16 People Who Actually Made New Friends in Adulthood Share How They Did It

If you’ve sought out tips for how to make new friends as an adult, you know the “best practices”: Join a club, pick up a hobby, talk to more strangers, blah, blah, blah. And while this advice is solid on paper, do people actually do those things in real life and end up with new pals as a result?

Between work, personal responsibilities, mental health struggles, and an increasingly disconnected world, chances for new bonds can seem few and far between — let alone deep, meaningful attachments. Everyone’s adulthood is unique, but when I talk about the struggle to make friends as a grown-up, I’m mostly referring to the challenges of finding your people at a time when there aren’t exactly organic opportunities to do so.

These days, if you don’t graduate with a ready-made clique, luck into liking your coworkers or roommates, or have a community-oriented hobby, meeting new people can feel impossible. (Am I projecting a little? Maybe. But I live alone and work from home, and it’s rough out here!)

But I’m happy to report that the standard “put yourself out there” advice can, indeed, pay off. I asked people how they met new (now close) buds in the real world, and their responses gave me hope for the rest of us. From going back to school to sliding into DMs, here are just a few friendship origin stories that prove it’s never too late to find a bestie.

1. “I used Bumble for Friends (BFF) after moving to a new city.”

“I never expected it to work, but I found my best friend through it. The first time we met up, we went for a long dog walk together and just clicked. Now I see her all the time, and we’re going on holiday together in a few weeks. I feel really lucky to have met her, especially since BFF is quite hit and miss, just like a dating app — you end up messaging people for a while but nothing ever comes of it, or if you do eventually meet in person, it doesn’t always translate to a friendship.” —Ellie B., 24

2. “I volunteered at a community garden.”

“Spending time working the soil and planting with other volunteers created a sense of camaraderie. We’ve become good friends, and sometimes we even have garden-to-table dinners together.” —Marianne T., 31

3. “I started going to a yoga class across from my favourite café.”

“I noticed a new girl learning the ropes and gave her some help. We bonded over having golden retrievers, and we became best friends! Neither of us even take the yoga class anymore, but it was a great environment for us to connect.” —Annabelle M., 25

4. “I joined a Dungeons & Dragons group.”

“A longtime friend and I were running a D&D table at a local comic shop, and our new friend arrived one day interested in learning how to play and wanting to watch. They joined our weekly playgroup, and soon we were hanging out after games and being homies.” —Ryan M., 36

5. “I tap into what I know makes me happy.”

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Courtesy of Grace Rebecca Mecha


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