13 Ways to Make Friends as an Adult (And How to Keep Them)

Silas & Grace

A photo of two girls' hands next to each other, and pinky fingers intertwined. It's supposed to represent close adult friends.

It can be so hard to learn how to make friends as an adult.

You meet someone, you think you click, and then they ghost you. Or sometimes the process is just a bit too awkward.

Trust me, I’ve been there so many times.

It’s not like when we were kids where there were no walls up and we could just run up to each other on the playground and ask, “Hey, you wanna play together,” and then suddenly you’re friends. 

Things are complicated now. We have jobs, we’ve had bad experiences which make us wary, and we’ve also built up some bad beliefs about ourselves.

But it doesn’t have to be complicated!

I’ve been traveling full-time since 2016, so I’ve had quite a few experiences of making friends around the world and learning what to avoid as well. It isn’t always easy, but there are methods and things you can do to make it easier.

But first, let’s talk about some good places to find friends and make this a little simpler for you. 🙂


Finding the Right Places to Make Friends

A group of friends sitting on a stairwell, posing for a photo. They look like they're having a good time and hanging out with each other.

One of the best ways I’ve made friends is just knowing where to look. And it’s not as hard as you think!

So here are a few tried, tested, and certified ways for finding places to make friends:

1. Facebook Groups for Your Local Area

I’ve met some of my closest friends on local Facebook groups and here’s how you do it.

Find a Facebook group that’s dedicated to locals (or even non-locals) in your area.

So for instance, you can type in your local town, city, or county, and then look under the groups section and see what’s available. Or you can get more specific and type in the name of the city, town, or county and then add in a specific word like, “artists,” “women,” “locals,” etc.

Then, once you’ve done this, you can join and ask the group if there’s anyone who wants to hang out and get a cup of coffee or go out to eat. Maybe even make it more specific to an interest and say something like, “Hey, I’d love to hang out with anyone who’s into hiking,” and then fill in the rest.

I’ve made two incredible friends this way, so it has definitely been done, no theory here!

2. Small Groups and Other Get-Togethers

This is a great method for anyone and it’s also worked for me.

I have two incredible friends I met in a small group at a local church.

I didn’t even end up staying at that church, but they’re both still my best friends to this day and we talk throughout the month.

But if you don’t go to a church, then other ways you can make friends might be through something called Meetup. It ‘s a good place to find people with similar interests and take part in an outing.


3. Couchsurfing.net

This one sounds weird, but you have to trust me here (and no, you don’t need to sleep on someone’s couch).

Couch Surfing is a site where people post their couch or spare bedroom to stay in for free in different cities or towns around the world. And the cool thing about the people who host free spaces is that they’re already up for making friends. People only host others for free if they want to meet new people and put themselves out there.

So here’s what you do: Check out multiple people’s profiles in your area, see if their bio sounds like someone you would actually want to hang out with, and then message them. 

Say something like, “Hey, I don’t need a couch to sleep on, but I would love to hang out and get to know you! In your profile, I saw that you were into {insert hobby or interest} and had been to {X countries}. You seem like a really cool person, so I’d love to get some coffee and talk!” This is of course an example, so you can change it to work for you.

I’ve made a very good friend in Norway like this, and I know that it can be done elsewhere too!

4. Specifically take Classes at a Gym

Yes, you could get a gym membership, show up everyday to workout, and hope that you’ll start talking to someone.

But I think it would be better if you took an actual fitness class that your gym offers. Here’s why!

You and the people in your class are all working on something specific, so you have one point you can already relate on.

So maybe after one of the sessions, you start talking to another person in the group and ask them what they think of the class or how they’ve been feeling when doing it.

It’s a small way to start a connection, but either you will strike up a good conversation right then, or it will be the starting point of a potential friendship later on.

5. Sign Up for a Class or Workshop

I feel like this one is a bit cliche, but it does need to be said.

Classes and workshops are a genuinely good place to make friends.

Just like with the gym class ideas above, you are all working on something together, which gives you common ground.

