How Do You Make Friends As An Adult?

For many children making friends is remarkably easy. However, adults often find it more challenging. How do you make friends as an adult?

Children are not picky about their friends. Thus, another child, say, at the park, or in the grocery store aisle, just might be your new friend.

However, as you age and learn more about yourself as a person, you become more selective regarding your friends. They need to share an interest or two with you. Their personality needs to be compatible with yours. You have to be able to find a common schedule, which is not always easy.

Moreover, the social opportunities available to meet potential friends may shrink as well. Rather than attending school with dozens or even hundreds of people your own age, you may work in a company with people from drastically different ages and backgrounds.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘How do you think others see you?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘How can we maintain wonder?’


Even if you do meet people, for instance, at a friend’s party. Will you be able to find a common area of interest in the limited amount of time you have together?

Another potential problem someone may face in making new friends is that you don’t need any. That is, your social circle may already be as full as you want it to be, so you may not be looking for, or open to, meeting someone new.

All of which can make it harder for an adult to make friends, when compared to a child. How can these problems be overcome? Are there any methods you have discovered that allow you to make friends as an adult?

Related questions: What qualities do you look for in a friend? Can an Internet friend be a true companion? Would you be friends with yourself? What fictional character would you like to befriend?

3 thoughts on “How Do You Make Friends As An Adult?”

  1. Wow! This question’s context does a fantastic job of outlining why it is so difficult to make friends as an adult. Bravo!

    Now, how to overcome such obstacles? First, someone needs to be open to finding friends and creating or joining opportunities for that to happen. Specifically, I think the most crucial factor in finding new friends is providing a way to share a common experience. For example, joining a book or garden club combines shared interest with an inevitable accumulation of time spent talking about or engaging in that interest together. And, as you are in the market for new friends, you may decide to put yourself out there more: Why is gardening so important to you? Or, how did a particular book force you to explore your life more? Sharing something about yourself provides an opportunity for someone also interested in making friends the chance to say “Yes” to you and, perhaps, a shared interest.

    Another interesting idea from a former colleague was creating a personal board of directors — things she needed or wanted in her life. I’m pretty sure she was sharing the idea somewhat tongue in cheek, as I was “called on” to be her “person who asks interesting questions” board member, but she never asked me to share my inquisitive nature again. Maybe the board did not approve of adding a new member. Ha! Ha! All the same, the idea is a good way for a person to explore the types of friends they want/need in their life. While you may never actually call a “board meeting,” it could force a person to actively pursue those wants/needs by putting themselves in situations that play to filling their gaps. Again, using the garden club as an interest, you may be interested in learning about the topic and seek out a specific person in the club to assist you in the learning. You put yourself out there. They accept. The ingredients of a friendship are gathered.

  2. As one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, making friends is remarkably easy. In fact, I can go to any congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, anywhere in the world and have instant friends, including the love and support that goes along with friendship! I consider it a privilege to have true friends with a variety of backgrounds, cultures and ages!

  3. I never had much luck making friends, but it may come down to my definition of friendship. After all, there are intimate friends, with whom I can discuss private/difficult topics, and acquaintance friends, with whom I can enjoy fun times but would not feel comfortable over-sharing.

    That means: I have one lifelong friend I feel qualifies as “intimate.”

    For acquaintance friends, I now, in my 60s, have more than I’ve ever had. Kids being grown up helped. Moving from a rural home of 20 years to a populous suburb helped. Meetup helped. Mentoring a high school robotics club helped (though I did that at our rural location and it didn’t help then).

    Still, I’d be very happy to develop one more intimate friendship, if it was possible. At least my spouse qualifies as a second one. But a third, outside of home, would be very valuable to me.

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