How to Make New Friends as an Adult
It wasn’t THAT far in the distant past that making new friends seemed as easy as can be. In school, it felt a lot more seamless to build those strong, strong bonds with gals you’d stay up with all night talking to. But, as we get older life kind of shifts, and it’s not so easy to make new friends as a 20-something, 30-something and beyond. We begin our career, travel for work and pleasure, fall in love, maybe move in with a partner, start companies, grow side hustles, and even grow babies. Life gets busy, and when that’s the case, making solid friendships with new people really ain’t all that easy.
IN A NEW CITY
Earlier this year we packed up and moved ‘cross country to Austin. I left behind 6+ years of friendships I cultivated in NYC for a blank slate in a brand new city. The first few months in Austin were definitely a challenge, since I felt like most of my time was spent unpacking and furnishing our apartment. And as great as the #workfromhome life can be, it certainly doesn’t making finding new friends any easier. I’ve been really lucky to meet amazing people at industry and work events, but sometimes I miss those bestie days where you’d just chill at home, watch a movie, make popcorn, and laugh until your cheeks hurt.
WHEN YOU’RE IN A RELATIONSHIP
This is the reality - when you’re coupled up, you tend to get comfortable with that person and not feel the same need to go out all the time and make tons of new friends because your partner IS your best friend. When Andrew and I first moved to Austin, I didn’t feel the same urgency to surround myself with a whole new crew because he and I were having an amazing time together, exploring the city, setting up our new space, and I felt happy about that and the small budding friendships I had.
WHEN YOU WORK LONG-ASS HOURS
I’m all for doing what you and loving what you do, but you gotta draw those lines and sometimes choose to rank your social life a few steps higher than your desire to Netflix and chill. I know, I know…. Work can be draining. And I get it - when you’re in meetings all day long, it’s tempting to want to turn it off and be alone. Especially if you’re more of an introvert who requires alone time to recharge.
Any of the above sound like you too? Well, I’ve compiled 5 actionable tips after living in Austin for several months. So, keep reading.
Six months later, I’m happy to say I’ve started to build really beautiful friendships with some new gals here in Austin. These tips have personally helped me, and it’s something I constantly have to keep reminding and pushing myself to do. Because at the end of the day, making new friends, getting involved with your community, and exploring deeper conversation is so so so important for your wellbeing.
In the spirit of making new friends, I brought in two lovely friends in Austin, Jennifer Heal and Rachel Holtin, to join me in a fun shoot for Athleta. Athleta is a long-term partner of mine that is all about the Power of She, while also growing their sustainability efforts (most notably, becoming a certified B Corporation!).
Links to our full outfits are below:
We are all 3 wearing the Elation Shimmer Tights which are so darn cool, especially if you’re running from a meeting to the mat - it transitions beautifully.
5 Tips to Foster New Friendships
1. Say YES to the party. While I love a chill eve at home, it’s kinda hard to make friends from your couch. If you get invited to a social gathering with people you might vibe with, say yes! Even if you're cozy in your pjs, your pup is snuggled up next to you, and you’re THIS close to bailing, get out and go. The same holds true for events, meetups, and networking events. Netflix will always be there when you get back.
2. Make the first move. Stop waiting for someone to come ask you to hang. You know when you meet someone you really like and you keep saying, ‘We should get lunch sometime!’ and neither of you ever sets a date? Don't let it fizzle out. If you feel an instant connection, you ask, follow up, set the date. There’s nothing wrong with getting the ball rolling. Be willing to be the one to keep making the effort, invite them to a fun event as your +1, meet at a coffee shop to hang and get work done. Keep hanging out to grow the friendship.
3. Plan an outing or a day trip. Organize a day trip with some girls you'd like to get to know more. I recently went on a day trip to Houston with 3 gals and we shared our entire life stories, talked about every topic under the sun, and it was the most wonderful, refreshing day I’ve had in a long time.
4. Leave your partner at home. Get comfortable with going out on your own, so you don't rely on your partner to talk to. It’s so easy to bring your +1 along and basically use them as a human security blanket so you can stand there and chat among yourselves all night instead of having to chat to people you haven’t met before. Start flying solo at outings and challenging yourself to meet new people.
5. Use social media & technology. Use that technology for good, whether it’s Instagram, Bumble BFF, Meetup, or a Facebook Group for like-minded people (are you a part of the Freelancing Females FB Group?) - you can pop on there as a fun starting point for meeting people. Just remember, technology is not a substitute for human connection, so use this a segue into in real life meet-ups with like-minded peeps.
Does this strike a chord with you? Got anymore tips to share? Leave ‘em in the comments down below!