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Friday, April 6, 2012

Friendships For Adults

The subject of making new friends seems to plague adults. In my first 30 years I would never have imaged the dry spell I now find myself in.

In general there are life issues that lend themselves to hindering the fostering of new relationships.

People move, get settled into jobs, kids get older and less social, couples settle into routines, singles feel isolated, pressures of bills and aging family members mount.

Any one of those things could keep even determined souls from maximizing their potential to meet others and spend quality time with them. Most of the time we are dealing with more than one if not all of them. 

Another problem is the stakes become higher. Especially now with social media, letting someone who turns out to be untrustworthy into our inner circles can really devastate our lives not just hearts and ego.

The negatives aside there is still that deep human need for contact and community.

People will exchange phone numbers and link up via social media. This is great but things must progress. 

Here are my suggestions:

Go to target rich places
Notice who is around you 
Who they are with 
What they are doing 

Find something to compliment 
Are there things you see in common

Eye contact
Find something of interest to discuss
Suggest the next step
Make plans
Follow up 

Be patient if this does not work the first or every time you try to put yourself out there.

Do you have a hobby? 

A favorite place online? 

Is there anyone who participates in these things with you that you could add to your group of good friends? 
When you identify someone who seems interesting as a potential friend, strike up a conversation or determine to see them again somewhere so interaction can take place.

Pay a little extra attention to this person the next time you interact. 

Follow up on any chance there is for more one on one time together. 

Plan to meet for coffee, come early or stay late at the next event you are both scheduled to attend together, send a private or one on one communication.

Even if you do not love their favorite mode of communication you might have to use it to establish a connection.

The last few women I have tried to befriend have said “I hate to talk on the phone.” This would have been okay if they were great at email or IMing but they were not. 

One wanted to text, one was kinda hit or miss via social media, another disappeared in email. 

Epic Failures.


  1. I agree that it can be hard to make friends as an adult. One thing I did not count on was that when I had kids, I would suddenly be friends with other parents. I did not set out to do this, it just happened. It can be good and bad, the bad is that we get trapped into just talking about our kids.

    Great post!


    1. I hung out with a lot of other parents for a few years when my kid was young. I had a best friend who was a mom. It took me a long time to realize none of the connections with all those families were going any deeper. Then the deep friendship ended. It was a double whammy.

  2. All excellent thoughts and comments. A faith group or a Church is also an excellent place to find new friends! Happy Easter.

    1. I am thinking about making a post on faith and other issues related to the church. Sadly I find it equally if not more unhospitable to the mid 30's single crowd. Most people in church are married or older in that order. sigh

  3. Yep, I think it's harder to find friends the older you get - for many reasons. It takes more effort and 'stepping over one's own shadow' than it use to. But the friendships can definitely be worth it.

    1. It is as worth it as it is needful. There is no need to live life isolated emotionally when there are so many feeling the need for companionship but just unable to connect.

  4. I have definitely come across this problem. I have three small children (all UNDER the age of 3), and I often feel like they keep me from making friends and having adult connections. It is definitely a different experience than in school when you come into contact daily with other people. Especially because I stay home to take care of my kids (which I consider an amazing blessing), it takes more effort to get out there and make friends, for sure!

    1. I was blessed early on to befriend a neighbor with kids my daughters age. Mine was 18 months and hers just under and over.

      Then I joined an LLL group for moms still nursing their toddlers. That was enriching having been all alone for a couple of years.

      When my daughter was 4 we fell in with homeschoolers and that began a journey with and among them.

      As the season gets warmer I would look into moms groups around you. It is a huge blessing to just be out with other families.

  5. It is harder to find friends when your past the age of 30. By this time people start developing set philosophies and become less open. Staying open and learning is the spice of life. Thank you for your post.

    1. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Yes it is an interesting time as I press towards age 40. I have had great friends in the past and I am always open for more.

  6. My deepest relationships didn't come until after I was 40 years old. I will be saying goodbye to one of my two close friends this year as she moves off to start a new life elsewhere. I'm dreading that day. She is single, so we can usually find a lot of hang time. My other close friend is very busy with her family and other ministerial duties that are her passion, so my time with her is limited, but I'm thankful for text. I've never trusted anybody like I trust these two friends.It does concern me how I will be after my friend leaves, so I'm enjoying the time I have. It might prove to be a very tough year, but I trusted God to give me friends when I desperately needed them, and I think He will do that again. I hope. But, I am a little fearful of the time in between.

    1. Bless you hun! Change is the only constant. Sigh. I will join you in prayer that this change and loss of a single friend close by will transition well. Hopefully new friends are right around the corner.

      What is surprising to me is that my best friend for a while was a married woman even though I am single. I have always wanted another single women or single mom to team up with.

      Some days I complain that life is harder being without some of the close friendships I think I should have at this stage but most days I am fine and distracted keeping busy.

      I am glad I ran across you and now here you are Ms. Susan commenting on my blog. Thanks!

  7. For me, it's more trying to find people who value what friendship is. I am not a package with children that entertain your children, for example. There was a family that really only wanted that for their child and wasn't interested in fostering a relationship beyond that. It would be ok if that was communicated. It was the pretending. Made us (parents) feel used. It's that sort of thing. We're quite social (active at church, in the community and at work functions). I really think the landscape of what social interaction (not online) is changing and I just gotta figure it out! Thanks for connecting with me on g+.