I’m not sure if this has been your experience, but when I was in college and in the years right after that, I thought that I’d always have a big group of friends around and there would never be a shortage of friends to hang out with.
Boy, was I wrong…
Not that I’m bitter about it, things just change.
People get married, have kids, move away, etc. And it can be hard to make plans with friends even a month in advance sometimes because everyone is so busy.
Throw in the fact that you don’t drink and it can be really hard to meet new people as you get older.
So what are some good ways to do it?
AskReddit users shared their thoughts.
1. Good idea.
“Join a sports league.
You can join things like Kickball or Corn Hole leagues. Guys and girls play.
If they don’t have one in your area, maybe start one? Some people on Facebook started a Golf group for people who like to play golf in my area. I joined that one.”
2. Good on many levels.
“Brazilian Jui Jitsu.
I’ve been grappling for about 10 years now and I’ve formed some of the strongest friendships in that time.
It’s almost odd how quickly people bond while trying to str**gle each other.”
3. Check it out.
“I’m gonna add a very specific one: the app Slowly.
It’s an app who acts like a meeting app, except that everything works as if you were sending real letters. You can receive them from all over the world and 99% of people use it to make friends (over looking for a partner like most meeting apps).
You enter in your hobbies, maybe put in the countries, gender, age of the people you want to talk to (i left it open and received beautiful letters from aged people wanting to talk to someone), and there you go!
I have met my two best friends there, one from Germany and one from Brazil, we’ve been talking for years now. It’s too much work for scammers, so everyone is genuine. I can never not recommend it.”
4. Bike rides.
My weekly bicycle ride is usually about 30 people. Easy and natural to make friends.”
5. That’ll work!
“If you’re around or in a city, walking a dog is the best conversation starter.
I had an Italian Greyhound years ago. When he was a puppy walking him in a city was like going places with a celebrity.
He had a little custom tailored sweatsuit cause regular sweaters don’t fit their chests.”
6. Classes are good.
“Go to a repeating class at a gym or yoga studio, and/or volunteer at a yoga studio or gym class.
Get a part time job or volunteer somewhere interesting to you and meet coworkers over time. Like a museum, community center, library, foreign language school, cultural center.”
7. From a pro.
“My turn to shine since I moved countries 3x as an adult. Ranked from most effective to least:
Work: never eat lunch alone, organize hang outs after work
Professional networking organizations: nothing bonds more than hating your industry/job together
Going out alone & chatting up strangers: woman here & have befriended men who approached me this way, so don’t say this won’t work for men. You just have to genuinely want to be friends instead of being a creeper. If you have kids & they have kids, they’ll WANT to be friends
Reddit: if someone in a niche subreddit you’re into happens to mention they live in your city, just go, “Hey! I live there too! Want to meet up?” The more niche the sub, the higher chance of making friends
Random fun classes/activities: if you’re both into it, you probably will click
Online dating: surprisingly made many good friends of this. Of course some were with benefits.
New mom groups: everyone is depressed to a certain degree, sleep deprived & desperate for support
Social media: made a few genuine friends, also got some creepers so it’s a gamble”
8. Sports cards.
“I’m 35. In the last 10 years I can honestly say I have 1 or 2 friends that I’ve kept close contact with. I started getting back into collecting sports cards right before the pandemic hit.
Thru sharing my passion thru IG I have made probably at least 20 (online) friends and a few local friends now that I talk to every day and not just about our favorite hobby.”
9. Books books books!
“I’m part of a book club.
We meet online every month after reading a book and talk about it.
I was introduced by a friend.”
10. Very cool.
“I started inviting people from online dating sites who said they were looking for friends to play D&D.
Some of them were actually looking for friends. I also started a fencing group in my area and advertised it in relevant Facebook groups.
A few people showed up and now we occasionally do things that aren’t fencing-related.”
“Video games .
Just having a regular group of randoms in a server regularly is nice, I play a racing game and the others are typically all from other countries, but text chat is fun and its at least interaction with people I don’t live with.”
12. Meeting other parents.
“My kids’ sports.
Just hanging with the other parents or coaching teams. I don’t consider any of them to be FRIENDS, but we enjoy hanging out and shooting the breeze at games.
But once sports are over, I’ll never see them again, but if I run into them randomly, I’m sure we’ll chat for a minute – solid acquaintances.”
13. Right on!
I became a Girl Scout leader and have become friends with some of the other leaders and some of the parents from my troop.”
14. Nerds unite!
“Dungeon and dragons!
