Making friends at any age can be difficult. As we grow older, we develop different hobbies and interests that distance us from school friends. We move to new places for college or a job. We grow apart from some friends and grow closer to others. It’s natural to find yourself in a place where you want to grow your social circle. But how do you make friends when you’re older? These tips will help you develop quality friendships. Friendships can improve our health and happiness, so they’re important to have! Rather than collect friends like coffee mugs, focus on making a few close connections with people that truly care about you. To do this, try a few of these activities and find the people that make you happiest.
Start a new hobby with in-person meetings.
Take up a social hobby that you can enjoy with others! Join a book club and attend meetings at a local coffee shop, to discuss the book of the month. Sign up for kickboxing classes at a nearby gym and meet other like-minded fitness enthusiasts or fitness beginners. Find a local hiking group and connect with other hikers. By trying a new activity, you’re opening yourself up to fun experiences and new connections.
Network with your neighbors.
Host a small house party and invite your neighbors one weekend. Even if you’ve lived in your house or apartment for months, even years, it’s never too late to reach out and connect with people that you’ve only ever waved at from your mailbox.
Connect with co-workers.
Take advantage of social interaction at work and invite co-workers to a Friday happy hour. You don’t need to make friends with everyone, but you have a great chance of connecting with one person to hang out with outside of business hours!
Stay in communication.
The best way of keeping friends is to stay connected. But with a busy schedule, it’s hard to make time for friends. We recommend scheduling an alert in your phone calendar with a reminder to message a friend. The free Marco Polo app is another way to stay connected by sending video messages to your social circle. With this app, you can send video messages whenever you have time—without the pressure of texting back and forth immediately.
Volunteer at a local organization.
Select a nonprofit you are passionate about and volunteer. This activity allows you to interact with others and, more importantly, give back to your community.
Bring a friend to a local event.
Sometimes the best way to extend your social circle is to attend events where you’ll meet more people! If you bring one friend, you’ll be more comfortable socializing and striking up conversation with another group. Attend an event hosted by a brewery, like a live music concert, a comedy show, a summer festival or a bar crawl.
Join a group trip.
One of the coolest parts about social media is the growing number of travel influencers who schedule trips with their followers! Find an Instagram influencer who is planning a trip you are interested in and sign up. Use this opportunity to talk to new people and make friends as you travel.