new friends and having those close bonds with fellow women is so important for your overall well-being!
1. Say yes to going out
While I am a total homebody myself, I still believe that making time to go out and spend quality time with your friends is essential. Plus, it’s a little hard to find new friends or see your old friends while sitting on the couch. Therefore, if you get invited to a social gathering with people that you may get along with, say yes! The same holds true for events, meetups, and networking opportunities. Even if you’re enjoying a cozy evening at home with your TV and dogs, remind yourself that you should get up and go out!
Especially if the social event includes getting to know people that you work with or if it’s an opportunity to meet new people in your area. In your 20s, making new friends can be hard enough! So allow yourself to get out and take the chance of meeting potential great friends. I promise you, your bed and Netflix will always be there for you when you get home. 😉
2. Leave your partner at home
Even though my boyfriend and I don’t live together right now, I can understand the feeling of wanting to spend all of your free time with your significant other at home. However, it’s so important for yourself and for a healthy relationship to get comfortable with going out on your own. That way you and your partner don’t have to rely on each other to be the only ones you talk to or spend any time with.
I get it, it’s so easy to bring your partner along with you to a new social event where you don’t know many people. You keep them close to you as a type of security blanket instead of having to converse with strangers. Nonetheless, to make new and meaningful friendships and meet new people, you have to start challenging yourself to start going to several outings alone. That way, you force yourself to converse with strangers in ways that you normally wouldn’t have if you were there with your partner. Sometimes you have to separate yourself and do things alone in order to discover something new!
3. Make the first move
I find this most effective when beginning at a new job or starting a new class at college. But don’t be offended if you don’t get included right off the bat. In many new situations, especially in our 20s, it’s often up to us to make the first move. Particularly at a new job where many of your fellow coworkers have most likely known each other for quite a while. Therefore, I prefer (and recommend) to start off small. Such as one-on-one interactions when first meeting someone.
I personally like to ask people to get drinks, go out to brunch, or try out a workout class – because these are all things I like to do! Therefore, once you find out some common interests, ask someone to hang out with you outside of work or class! Once you get that one-on-one interaction, it will be easier to get in with a group. Plus, that one person could most likely introduce you to their group of friends as well!
4. Use social media
Whether it’s a Facebook group for like-minded people (such as blogger or stay-at-home mom Facebook groups), Instagram, Bumble BFF, or Meetup. There are so many ways to find people in your area with similar hobbies and interests! Just remember that technology and social media, in general, should not be a substitute for in-person human interaction. Use it as a way to meet new, like-minded people and find a way that you can connect with them in real life!
For example, I love collecting Rae Dunn’s pottery. There are numerous different Facebook groups that I am a part of where we help each other find items that we’re searching for by trading or selling within the group. However, many people have gotten to know each other personally through this one little hobby that they share, and now many of them group up and go shopping together! With that, if there’s a group for finding pottery, just imagine how many other Facebook groups there are out there for all different kinds of hobbies!
5. Take a class
Taking some type of class is a great way to explore new things in your city, do something that you enjoy, and make meaningful friendships in the process. Often times when we are learning something new, we are in a deeper state of curiosity with an open mind and enthusiasm. We are seeking out new information and that also comes with seeking out new people or excitement.
There are all sorts of organizations, clubs, and gyms that offer just the right classes for you to meet someone new! Classes can range from skill-building, crafting, athletic/sports, or anything that excites you or brings you joy!
Related Post: “5 Fun & Affordable Ideas For A BFF Date”
6. Get out of your comfort zone
It can seem daunting but try doing something that you’ve never done before! Do the things that make you uncomfortable or something that you’re interested in but would never admit out loud. You will never grow if you don’t allow yourself to branch out, stretch, and do something different! You’ll never know what kind of great, meaningful friendships you could make if you don’t put yourself out there! 🤗
What did you think of these ideas?
Do you have any tips or advice of your own for making new friends as an adult?
Let me know in the comments!