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Making Friends as an Adult: Finding Connection in a Busy World

Written byDesiree Smith

Making Friends as an Adult: Finding Connection in a Busy World

Making friends as an adult can be a challenging task. Unlike our childhood days when friendship seemed effortless, the dynamics of forging meaningful connections change as we grow older. Busy schedules, work commitments, and the demands of adult life often leave little time for socializing. In this blog, we will explore the difficulties faced by adults in making friends, discuss realistic ways to overcome these challenges, and emphasize the importance of finding a sense of community.

Why Is Making Friends as an Adult So Challenging?

As we transition from school to adulthood, the social landscape undergoes a significant shift. We no longer have the built-in social networks that school and college both provided, and the workplace may not always seem like the idea place to forge lasting connections as we have limited time for personal interactions. According to a study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, the number of close friends that adults have tends to decline over time.

Being an adult without friends can lead to feelings of isolation, loneliness, and a lack of emotional support. It may be challenging to navigate life’s ups and downs without a close network of individuals who understand and empathize with your life experiences. The absence of social connections can also negatively impact mental health, which is why it is crucial to prioritize building meaningful friendships.

Realistic Ways to Make Friends as an Adult

There are several ways to create and maintain new friendships as an adult, which we will take a look at below. Creating and maintaining friendships as an adult helps us foster a sense of belonging as we create a community of people around us, which is vital to our overall well-being. Humans are social creatures by nature and a strong support system provides opportunities for personal growth. Some ways that we can build a support network for ourselves are as follows:

  1. Pursue Shared Interests – Engaging in activities that align with your passions or hobbies can be an excellent way to meet like-minded individuals. Joining clubs, attending community events, or taking up classes can lead to opportunities for new friendships. For example, joining a book club, sports team, or volunteering for a cause you care about can introduce you to people who share similar interests.
  2. Utilize Online Platforms – The rise of social media and online communities has opened up new avenues for making friends. Websites and apps dedicated to connecting individuals with similar interests, such as Meetup, Bumble BFF, or local Facebook groups, can help you find people who share your hobbies or goals.
  3. Network through Existing Connections – Don't underestimate the power of your existing social circle. Reach out to friends, colleagues, or acquaintances and express your interest in meeting new people. Attending social gatherings or asking for introductions can expand your network and increase the chances of finding like-minded individuals.

The Takeaway

Making friends as an adult can be daunting, but it is essential for our overall well-being. By pursing shared interests, utilizing online platforms and networking through existing connections, we can increase our chances of forming meaningful friendships. While the challenges are real, the rewards of finding a sense of community are immeasurable. So, let’s prioritize building connections, reaching out to others and creating a fulfilling social life that enriches our adult years.

References

Leong, C. H., & Zach, S. (2019). Changes in social connections over time: The effects of life events on social integration in young adulthood. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 36(3), 959–978. doi:10.1177/0265407517745796

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