So. Before we get into this post, let’s all take a moment and think of the friends we have, how lucky we are to have them and how much we appreciate them. Good. Because:
Making new friends as an adult is hard. It is a lot like dating.
Not that I would know much about dating as I’ve been out of the game for a loooong time, but it seems to be a good comparison.
When I was younger, back in school, at uni or even at different jobs making new friends happened naturally. There was an endless supply of potential ‘friend candidates’ coming along, of which you could choose from. This is a very simplistic way to put it. I’m aware that there are several factors influencing the whole process in all different kinds of ways. So just a little simplification for the sake of keeping this text easybreasy.
Why is making new friends as an adult complicated?
I read up on it a little and sociologists say that as we get older it is more difficult to meet all the conditions necessary for making new friendships: proximity and repeated interactions to build confidentiality.
Having moved to a new country where I don’t know anybody (no offense Philipp), I find myself in this tricky situation now. I am an adult (sigh) and cannot rely on my usual group of (AMAZING) friends but have to find new ones.
How to make new friends?
So how should I go about making new friends if it is complicated and stuff? Well first, I’ll have to make an effort and maybe consider the following three points when dating potential new friends:
#1 Put yourself out there
Literally go places, talk to people, find opportunities that suit you to meet new people, whether this be a class, a volunteering opportunity, a new hobby etc. This sounds really stupid as it is so simple yet it’s true. Don’t be afraid of what other people might think, you are not alone in this. Especially in my case, as I am waiting for the approval of my work permit, I try and do a lot of volunteer work and I meet super nice people there. Go to events (you might not want to go first), but believe me: when your expectations are (barely) existent, things will turn out so much nicer than you will ever have imagined. And you’ll feel good about it.
#2 Don’t be afraid to make the first move
Once you like someone enough to want them to be your friend don’t be shy out of fear of being rejected. Just ask them if they want to do something, go to the movies or to a great new restaurant. If you don’t try you’ll never know.
#3 It’s ok when things don’t work out with everyone
Good for you. You’ve put yourself out there, invited someone to hang out with you but you somehow feel like things don’t click. It is ok to accept that, there will hopefully be other friends waiting for you.
I hope this little piece made you think about how grateful you can be to have the friends you have, appreciate them! Be nice and bring them cookies or a bunch of flowers or whatever they like. Friends are the most important thing in life!