Making Friends At 35 Is Actually Possible
I get it, making friends when you get older becomes really difficult. College is the perfect time to make friends, you spend a lot of time with the same people, you have things in common with them, there are a lot of people new to the city or the area and you are all socially open to new experiences and new people. In the best case scenario, those friends will last you a lifetime. In the real world, you might grow apart, or you might move far away. And you’ll be left wondering how to put yourself out there.
Being single at any age is no big deal. Not only there are pretty straightforward ways to meet people (at a bar or through online dating, for example), but people are usually more accepting of that, they will encourage you to get out there and set you up with awful blind dates. However, when you are only looking for friends, the world gets a bit more confusing. You can’t exactly go to a club to pick up friends. Or you can, but it won’t end well. None of this should discourage you, because no matter your circumstance, you can make friends at any age.
The golden rule of making friends is: “never meet a stranger”. I don’t mean “don’t talk to anyone ever”, but “don’t act like they are stranger”. Whenever you are in a situation when you are talking to someone new, act as if you are friends already. Don’t introduce yourself right away because that sets the tone of the conversation and after you are done saying your age, job and number of siblings, there will be an unnatural silence. Instead, start talking about something relevant to the situation, make jokes and build rapport. Names can come later.
But there’s no way you’ll be able to apply that rule if you are staying at home all day. You need to meet new people. And to do that, you should pick up a hobby. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you are passionate about it, otherwise you will end up meeting people you find boring. Once you find your calling, find the community for that hobby. If you live in a city, this will be a lot easier. If you don’t, try a hobby that’s social in nature, like a pick up team sport. Be friendly, smile and use the never meet a stranger approach. Sooner than you think, you will have “book club friends”.
The final step is to turn “book club friends” into “everyday friends”. For this, you’ll have to bite the bullet and make the effort to continue contact. Yes, it’s scary, but you can do it. When you find a group of people that you get along with suggest going out to a bar or a cafe or a group dinner after work or club meeting or any other chosen activity. Do this a few times and then move on to organizing a party or a get-together during weekends. You will be getting party invitations soon after that.