And it also gives you a good jumping off point for a conversation with someone. If you’re both taking part in the same thing, then you can both talk about your individual experiences.

Also, if you notice this other person doing great in the class or workshop, compliment them! You don’t necessarily have to start a conversation with them (you can if you want to!), but it does get them feeling good emotions towards you. They’ll remember you next time, and in the end, we all feel good about someone who compliments us!

And then eventually, it might lead to more conversations down the road, and then to a friendship.

6. Parenting Groups

If you have kids, then this one is a great option.

There are groups where parents meet up to discuss strategies, advice, struggles, and so much more.

But it’s also a good place to meet other parents with similar views and maybe see if they want to hang out.

Or, if you’re nervous, you could first suggest a play date where you guys will have an excuse to talk and get to know each other.

Parenting groups could potentially be found on Facebook groups, or just simply typing into Google, “Parenting groups near me.”


How to Make Friends as an Adult

Two woman friends, sitting by each other, smiling and having a good time. One is helping the other tie the scarf on her head up properly.

I want to introduce something I call, “The Friend Flow.”

Instead of staying in or doing the normal things you do that aren’t putting you in the way of friends, you are going to find as MANY things as you can that puts you in the flow of constantly meeting new people. And these new people might become potential friends.

It’s easy to say, “Well, I just have a hard time making friends,” which can definitely be true. But sometimes, we’re not always doing everything we can to put ourselves in a place where friendship can happen.

So putting yourself into The Friend Flow is going to make it so that you’re more likely to meet people and build good friendships.

And down below are some great ways you can do just that! 🙂

1. Get Rid of Any Lies That Say You’re Not Worthy of Connection

Another important thing you can do is get rid of anything that tells you that you’re not worthy of good friends or that people are unsafe.

We all come from different backgrounds, and some more sad than others. Parents and others around us growing up shape and mold our beliefs about ourselves. And because of this, it’s up to us to change anything that doesn’t serve us.

So think about the kind of negative beliefs you have about yourself and others and then start speaking positive affirmations. Change the way you think and act and suddenly, your life and the people who are in it are going to look a lot different pretty soon. 🙂

2. Know That It’s Going to Be Awkward Sometimes… And That’s Ok

I think one of the best things you can do is to know that yes, it’s probably gonna be awkward, and then choose not to care.

Like yes, it’s gonna happen, and you don’t need to be scared of it. Just embrace it; it is what it is. And once you get past that hurdle, then I think putting yourself out there and making friends is going to be a lot easier.

You’re going to get rid of that unnecessary stress and be a lot more relaxed when it comes to making friends.

3. Make It About Them

When I met my good friend Ana at a small group meeting, I complimented her on being so outgoing. It really did impress me. 

And what she told me made me change how I treated others. She said to me that she had struggled with social anxiety for a long time, but when she decided to make it about the other person, it took the focus off herself and her fears and made it about them.

When you’re not so focused on your feelings, but you’re more focused on how the other person is feeling and making them feel comfortable, then things can flow a lot more smoothly.


4. Be the Confident Version of Yourself

I used to struggle a lot with social anxiety like the friend I talked about earlier, but here’s one thing that helped me out immensely.

I kept on asking myself, “What would the main character me do?” Or way back in 2013, I would ask myself, “What would the Facebook me do?” 

I noticed that I was a lot more outgoing on Facebook, so I decided to get myself into that mindset when I was going to a party and meeting new people for the first time.

It worked and I made new friends, simple as that. 🙂

5. Compliment Them

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

This is honestly so true. I can’t count the amount of times someone said or did something that made me either feel really good or really bad, and that’s what I remembered.

I think one of the most important things you can do when it comes to making friends is to do anything you can to make them feel good. And giving them compliments is a great way to do this.

Also, when you (genuinely) compliment someone, I’ve also found that it can open things up for a real conversation. They might start talking about the thing you complimented them on and they’re going to be a lot more at ease with you. They’ll see you as a good kind person and want to get to know you more. 🙂

6. Push Through the Awkward First Meeting and Get to the Next One

I know I already talked about being comfortable with the possibility of awkward.