The first couple of times bring some goodies, if you want to grease the wheels.
Best way to find friends, went from two to twenty in a couple of months.”
15. Looking forward to it.
“I met a ton of friends in VR Chat.
Joined a couple discords and now there’s events every night to go to.
It doesn’t exactly get me out of the house but it gives me social interaction to look forward to every night.”
16. You’ll make friends this way.
“Work on solving a problem in your community wether it’s your building, neighborhood or society, and request the help of people to do so.
From an evolutionary standpoint, that’s the whole point of our ability to make friends anyway.”
17. Check the app.
“Nextdoor.com is a great way to meet people in your area.
And to see the hot gossip in the neighborhood about who’s leaving dog p**p in the yard.”
18. Fun activities.
“You do activities that you find fun or interesting. Be it to take a dance course, building model trains or training related.
Then you talk to the people you meet there. Group based stuff such as courses or “try-it” sessions can be helpful if you are not comfortable starting conversations with strangers.
A course will offer natural points to initiate conversation. It is also likely that these people also enjoy the activity in question, which offers you some common ground.”
19. Hit the links.
“Here’s a specific one: golf.
If you golf, you can go to a golf course, and they will match you up with 1-3 other people. You will then spend the next 4 hours in a mutually enjoyed hobby, plenty to talk about as you already have golf in common.
People who have anxiety when in a group and asked to ‘pair up’ or ‘form teams’ will especially appreciate this, as the golf course picks the teams for you. You can go every day for a week, and meet 10-20 people.”
20. Take a class.
If you have the time to fit it into your schedule, take a course of some kind.
Not only do you broaden your horizons, knowledge, and skills, it’s someplace that is filled with other people.”
21. Gotta be brave.
“I’ve learned you have to be brave.
You have to accept that some people are just going to think you’re an utter moron for the things you like, cherish, and think are adorable or clever, and you have to share them anyway. The people that get just as happy about what you’re sharing with them are the people you want to be friends with.
There may not be a lot of them, but there’s no point in trying to be friends with people that just don’t get you.”
22. Focus on work.
“My advice to people in this situation in their 20s is to throw yourself into your work. In your 30s your career will have advanced and people will chill out with the partying.
At that point, you will be socializing with people who did the same. The nondrinker and moderate drinker crowd at least doubles at that point.
Meanwhile, while all the cool kids who worked as bartenders, DJ’s, influencers, etc… are starting to lowkey panic because they are still renting with no savings and know they are on the verge of getting pushed out of their jobs for the new kids on the block.
You can still keep trying to make friends doing activities but just know that it does get better later.”
23. No politics, please.
“I’ve been to a bar once in my life, it was not my thing.
I’m into reading, writing, MMA, D&D, comics, games, guns, & LEGO, and apparently I have a great sense of humor, so making friends isn’t hard for me because my hobbies are wide-ranging.
It helps that I’m a ‘listener’, and I can find something interesting in whatever someone wants to talk about.
The main thing you have to do is NOT talk about politics. People that center their lives on that are insufferable.”
24. Break the ice.
“Find people with shared hobbies.
Video games, art, yoga, literally whatever. Bond over that, have any initial hangouts centered around said hobby.
That should help “break the ice” and make it easier to talk to them and get to know them so you can become friends.”
25. Good idea.
All you need. It solves a lot of problems everyone has as an adult:
You meet a lot of people. Whether in your own club, competitions, BJJ camps. Any relatively big city should have a BJJ gym, so you can meet people anywhere.
It keeps you fit. Each training session involves sparring and it is similar to a HIIT workout (although you still see lots of examples of typical dad bod veterans who will destroy you).
You join a community which you can be a part of for life. It’s like a church with traditions, but where everyone is trying to choke each other in stylish pajamas.
It’s great for the mind. BJJ gives you confidence, but at the same time it is a good ego-killer, and it seriously teaches discipline, consistency, comradery, and for some, it’s also a good outlet 2-3x times a week.
You learn some actual self-defense. Jiu-Jitsu is one of the main martial arts in MMA. It revolves around grappling and taking people to the ground, where striking becomes way less effective. Of course, it’s not going to save your a** from a group fight or someone with a knife, but it helps.
It gives you something to strive for, for a very long time / for life. A black belt takes 10+ years. And even if you get it, there is still an almost limitless amount of things you can still learn (and teach!).”
Do you have any ideas in this department?
If so, please share them with us in the comments.
We’d love to hear from you!