Yes, we are run an online dating app, but online dating is not all that is to life! You better have something interesting to talk about on that first date and having a healthy social life contributes to it a lot. After all, the pictures you share on an online dating app better show some of the social activities you enjoy to create a better portrait of who you are. Well, unless you are a Dr., then you can just be boring and get a pass!
It is not only you, believe me, adulthood has a way of making it harder to find and keep friends. After finishing high school or college, most people don’t spend large amounts of time around their peers anymore, and as a result, it’s common for people to find their social circles dwindling throughout their 20s, 30s, and beyond. If you aren’t happy with your social life, there are plenty of ways to meet new people as an adult. Here are some ideas that can help you make new friends and improve the relationships you already have.
- Try new social activities alone
To make new friends, you’ve got to talk to new people. One good way to do this is to step outside your comfort zone and try something you’ve always wanted to do, like taking a trip by yourself or volunteering in your community. Try social dancing like any Spanish dancing if you like a fun activity which can also replace your cardio workouts at the gym. I know many people who have found amazing new friends and even their significant other through dancing. You can also try new sports, like martial arts, self-defense classes or get fancy and try fencing! But the trick is to try these alone. Don’t try to take someone with you just because you are scared of looking like a loner, you won’t, believe me. Any activity that lets you mingle with strangers is a potential way to meet new friends.
- Look for common grounds with others.
When you chat with someone new, try to find something you have in common with them. Ask them about their other social activities. This is an easy way to create rapport, and finding common ground helps you keep a conversation going more easily. You can connect with people over almost anything – for instance, maybe you’re from the same state, you both enjoy similar music, or you work in the same industry or enjoy a certain type of art or sports.
- Extend a low-pressure invitation.
If you want to befriend someone, ask them to go somewhere or do something with you. If you already found something that you both enjoy like watching certain sports or going to a certain concert just ask them to go to the concert together. Keep it casual, and don’t pressure the other person to say yes. This is an effective tactic because it lets you gauge the other person’s interest in getting to know you while giving the other person an easy out if they aren’t interested in becoming friends. However, let’s not confuse dating and friendship, if you are interested in someone as a potential date just be upfront about it and ask them out directly.
- Be giving.
A good way to deepen your relationships is to show other people that you care about them. To do this, look at how you can add value to your friends’ and acquaintances’ lives. Don’t measure this in terms of monetary value – your time and emotional support are often worth more to the people around you. Something as small as bringing your coworker a cup of tea when she’s upset or offering to watch your yoga buddy’s dog while she’s out of town will make a big impression on others. Just be careful not to let people take advantage of you, since healthy relationships require both people to contribute.
- Stay in touch.
Most of the time, friendships don’t end with a dramatic fight – they just fizzle out quietly when both friends stop making time for each other. It takes some work to prevent this from happening, especially if you’re busy, but preserving strong friendships is worth the hassle. A good rule of thumb is to contact your friends at least once every two weeks, even if you’re only sending a quick text to say hi. Of course, spending time together in person is even better.
- Revive old friendships.
If you’re like most people, you’ve fallen out of touch with a few friends over the years. Chances are, those people haven’t forgotten about you, and they’d welcome the chance to talk to you again. Even if they’ve changed or moved on since you last spoke, you can’t lose anything by picking up the phone or sending them an email. Don’t assume they would have already contacted you if they wanted to talk, either. Making the first move is hard, so most people wait for someone else to do it, don’t be most people.
The quality of your friendships has a big impact on your overall well-being and personality. Being good socially also requires some practice like any other activity. So don’t neglect your social life as you navigate adulthood. You might even have to make it part of your weekly schedule to actively look to expand your social circle. If making new friends is hard for you, keep in mind that plenty of other people wish they had more friends, too. You might be surprised at how well-received you are when you start reaching out to others.