Updated: Aug 12, 2022
It is so freaking hard to make friends as an adult! Between work and laundry and finding the will to live, who has the time to get out there and build a friend group? The worst part is when you do finally find someone you actually like they end up changing careers and moving across the country a few weeks later. C'est la vie.
Pretty much every adult will tell you that it's hard to make (& keep!) friends post-college. But why?
Top reasons making a BFF in adulthood is so freaking challenging:
1. We have other responsibilities that must come first (Unless we want to be evicted):
Let's address the biggest barrier that comes to building friendships as an adult - responsibilities! Ugh. You may wish to spend every hour of every day with your friends but unfortunately nobody is paying you to do so. When we do finally have the time and money to do something social, we usually just want to unwind alone with a glass of wine and our favorite binge-worthy tv show. No shame in the game, you've worked your a** off! However, if this ends up being your only pastime the chances of having a good friendship in adulthood is minimal at best.
2. Our society isn't about it:
Sad but true! Have you ever been asked at Thanksgiving Dinner if you're planning on making any new friends? No! But I'm sure you can recall multiple times you've been asked about updates regarding your love life. & going even further, if you do have a good friend and you're NOT dating them it's amazing how quickly rumors spread about your "friendship" - as if there's no way any adult would spend that much time with someone unless they were romantically involved. Friendship in our society is geared towards children and college students, after that you're on your own (and possibly even "weird" for putting friends over other areas in your life.)
3. We're Set In Our Ways
Friendship, like romantic relationships, involves giving and taking. It also sometimes means having to be flexible or listen to someone else's opinion. Let's be real, if we wanted to hear everyones opinion on everything we would just log on to Facebook! We have our routines and we know what we like - if someone doesn't feel the same way then why waste our very limited time trying to please them? Most of us just don't want to add any more stress or opinions to our lives so we settle for old or few friendships.
4. We Look At The Past With Rose Colored Glasses
Everyone talks about their friendships during their elementary school days as if they were so popular. "It was so easy to make friends on the playground!" Well, yeah! There were only, what? Like forty kids to choose from? You all basically had the same interests, lifestyle, and schedule. Of course it was easy! Same goes for high school and college. Most people around you probably had a similar upbringing, financial situation, and interests - at the very least you were rooting for the same football team! It's easy to look back and think you had these really amazing, deep friendships in your youthful days. However, how deep were they really if you haven't stayed in touch or have gone separate ways? It was "easy" then because life was easy and there weren't many reasons to have a falling out.
How to go against the norm and make friends anyways:
This sounds cheesy but to have friends you have to be a friend. It's fine to prioritize your responsibilities and put yourself, relationship, and family first. However, if you want to have adult friendships then you must make it a priority somewhere on your list. It's also important to stop comparing the now to the past. If all you do is compare the people you're meeting in present day to your super "fun" college roommates, you're going to be disappointed. Those people might have been awesome, but they're no longer in your life for a reason. Now you have to be open to finding new friendships and giving people a chance to connect with you.
Here's a Few Quick Tips For Making Friends as an Adult:
Prioritize one weekend every month or maybe one day every few weeks to meet new people or hang out with a new friend.
Get in the friending mindset by being more open and social.
Realize that your new friends don't have to replace or overshadow your old ones.
Treat potential friends the way you want them to treat you.
Don't mix your dating & friend life! It's really important to focus on building friendships without adding the stress of dating to the mix.
Be Flexible! & Don't write someone off right away, sometimes the best friendships take you by surprise!
It's hard and it takes time! However, it's totally doable! If you don't want to be friends with your co-workers and are unsure how to get back out there then my Meetup group might be the perfect solution. Everyone in my group is new to town or trying to rebuild a social life. This means we're all looking for friends and socializing doesn't have to be so awkward. Give yourself plenty of time and keep your expectations minimal, you'll be amazed how quickly you find your new BFF!
Join my Meetup group here to make some new friends & take control of your social life!
Follow me on Instagram/TikTok @meetupmacey for more friending tips & to stay in the loop on what's going on around town!