Making new friends is hard. If you’re fortunate enough to meet someone you like, you have to put the time in like it’s a relationship. There’s the whole getting to know you process, which involves play dates, going out together for the sole purpose of creating memories and ushering them into your social circle. It’s a job you have to be willing to take on because it’s a major commitment.
Remember when making friends was easy though? In high school and college, we existed in cocoons and meeting new people and forming long-lasting friendships was expected. That was our job, to meet the people who would impact our lives forever. When you graduate college though, making new friends becomes harder and harder. Without having a built-in environment and a guaranteed space where you will see people every day, you’re living la vida solo star. One of the things I missed the most about college once I graduated (and I didn’t miss much) was that guarantee I’m going to see a few of my friends on campus every day.
So how does one make new friends after you graduate? Once you get swallowed up in a 9-to-5, you’ll barely find time for the friends you already have, let alone new ones, but listen! One can never have enough friends in the world, okay? And we all have moments when we feel unsatisfied by our social life and want to meet more people. So here are your options:
Try to make friends with people from your work. I understand this might be impossible but if there’s one person who might have friend potential, latch on to them. Fact: You spend more time with people from your job than anyone else so try to make it as harmonious as possible.
Don’t turn any social engagement down, even if it sounds revolting. You never know who you might meet. You might get lucky and score with someone who’s a social connector! When I graduated college, my social life was in an awkward spot but then I became close to a friend of a friend who introduced me to his amazing social circle. It was like instant social life makeover. I had been gifted five new BFF’s just by meeting one. Sometimes all it takes is meeting that one new friend and then it’s a domino affect.
Be aggressive. When I first moved to San Francisco for college, I whored myself out socially. I WAS that bugaboo making plans with you after our first meeting. I had to! Friends weren’t just going to fall into my lap. I had to work for them! Similarly, when I moved to New York I had to put my social hustle on. “OMG, you’re having a party in BedStuy? Can I come? No, seriously, I have no plans. Invite me.” Being shy isn’t going to get you anywhere besides on your Facebook on a Saturday night.
Stalk people on Facebook and Twitter who you think are cool and try to meet them IRL. This might not work and they might think you’re weird but whatever. You’re desperado. You gotta do what you gotta do.
Sometimes I wonder when I’ll meet the last best friend of my life. Can I make one when I’m 40? Does that happen? Can we start our story with “I’ve known him since we were 40 years old!” I think so. I think we can do whatever we want. You can never have enough friends in this lonely world. Start making more.
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