How to Make New Friends after Age 25
In her recent bestselling memoir, “MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend,” author Rachel Bertsche details her 52 “friend dates” in search of a new “best friend forever.” Several years out of college and in a new city, she laments the difficulty of meeting girlfriends, and is willing to try almost anything (including gaining 10 pounds over dinner and drinks) to make a few genuine connections.
Bertsche and other researchers on friendship recommend the following ideas for meeting and making new – and real – friends:
—Make the first move. Whether it’s the mom who you chat with every morning during preschool drop-off, the clerk at your favorite store or the woman who stands next to you in exercise class every Saturday, make an effort if you want to make new friends. Invite them for coffee or a walk or a glass of wine – it’s that simple.
—Join, volunteer, participate. You aren’t going to make any new friends sitting at home scrolling through Facebook or email (unless you’re just looking for online friends). Sign up for a class you’re interested in (cooking, drawing, triathlon training, knitting, you name it), volunteer for an organization you’re passionate about, or participate in neighborhood or company events. The more you’re around other people, the more opportunity you have to make a new friend connection.
—Compliment people and smile. Breaking the ice with a compliment, offering a smile and showing your interest all let people know that you’re more than just Minnesota nice. Body language goes a long way towards sending that “I’m open to new things” signal.
—Networking, asking other friends and contacts for ideas, and organizing groups can also point you in the right direction.
Not every woman you meet at work, school, your neighborhood or your favorite activity is going to turn into a lifelong BFF. However, you might find someone who loves romantic comedies as much as you do, enjoys antiquing outings or who can’t wait to try the latest new restaurant.