But here’s what I mean with this tip: even if things don’t go smoothly or you’re not so sure about this person, try hanging out with them a second or third time.

People have their guard up the first time you meet, you don’t get to see all of them. They’re feeling uncomfortable too!

So just make sure to ask them to meet up again and set a date and place. I’ve found that I’ve made great friends doing this, so I promise you, it really does work!

7. Listen to Their Interests and Take Note

Another good way I’ve solidified a good friendship was to simply listen to their interests and make the second meeting about that.

So for instance, I had some friends who mentioned that they liked Asian food, so my husband and I offered to meet up with them at a really good dim sum restaurant for Lunar New Year (a few days later). 

Basically, you get the next meeting in, plus you’re making it about them and making them want to get to know you better and be excited for the next meeting.


8. Push Interactions Outside of Your Comfort Zone

If you’re already having a conversation with someone, maybe a person you met at a coffee shop or a neighbor, and you see that you have a similar interest (or they just seem really nice), take it further.

Invite them to hang out. Do it on a whim and don’t overthink it!

That’s how I made good friends with a LARGE group in college!

Here’s how it happened:

  1. I was getting tea at the college campus cafe.
  2. While putting some sugar in my tea, another girl who was also getting a drink asked me my name, talked to me for a bit, then said, “Hey, do you want to hang out with us?”
  3. I hung out with them; they were all very easy going and good people.
  4. Then later on, multiple people in that group introduced me to other friend groups they were apart of, and then suddenly I had friends all around the campus! 😂 

But it all started with one person deciding to get out of their comfort zone and asking me to hang out.

Now imagine how many friends you could potentially meet by getting uncomfortable and asking an uncomfortable question!

9. Get Rid of Any Negative Beliefs You Have About Others

This one right here is SO important.

Because of the bad experiences you and I have had over the years, whether from our own family or bad friends, we’ve started to build up bad beliefs about others.

We make assumptions that other people aren’t safe to get close to, or we judge them for something they really aren’t doing.

And one of the best things you can do is to figure out the bad lies you have surrounding making friends and other people in general.

Find out where these beliefs came from. Did you mom, dad, or a bad friend teach you that connection wasn’t safe?

Then once you’ve figured out these bad thought patterns, take time to think about the good things you want to believe instead, and start replacing those old thoughts with good new ones. 

This is so important to do because if you don’t get rid of them, you’ll end up making friends with someone, and then subconsciously start doing things to push them away. I’ve been there before and it’s a horrible feeling!

Side Note: If this is very hard for you to overcome, then it might be a good idea to see a counselor. They can help!


10.  Try New Activities That Get You Out of Your Comfort Zone

Look at different groups in your area. Are there activities or things you’ve never done before?

Push yourself to get into something new. This isn’t just a good way to grow yourself as a person (which is also a great thing!), but it’s also expanding your horizons when it comes to making friends.

You’re widening that, “Friend Flow,” I discussed earlier.

11. Saying Yes Even When You’re Unsure

If someone asks you to hang out, just say yes.

Go for it.

If the other person ends up not being someone you like, then it’s fine. You don’t have to hang out with them again.

Or if a family member, or someone you’re already friends with, asks you if want to attend something, say yes to this too!

This will help expand your opportunities for making adult friends and meet new people.

12. Have a Friend Introduce You to New People

If you already have one friend where you live, then let them know that you’d like to make more friends.

Be open and honest with them.

Then ask them if they’d be willing to set up a get-together between you, them, and maybe one or two other people. Keep it small so it’s not overwhelming.

I feel like this can be an easier way of making friends since you and this new person have something in common; you’re both mutual friends with the person that set up the date.

Also, your friend can be the helping hand you need to make conversation flow.


13. Being Patient

I just want you to know that it’s ok if a friendship doesn’t happen right away.

This isn’t something you have to hate yourself for.

You’re a beautiful and good person, and the right people are going to find you. It’s going to happen if you keep on putting yourself out there.

