The One Liner

Adulting! Why is it so tough? Why do I struggle to make friends as an adult?

You’ve graduated, got a job, and possibly even moved to a new city. You’re now an adult! 

But in the middle of all this, you are helpless as you keep missing your carefree school or college friends. 

Do you relate to this at all? 

You are not alone, though. Our ambitions, goals, keep us so occupied that it becomes tough to find true friendship that complements our mentality and who supports our vision. True friendship is so tough to find and building friendships as an adult has its own unique set of difficulties and experiences.

From the world of adults, where forming friendships comes with a unique set of barriers and unforeseen difficulties; gone are the days of running into old pals in the cafeteria or bonding over late-night study sessions, are so now things of the past. 

Adulting is tough, but we can still build friendships.

Socializing is difficult when one is juggling jobs, family, and personal obligations. Another factor is shifting priorities; something that was previously important may now come second in terms of job or family. 

Furthermore, we don’t communicate much while building new friendships or maintaining the existing ones. Even there is a constant hesitation in individuals to approach strangers often influenced by social anxiety and unpleasant past experiences.

Hence, there are some individuals who are failing to build relationships.  

So here we need to consider few things as an adult:

Friendship as an Adult!

A strategy for connection between two people.

Even though it might seem impossible, developing connections as an adult is entirely possible with the correct attitude and strategy. Joining clubs, going to local events, or picking up new interests are some ways to start putting yourself in situations where you can meet new people. 

Meet people who share similar interests: volunteer for organizations that you are passionate about. Invite someone out for lunch or coffee; don’t be scared to exercise initiative. Never forget that the roots of enduring friendships are meaningful exchanges of experiences and talks. 

When navigating these new social environments: be patient, honest, and transparent.

As an adult, friendship maintenance takes attention and purposeful effort. Frequent communication is essential; a quick text or phone call can maintain the relationship. Whether it’s through scheduled activities or unplanned get-togethers, make time for your buddies. Express gratitude and encouragement for each other’s successes and setbacks in life. 

However, when it comes to older adults things are different.

It takes courage to move outside your comfort zone to make friends as an older adult. Participate in senior organizations, community activities, or your favorite classes. Utilize social media or apps to interact with people who share your interests; technology can also be helpful. You can make new acquaintances by traveling, volunteering, and going to local activities. Don’t be hesitant to strike up a discussion or arrange get-togethers; 

But here a question arises, can someone in their 30s be too old to make new friends?

Absolutely not!

Stages of Adult Friendship

Making friends at 30 is by no means too late. In real life, a lot of people discover that friendships they make later in life are very satisfying. 

You usually have a better idea of who you are and what kind of relationships you value at this age. Self-awareness like this can result in deeper and more enduring relationships. It’s never too late to make new friends and have enlightening conversations.

Every friendship goes through certain stages and develops over time.

Stage 1

Often friendships begin with acquaintanceship, it is that time when you meet with someone and get to know each other well. This develops into a casual friendship that is characterized by sporadic encounters and the discovery of common interests

Stage 2

When the relationship gets stronger, it becomes a close friendship, which is defined by increased communication and support from one another. At last, close friendship is attained, characterized by substantial personal sharing, strong emotional support, and profound trust. Every phase advances over the one before it, requiring mutual investment, time, and effort to strengthen the bond.

Stage 3

Based on unique personalities, social opportunities, and shared interests, the length of time it takes for adults to make friends might vary greatly. Based on scholarly research, it is estimated that establishing a casual friendship requires approximately 50 hours of shared activities, a close friendship requires 90 hours, and the best friendship requires more than 200 hours. 

Regular and purposeful engagement is essential.

Final Thoughts

While it may seem difficult to make and keep friends as an adult, it is achievable with the correct strategy. Developing deep connections at any age can be eased by being aware of the challenges and equipped with the tools to overcome them. It is therefore never too late to create and maintain wonderful friendships, regardless of age—30, 40, or beyond.

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