True or False: It’s hard to make friends in your 30’s.
Answer: It depends.
I think we can all agree that it’s not rocket surgery. Yes, it's true that we've reduced the number of activities that make it easy to meet new people. But it's also true that it was probably by choice. Busy lives filled with long work hours, takeout and errands don’t leave us with much energy to shake hands and find new spirit animals. Our requirements for friendship have changed as well. “Can you party until 3am?” and similar questions never come up and nowadays, we want to know your last name. Since I had a big chunk of buddies move away over the last couple of years, I was long overdue to grab a few new ones and prove that making friends after thirty is easy. I’ll let you in on the cool places and ways that I met some awesome women in 2016. For those of you looking for ways to make this year's friendship resolutions work (because I know this was one of them), keep reading.
Young Professionals Groups. Friends Made in 2016 = 1. I am a big fan of schmoozing at YP events to stay in touch with great people. Unless it's kismet upon our initial meeting, I’ll go to multiple mixers to see who is out there and create some associates. Some people complain that there’s never any new people at these gatherings but I am a fan of familiar faces. Once I’ve seen potential friends on multiple occasions, we get comfortable and have better conversations. This opens the door to new friends and connections.
Junior League. Friends Made in 2016 = 2. Most cities have a chapter of the Junior League, a non-profit organization where tons of women volunteer and socialize. I have plenty of opportunities to hang with like-minded women and do great things. Each week I can meet someone new while saving the world and each year there are new recruits. It’s a machine. It does cost $$$ depending on the Chapter but it’s well worth the money for me to be part of something so life-changing. I meet new potential friends this way by using that same gradual process I mentioned from the YP mixers.
Bumble BFF. Friends Made in 2016 = 4. Swiping is clearly the wave of the future. Now I can use the same app to grab dates and friends. Using Bumble BFF is pretty self-explanatory. I swipe the women that seem to match my style and use the word “brunch” in their description. Understand that you make not swipe gold right off the bat. From what I can see, there's a lot more twenty-somethings taking advantage of this technology than thirty-somethings. It may take several tries over the course of a few months. Still, it’s a great idea and Idk why it took so long to realize that this should be a thing! Your move, Tinder.
As an ambivert I don’t need 187 friends. But as I stated in our book, lives and situations change so don’t be caught flat-footed and friendless. There’s so much fun to be had from close relationships. It's a relief when you find someone who gets you and your quirky ways. Don't forget, all relationships take work. I still make the effort to initiate conversations and activities and it beats hoping a potential bff will miraculously discover me at the Whole Foods hot bar.
Now that we're in 2017, I’ll show you the ways that I’m keeping (or not keeping) my wonderful gems from 2016.
Let us know what friend-finding activities are working for you!