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When I was ten, twenty even, I remember having so many friends Christmas would drive me to bankruptcy. Friends at work, friends at school, friends in the neighborhood; they were everywhere.

I couldn't even define the feeling of loneliness until I was almost 30. And knowing loneliness isn't actually a bad thing, more people should know that sooner rather than later. Eventually my friend pool dwindled, as does everyone's.

You realize quickly that hanging around on the monkey bars isn't an efficient way to meet new people when you're 40. And monkey bars themselves are a detriment to your back.

It isn't always easy to go out and meet new people, but you have to try. So let's compare strategies.

Redditor u/zehlewe wanted to meet some new people for platonic fun, by asking:

How the hell do you make new friends as an adult?

I myself try to take new classes. I take acting, writing and cardio classes. Well I was, then COVID happened. So my strategy has been on hold for a bit. And I hate ZOOM classes.

Stand by...

Season 5 Thanksgiving GIF by Friends Giphy

"Stand near an extrovert and hope they adopt you."

- Mediocre_Driver_1277

"As an extrovert, you're actually right. Seeing my shy friends have fun with people I introduced them to brings me so much joy."

- Allegutennamenweg

Group Work

"Find a group even if online (since it is a lot tricky going out now). I joined a forum for parenting because I didn't have friends who were parents and I didn't want to talk to relatives about my worries. Apparently, it is not just me looking to find friends! Not everyone became my friend but having at least 1 who I can really trust made a lot of difference."

- NeedyVirgo

Things to Do

"Hobbies. Pursue them and find a local venue for it. Then just talk to people there doing what you're doing."

- snowwhitesludge

"Hobbies! This is the big one. I got into Warhammer for a few months before covid and ended up gaining a few friends. Hopefully I get back to the game store after work calms down. I also started flying last year during covid. The flying club has a ton of cool people. My flight instructor is same generation as I am and we click pretty well. And old farts at airports love to chat. I made more friends last year than I did in the last 5."

- Hiddencamper

'I'm here to do something'

"Regular accidental contact. Initially this sounds a little like stalking, so I'm going to have to explain a little. You made friends at school/college because you turned up to places to do 'something'. The people that were there were secondary to your main goal or task. Basically you turned up to maths every day and so did the dude sitting 3 seats away. This is the regular accidental contact."

"As an adult, this only really happens at work and the age differences can be problematic. This is why people suggest joining sports teams or clubs that meet on a regular basis. You meet up to 'generic sport' and of the 15-20 other people that do there might be 5 that are potential friends. The non-threatening nature of 'I'm here to do something' is basically an excuse to have the regular contact where you find out more about these people and can develop a friendship."

"Since this friendship business requires regular contact, places like bars are often pretty poor - unless you are one of the regulars. Sports, Hobby clubs, book groups are all the sort of places that replace the classroom of yesterday. Adult life makes most of your regular tasks revolve around a small group of people (workmates/family/flatmates), you need to find regular contact groups outside that subset."

- SlowBox2696

Fallen

cat GIF Giphy

"Lay down on the ground, and pretend to be dying. When people start to circle around you in hope of taking your stuff, sit up and start telling them cool facts about frogs. Bam, friendship!"

- StrayAI

I love causing scenes. That last bit would be fun and definitely memorable. Who doesn't love someone with a flare for a bit of drama? The definition of extroverts. And we're fun.

travel our own paths...

Fuck You Season 4 GIF by Friends Giphy

"I'm 35 and my friends have dwindled down to my husband of 16 years. Who just recently told me he feels we want different things in life and should "travel our own paths. FML."

- HopefulTwist8367

"actively"

"Work and hobbies usually work. I just stay friendly, joke a lot, ask plenty of questions. I find people really open up when they don't feel judged and they feel you are enthusiastically listening to them. Oftentimes as an adult, other adults aren't "actively" listening to your tales because they're so wrapped up in their own lives."

"If you listen first, really take time to get to know them and have a good time (joke) they generally start reciprocating pretty quickly. Thats how I get along with people. Actual long term adult friends are hard to come by. Always seems like if you aren't convenient, they aren't going 5o make time for you. Ive got a couple now that I can call anytime though."

- LAM_humor1156

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be committed...

"It's very difficult . You have to be committed to finding friends. It doesn't really happen naturally anymore. I'm so busy these days that even when I make a new friend I don't really have time that I am willing to spend with them. I use my limited free time to be with my wife, relax and finish projects around the house. Scheduling time with friends almost feels forced, like an additional errand lol."

- Heyokhasays

Be Sporty Spice

"Recreational/leisure sports leagues."

"Absolutely no one cares if you're good, no one cares if you mess up, the main objective is to include people who are interested. Its a fun way of getting exercise & you can meet an absolutely vast array of people regardless which sport - slow pitch softball, pick up basketball, flag football, pick up soccer, bowling, billiards, etc. Doesn't matter, people will always be willing to help & its a fun bonding experience shared with random people, you'd be surprised how many people I met through this stuff."

