The older you get, the smaller your girlfriend pool gets. Not that it was ever huge, to begin with, right? You’ve all moved to different cities, some have gotten hitched, or you all just grew apart over time. Even though you’re older now, you probably haven’t lost the urge to go out and have a drink or five. It gets hard though to scrape up a drinking buddy when you only have a handful of friends (and two fingers left over). Making friends when you’re over twenty-one when you meet most of your friends in the girl’s bathroom at the club, gets tough. Whether you’re looking for a new best friend or just a drinking partner, here are a few guidelines to follow when making new adult friends:
1. Be Honest
Keep it real from the jump. Let your potential gf know from day one exactly what you expect. If you want a best friend replacement cause yours moved away (which is rude), then say that. Or if you want a low-maintenance friend that you only link up with on the weekends, then tell her. Whatever floats your boat. It’s way better to give her a disclaimer when you first meet, so that there are no unrealistic expectations later down the line.
2. Show Interest
If you want to get paid for the job, you gotta show up to work. It’s not enough to just say “Hey, let’s be friends!” You have to do the dirty work too. Respond to her texts, find out what she likes to do for fun, allow her to be herself. Also, be a woman of your word. If you make plans to hang out, don’t be a flake and blow them off. And when you are spending quality time with your new friend, don’t post everything on your Insta-story. Just have fun and be present.
3. Open Up
Friends don’t keep secrets…most of the time. Friendships are based on trust, and you can’t trust someone that you know nothing about. Just like you show an interest in her, allow her to show you the same interest. Share stories about your life, your family, your dog. Share anything you think that will bring you closer together. Don’t tell her your life story the first time y’all hang out, but do open up over time.
4. Group Activities
If your first impression skills blow, then try making it a group-hang. One-on-one interaction gives some people the jitters. If you can’t relax around your new buddy until you’re more comfortable with her, having “buffer friends” helps. Try doing a group activity; go to a workout class, attend a public event, or bring an old friend to hang out too. That way the conversation never gets dull and you can be your true self.
5. No Pressure
If you gotta force it, then it wasn’t meant to be. Nobody likes to feel pressured into a friendship. Friendships happen organically and over time. So if she doesn’t reply to your texts right away, don’t send her an “I know you saw my text” nasty-gram. If she turns down an invite to hang out, don’t block her number and never speak to her again. Just be cool. Believe it or not, people had lives before they met you. They can’t and shouldn’t drop everything for you. If they have something better to do, accept it and move on. Friendships don’t end after one rain-check.
6. Be Yourself
This is key. People can sense when you’re trying to be something you’re not. They don’t wanna be around someone who is trying to fit in because it’s lame and kinda weird. We’re not in middle school anymore, you don’t have to like the same stuff as your friends. If you’re an awkward girl, embrace it. If you’re crazy, be wild. If you’re nerdy, do nerdy shit. Point is, be your amazing self. This saying is cliché but it’s true: “Better to be hated for who you are than loved for who you aren’t.”
Making new friends is hard, hope this makes it easier.