You will figure it out.

I guess think of it this way. Let’s say you’re working on making a really complicated French recipe. I know that sounds random, but sometimes they can take a LONG time to make (because they have a lot of steps), but the end results are incredible!

So you’re making this recipe, you’re putting a lot of hard work and time into it, you put it in the oven, and then the final step begins. Waiting for it to finish cooking.

Would you, after all of your hard work, take that recipe out of the oven too early? Yes, it can be hard to wait longer, but you actually want to enjoy the beautiful thing you created.

It’s the same thing with friends. You don’t want to rush into a friendship with someone that seems like they might be toxic. But you also don’t want to give up because the right people haven’t shown up just yet.

Take your time, know that it will happen, and know that you’re a good person and you’re worthy of good friends. ❤️ 

How to Keep Friends

Two friends that are girls, with their arms raised up and pressing their hands together.

Now that you know some ways to make friends, it’s important to learn how to actually keep them for the long haul. Because that’s why we’re making friends as adults; we want people who we can connect with for the rest of our lives.

1. Make Sure That You’re Not Just Taking

I think we all understand that relationships are about giving and taking, but because we’re humans and humans have needs, it’s so easy to be the taker in the relationship.

And if we have childhood trauma or other bad habits, this makes it more likely that we’ll take a lot more than we give.

So when you enter a friendship, it’s important to remember that you need to make sure that you’re putting the focus on them. Be grateful for where they give to you, show your gratitude, and in turn do the same for them.

Go into a relationship with the mindset of being a mindful giver.

2. Communicate with Them

One of the best ways for a relationship to die is to not communicate.

Or communicate after you’ve held in strong emotions for way too long. Because by that point, you’ve built up enough resentment and will probably say something you’ll regret.

So make a commitment in the beginning that you both will communicate when something comes up that bothers either of you.

Don’t build up stories in your head that say, “Well, they must have done this thing because they don’t like me,” or other negative thoughts and emotions.

Just communicate with them in a healthy way. A way that you would want them to communicate to you if the roles were reversed.


3. Make Time for Your Friends

Remember, relationships aren’t just about you.

And I’m not saying that you should just always do whatever your friends want or need and forget about self-care.

What I am saying is that it’s a great idea to make sure you’re being mindful to make time for them.

If they ask you if you want to hang out next week and you’re unsure, figure it out and see if you can move things around in your schedule.

And if you can, then go for it! I know it’s easy to be a bit introverted or feel like we never have enough time. But when we do make the time for our friends and grow in our connection, we usually don’t regret it. In fact, we normally have a great time and make wonderful memories.

4. Learn How to Categorize Friends

Sometimes when we’re building up our community of friendships and connections, it’s easy to get confused with how to handle certain people.

Maybe one friend is super fun to be around, but they always arrives around 1-2 hour late.

Or maybe another friend is very pleasant to hang out with, but they aren’t the best at giving life advice.

Not everyone is going to be the perfect friend that we need. Someone who is thoughtful of our time, helps us with solutions, and is always there for us in the ways we need it.

And instead of cutting people off right away, you might want to consider categorizing them and understanding how to deal with them.

So for that friend who is always late, you can put her in the category of friends who you like to hang out with, but will probably hang out with a bit less than others. That way you’re not trying to figure out how to make your time with her work each week.

Or for the friend who isn’t the best at giving advice for life circumstances, she’s just a friend who you hang out with and have fun. You don’t go to her for solutions, you find other friends who can fit that role.

In the end, you just need to learn how to be grateful for the good aspects of certain people, be patient, and find those who you can really connect with on a deeper level.


Why It’s Important to Make Friends as an Adult

Two girls sitting on a blanket out in a field with some grass, flowers, and trees. One is looking at a book and they both have some chocolate covered strawberries. They're laughing about something and having a good time.

Before I get into how to keep friends as an adult, I think it’s important to understand why you need friends as an adult.