- My_Diet_DrKelp

Chatter

Happy Season 5 GIF by Friends Giphy

"Talk to people, I have a few gym friends that I made cause I just asked about their routines and now we chat and workout together sometimes."

- CroakyPoem

It was pool...

"One of the longest maintained friendships from college that I have was someone I met from being "there to do something." It was pool. I was there to play pool and so was he, like clockwork. We would talk and chat and play a lot of pool month to month and year to year, never changing. After a few months we were friends and I'm still friends to this day."

"Same with a guy from math class. we became friends because we both had the same ugly weird shoes (gray and yellow color combo just made no sense lol) but we had multiple math classes together. He actually got me the high paying job I have today and would be nowhere without him. Regular accidental contact is a blessing."

- banditcleaner2

Come Alive!

"I'm definitely an introvert with a dash of social anxiety. My roommate and best friend in college was a huge extrovert. I went to so many parties, bars, events and made tons of friends that I probably never would have otherwise if he didn't drag me along with him. I also married an extrovert so keeping the theme alive!"

- I_am_Bob

Later in Life

"I've probably got more friends as an adult in my 30s than I ever did in my early 20s and teens. I do exactly the same, just have a genuine interest in people and getting to know them, so long as they aren't me then I find them fascinating. Even if you don't agree with all their views it doesn't really matter."

"I agree with being positive and jokey as much as can be, I think a lot of people are looking for someone to offload on and it can be a lot to take in for anyone who isn't prepared. If you keep it fun and enjoyable though I think it creates a bond where they will want to be supportive comes later."

"One thing I notice too is I have a weird thing for faces and details about people, I used to have to pretend I didn't remember people when I was young because some classmates told me it was creepy. Now though I find if I recognize people and ask about an event or hobby they told me about, then they normally are fairly happy to chat."

- Coocoocachoo1988

Knocking Pins

Sport Lol GIF by TikTok France Giphy

"Join a bowling league. It's easier to make friends with a bowling league because you see these people weekly. I've made a lot of good friends through bowling. They might be weird friends, but they'll be fun."

- ComfortableCow95

25% success rate...

"Dude. I've realised. As an adult you have to say "you are my friend now". We are all so unsure of if someone is a friend. I legit say "bruh. We are friends now." 25% success rate. Mostly I'm bad at texting so i lose out on friends. Still, every 4 people you make friends with, 1 sticks. That's a lot."

- parthpalta

Adulting...

"Don't compare your adult friendships to adolescent friendships. They will be different because you are different, your commitments are different, priorities etc. Like when I was late teens early 20s if a close friend needed help I'd drop what I was doing and give them a ride, help them move, finish a project etc. we were like that for each other. Can't do that now. In part this is because I have my own family, 3 other people that depend on me for things."

"After they're all good, then there's time for friends. In a few years it'll just be one other person mostly as my kids grow up and start families of their own. I suspect that then friendships will change again and be more similar to those early almost familial bonds I made. I think media has built up unrealistic expectations of what friendships can be (well for most of us anyways)."

"Also you may not fully realize it at the time but if you want to have those storied, long term, since grade school sort of friendships you have to pretty much not move away from your hometown. Sounds kinda duhhh... but if your goal is to get outta dodge you will lose touch with those still in dodge and while you may be able to pick up where you left off later, it's still not the same because you left off."

- Darkroomist

Neighbors...

"Met my two best adult friends when we were apartment neighbors. I have a city garden next to a nice person every summer and we've become friends. This winter i will mall walk and might meet someone. It seems to me that you have to routinely be in close proximity to someone and eventually greetings become conversations."

- AngoraVan

Hard Times

"I have this same question, but as a "homeschool" kid. Never had any friends in my life, and now I'm nearing adult, never had any dates or experience, never had any friends making experience, never had any fun in my childhood, and now I figure out adults have hard times making friends too?? Imma be single and lonely forever y'all..."

- FragrantPace2650

Online

Meme Shake GIF by PAPER Giphy

"Memes. That's how I make friends."

- Excellent_Joke_8833

Vibes...

"I usually find people at work that I vibe with. I also add random people on facebook who seem interesting. Most of the time it doesn't lead to anything. On rare occasion it leads to friends for life, including one Colorado bartender who has told me I get free drinks for life if I'm ever at any bar he's tending. I'm not a heavy drinker and I live on the opposite side of the country, but it's the little things like that which matter most to me."

- mxmnull

All you can do is try. Go say hi to a stranger, in a safe setting of course. If it doesn't workout, it wasn't meant to be. Lead with a smile and maybe a song. Something from Lady Gaga perhaps.

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