Once you leave school, it can feel a little harder to meet people you might want to hang out with socially. Don't stress, though. It's actually all about knowing where to make friends as an adult. You've already got the skills; you just need to go to the right places. Your new friends are out there waiting.
1. Become a Regular at the Coffee Shop
If you love your morning latte, start getting it at the local coffee shop at about the same time every day. Not only will the barista learn your name and your order, you'll also run into people who have the same routine. If you sit there to drink it, you might just strike up a conversation with others and eventually become friends. (Bonus: The coffee shop route is a good place to make friends whether you're new in town or have been there for years.)
2. Take a Class That Interests You
Do you love pottery or Thai cooking? Photography or line dancing? Get better at your chosen interest and meet new friends at the same time by taking a class. Because you're already both interested in the same thing, you have a solid basis for forming a friendship.
3. Go to the Flea Market
This might seem like a surprising place to meet friends, but a flea market is actually a really social event. From negotiating on prices with vendors to chatting with other shoppers about their finds, it's all about mixing it up with people who like the hunt for unique items just as much as you do.
4. Talk to People When You're Standing in Line
Remember how it was before everyone had a phone? Instead of pulling out their device, people would chat a little while they stood in line at the store. Next time you're waiting, whether it's in a line or a waiting room, make conversation with other people. You might just meet someone cool.
5. Volunteer Locally
Helping out in your community can have the added benefit of putting you in touch with people who have similar values and interests to yours. Whether it's sorting produce at the food bank or reading to seniors in a care center, local volunteering opportunities are a great way to meet friends.
6. Join a Club for Your Hobby or Art
If there's something you love doing in your free time, this is where to make friends too. Join a club connected to your interest. There are clubs for everything from rock hunting to rollerskating, and you can meet people who love the same thing you do. That means instant connection and plenty to talk about.
If you love a particular sport, join a community team or a fan club. Everyone there will already be into what you enjoy!
7. Say Yes to Parties and Get-Togethers
We get it; going to a party might not always be the way you want to spend your evening. The thing is, parties are actually one of the best places to make friends as an adult. You'll meet friends of the host, and you will already have something in common (the person who invited you).
8. Use Your Social Media to Meet Local Friends
Online friends are real friends, no matter where they live. But you can actually meet people in person by using your social media to connect with locals. You can post about wanting to get together with people or drop into someone's DM with a request to meet for coffee. Either way, you already know this person on some level, so it's easy to turn it into an in-person friendship.
9. Go to Meetings That Reflect Your Values
If you have a faith that's important to you, go to spiritual services and meetings surrounding that. Whether or not you're religious, attend meetings about environmental or social issues that matter to you. People at these meetings will already share your values, which is a solid basis for starting a friendship.
10. Eat Outside at Restaurants
When the weather is halfway decent, take your coffee or meal onto the patio at restaurants instead of eating inside. Even better if the restaurant has a patio by the sidewalk where passers-by can chat with you too. You don't have to talk to everyone you see or anything, but the possibility is there. It's all about making yourself available for conversation.
If you have a dog that's well-trained, bring your pooch along for patio meals. Everyone loves to stop and admire a dog, so your pet can make a great conversation starter.
11. Exercise at Parks & Rec Centers Instead of Your Basement Gym
Similarly, instead of heading to the basement to use your treadmill, go to a park or rec center in your town. You don't have to strike up a conversation with everybody, but you're there to talk and get to know them if it feels right. You're maximizing your chances of making friends by being in places where people happen to be.
12. Walk in Your Neighborhood and Chat With Neighbors
Take an evening stroll in your own neighborhood every now and then (or make it a nightly habit). The place you live is actually a really good place to make friends because you already have some things in common. Wave to people and say hi, and stop to chat with your neighbors if they're outside.
Make Friends by Getting Out in Your Community
Knowing where to make friends mostly comes down to finding places that put you out in the community. The more you leave your house and engage with other people, whether that's in line at the grocery store or at a local park, the more people you'll actually get to know. Some of those people are going to be friend material!