1. You Live Longer

It was found in the Australian Longitudinal Study of Aging, that you were more likely to outlive others if you had a lot of close friendships. So even if you had close relationships with children and other relatives, or just a small amount of friends, that didn’t make a lot of difference.

So in the end, it’s necessary to seek out a wide community of people who help you grow as a person, but also where you can find deep and meaningful connections. And when you do, your health will benefit!

2. You’re Not Alone in Your Thoughts

I’ve always struggled with staying in my head and allowing my concerns and emotions to get out of control.

But it’s kind of crazy when you talk to someone, open up to them about what’s going on inside your head, and then suddenly, those beliefs or ideas don’t seem as big. 

When you have someone to listen to and process out loud, you can start understanding where you might not be seeing things right and find solutions to your problems.

Plus, your friends can help you out with those solutions!

They can offer you ideas and perspectives you would never have thought about. 

3. Friends Help Us During Hard Times

Going through hard times is already difficult, but what makes it harder is when we’re alone and we start dealing with self hate.

Or we just sit in our emotions and don’t do anything to help our mental or physical health.

But friends are such a great way of getting through hard times.

They listen to you, they get you out of your head, they encourage you, and they offer advice if they’ve been through the same thing.

It’s so important to surround ourselves with a community of good people so that we can heal so much faster.


4. They Keep Us Grounded to Our Values

I think it’s really easy in life, as different things happen to us, good and bad, to sometimes lose sight of our core values. The values we have grounded ourselves in that make us better people. Things like patience, humility, compassion, or even courage.

If we’re filling up our lives with people who have similar values to us, then they can see when we’re not being the person we should be. And then they can encourage us to get back to where we were. They help remind us to continue in the things that have helped us before and have made us better people.

Sometimes we just need friends to keep us grounded no matter what we go through in life.

5. Friends Make You Aware of Things That Need to Change

When you’re not connected with anyone, it’s so easy to be completely unaware of the bad habits or beliefs that need to change.

We often get into a place where we think, “Well this is just how I am.” But it’s not true, you are not your bad habits or thoughts. 

Bad habits and beliefs are changeable, they are not apart of you. They are something you can take off like an old piece of clothing that should have been thrown away years ago.

And good friends who communicate with us in a healthy way, show us things we might not have been aware of.

Then as we get rid of and work on the bad habits and thoughts we’ve allowed into our lives, we can start making even more friends. Because these new friends might have been people who wouldn’t have wanted to connect with us because of the problems we had.


Making Friends as an Adult FAQ’s

Two girls sitting side by side watching the sunset. Their backs are to the camera and the setting sun can be seen in between them.

Now if there are other questions that have been bothering you when it comes to making friends, then let’s cover them!

Here are some frequently asked questions when it comes to making friends as an adult.

1. How Do Introverts Make Friends as Adults?

I know that it can be hard to make friends if you’re introverted, but here are some ways you can start!

  • Find groups online, your campus, church, or other space that have the same interest as you. So do you like to read books? Find a book club and be on the lookout for someone in the group who seems to have similar interests or thoughts as you. Virtual classes for things like crafts or movie clubs might also be a good option too!
  • Try one new thing. Challenge yourself this month to try one new hobby or activity. This could be in a group setting or by yourself where you have the chance to meet new people. So maybe you sign up for art lessons this month or cooking classes. It doesn’t have to be something that intimidates you, you just need one thing to go after.
  • Try focusing on the other person. I know I talked about this above, but if you feel that you deal with social anxiety (or something similar), one of the best ways to feel less uncomfortable in a social interaction is to focus on the other person. Focus on making them feel comfortable and ask them questions about themselves. You might find that they’re struggling with the same thing as you!
  • Change one thing in your weekly behavior. Here’s what I mean. If you normally head straight out of your class, you might want to stop and talk to that person whom you share similar opinions with in that course. Or if you usually go to a coffee house and sit alone, find someone who you might see there regularly, and strike up a conversation with them. I know it can be uncomfortable, but just try choosing one new behavior that could put you in the way of making friends.

