We moved to Southern California going on two years ago now. The move was a really good decision and the only regret was leaving behind my tribe of real life friends in San Francisco. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great online community that keeps me going and I still talk with my old friends left behind. But it’s the day-to-day interactions that are hugely important and needed too.
I am just now able to pick up my phone and call or text a healthy amount of friends. It wasn’t easy. And I wanted to share a few ways that I have been able to find new friends as an adult.
Put yourself out there. Once you’re past 30… or 40… people usually have their established friend circle. It’s hard to be included when you’ve just met a new group. It takes most people several meaningful interactions before you typically want to hang out with someone or call them a friend. Make yourself available and don’t be afraid to be the one to make the first move. Think of it like dating.
Initiate the next meeting. Don’t wait for someone to ask you. Remember, they are not new, you are. Don’t let your feelings get hurt in the process, be open and flexible.
Find people who have similar interests. For me, I gravitated toward the other moms at our new school. Instead of finding one mom that I could relate to, I have tried to foster several relationships. Having five cool mom friends is better than having just one.
Plan date nights. The process for making new friends can be daunting. Let’s face it, no one wants to “date” again. Building a social circle is a great way to get started. Plan group activities or something that includes several couples as well. Sometimes the partners can help build up the pending relationship.
Be patient. It can be lonely rebuilding your friendship circle. And you may think it will never happen. Like I did a year ago. Most relationships can take years to cultivate. But once you find your tribe, you’ll realize the time it took to build those meaningful relationships was well worth it.
Supposably we replace and make new friends every ten years or so. Whatever your life events that have lead you to making new friends, know you’re not alone on the adventure.