How to Make New Friends as An Adult

By Jenn Rose Smith

If how to make new friends sounds like a pre-school topic, it’s probably because it’s a skill that isn’t typically taught in our society past age 5. That’s a shame, because many people eventually find themselves stranded in adulthood without the built-in network of friends that school always provided them. Whether you’ve just moved to a new town, had a baby, or would simply like to expand your network of friends, check out these seven ideas that will help connect you to the friends you want to meet fast!

featured image by susanna howe for domino

image by athleta

1. Do What You Love

This is the simplest, strongest advice I can give for making new friends. When you’re doing what you love (whether it’s working for a company you love, seeing a band you love, working on a project you love) friends just HAPPEN to you. A good sign that you’re on the right career path is that you actually want to hang out with your coworkers outside of work. If you can’t get that job you love right now, don’t fret. You can always find other ways to do what you love! Try volunteering for a cause you care about, going to see live music, or start a project of your own.

image by susanna howe for domino

2. Be a Joiner

Look for clubs and organizations in your community that are focused on topics that interest you. Even if you have to pay some sort of membership fee, it can be money well spent! It could be a book club, a country club, an indie movie watching club, a club for people who own chihuahuas. Whatever. Just join. You can always quit if it’s not your thing! MeetUp is a good site to search for interest groups in your area.

image by cup of jo

3. Talk About It

If you want to make new friends, tell people about it. You don’t have to send out an official email or post about it on social media, just casually weave it into real conversation here and there with the people you know. They’ll remember and just might invite you to a dinner or party with other guests they think you’d enjoy meeting.

image from entertaining with mollie brown

4. Throw a “Plus One” Party

This technique works best if you already have 6 – 8 friends you can invite over for drinks. Tell each of them to bring a guest or two. Voila. You now have 10 more potential friends to talk to!

image by collage vintage

5. Utilize Social Media

Did you know that some dating apps have settings for people who are just looking for friends? It’s a pretty neat trick for meeting other people in your area who are obviously open to new friendships. In addition to that, Instagram can be a good tool for connecting with people in your area. Explore hashtags that are specific to your town and find some interesting new people to follow. You’ll be able to see what types of events they’re attending, and possibly even meet up IRL.

image from entertaining with the cook’s atelier

6. Take a Class

This kind of goes back to “do what you love”, but taking a class in something that interests you is a great way to make new friends. Remember how easy it was to have friends in school? You can have that dynamic again just by signing up for a regular class. I made a lifelong friend from a design class I took in my late twenties. Oh, and we’re also both working art directors now with a big network of creative friends. Pretty cool how that worked!

image from it couple the soul mates and the sea

7. Date as Much As You Can (and Even Better: Date Someone Who’s Super Social)

This is an advanced technique, and obviously only applies to you if you’re single. Dating in general can be a good way to meet new friends, and especially good if you can date someone who’s really gregarious and social. It’s always nice to have a connecting person to introduce you to new friends. You’ll end up meeting a slew of new people, and who knows, you might even fall in love while you’re at it!