2. Why Can’t I Keep Any Friends?

There could be two reasons for this:

  1. You might be dealing with bad beliefs you’ve built up over the years. So if you have thoughts and beliefs that say, “I can’t keep friends, I always lose them,” or “People just don’t really like me,” you might end up doing actions that prove those beliefs right. It’s something called self-sabotage and you might be ruining friendships or potential friendships by thinking these things. So the best thing you can do is to start taking on new beliefs. Speak positive affirmations over yourself and start believing the truth that you are worthy of good friendships and you can keep them. And if a person leaves you, that doesn’t have to be your fault.
  2. There might be some bad habits that you have. Just like the bad beliefs, bad habits can also push people away. So if you’re always one or two hours late to a date with your friend, you’re showing them that you believe your time is more important than their’s. Now you might not be thinking that, but your actions make them feel this way. Or you could just be someone who is extremely negative and focuses a lot on the bad. This can also push a lot of people away. And for this, you might want to figure out why you’re focusing on the negative so often. Then you can make changes to become a more positive person, or change the things in your life that are making you feel negative.

In the end, don’t think of yourself as a bad person. You’re a good person with some things to fix. And when those things are fixed, you’ll find that you can keep friends a lot more easily.


3. How Do I Make Friends After 25?

There are so many questions online that say something like,

  • “Is 27 too old to make new friends?”
  • “Is 22 too late to make new friends?”
  • “How do I make friends after 25?”

It seems that so many of us are concerned that we won’t be able to make friends after a certain age. So let’s fix that.

You can make friends at ANY age.

I didn’t have best friends until I hit the age of 26. It just happened and I was in the right place at the right time.

And I’ve even heard other people say that they didn’t make their close friends until they were 30.

Essentially, if you’re doing the steps and advice I give above, it doesn’t matter if you’re 22 or 75, you will find people you can connect with. I promise!

You’re not alone in this; so many other people are thinking the exact same thing as you. 

So in the end, don’t feel discouraged, just take the healthy steps you need to make adult friends.

4. How Can a Lonely Person Make Friends?

If you’re going through lonely times, then here are some ways you can make friends.

  • Reach out to a friend you haven’t talked to in awhile. Sometimes we have people who we’re super close to, then because of different life circumstances, we fall out of touch and move on with our lives. And I just want to let you know that it’s ok to reach out to them. It’s not weird, you both have a shared past and memories. Just make sure to make it about them, see what they’re up to in their life, and then as the conversation progresses, you can suggest hanging out. Maybe say something like, “Hey, I’m really loving our conversation, is there a time where we could just meet up to continue this in person?”
  • Find groups that are meeting to do things that make you feel comfortable. Is there something you like to do that makes you feel good? So things like reading, hiking, cooking, painting, or even swimming. Find groups that center around something that you’re already comfortable doing so that it’s a bit less awkward when trying to meet new people. Sometimes, paring a new hobby that you’re not used to, with meeting new friends can make it a lot more stressful.
  • Don’t focus on making this relationship work out of a place of fear. When you’re lonely, it’s easy to get desperate to make friends, and people can see and sense that. And sadly, that can make them feel uncomfortable. So make sure that when you’re going into an interaction with a person, you’re not doing it out of a place of lack or fear. Say to yourself, “If this doesn’t work out, that’s fine. I can always find someone to connect with in the future.” This way you’re not focused on the fear of missing out on friendship, and you can then put your focus on getting to know this new person.

I really hope these tips on how to make friends as an adult helped you out.

There were a lot of ideas and questions answered, so I’m hoping you’re not too overwhelmed! 😅

Also, just remember, you deserve good friends and you can make new friends!

You’ve got this!

PS – If you also want to learn good questions to ask on a first date, then you’ll like these ideas. 🙂

Featured Wellness

Silas & Grace

Chasing Foxes was started in 2016 as a way for Grace and her husband, Silas, to start traveling. However, they started to realize that they had a passion for improving themselves, and wanted to help others level up their lives as well. So whether it's with cooking, travel, or staying healthy, they want to help you better your life bit by bit, as they do the same.

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