Tips & How-Tos

How to Make Friends as an Adult in 2024

Last Updated on Jan 10th 2024
how to make friends as an adult

Are you struggling to know how to make friends as an adult? You aren’t the only one! Whether you’re wondering how to make friends in your 20s, how to make friends in your 30s or even how to make friends in your 40s, it can seem overwhelming to dive into the process. 

For many adults, the pressures of work life and family life can often take priority in the years after college. And between the naturally changing seasons of life and external factors like the pandemic, knowing how to make friends as a young adult has become increasingly difficult. Loneliness and anxiety seem to be on the rise, but strong adult friendships can be a beautiful remedy for this problem.

We’ve found 17 great ideas for how to make friends as an adult, and we hope that something on this list sparks your interests and helps you develop wonderful, life-long friendships!

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Why is it Hard to Make Friends as an Adult?

You might look at a lack of friends in your life and think that it is a personal shortcoming of some kind. You may even be wondering if it is normal for adults not to have friends. Before you start criticizing yourself too harshly, we have some encouragement for you!

Forming long-lasting friendships as an adult is a struggle for many adults in their 20s, 30s and even 40s. You aren’t alone. According to the Mayo Clinic, it can be difficult for adults to find and keep good friends close by.

After graduating, many adults go on to the workforce, where they might meet a lot of people, but their professional duties keep them from being able to engage with their peers at the necessary level required to develop true friendships.

The fact is practicing how to make friends as an adult requires time, effort and a certain level of commitment that can be difficult in those formative years when you’re getting your career started strong or raising a family. 

lonely girl staring out the window
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The Importance of Adult Friendships

Even though it might be difficult to start learning how to make friends as an adult, it is certainly worth it. Friendship can deepen your life in many ways, from giving you an emotional outlet to helping strengthen you mentally. Plus, it is always nice to have someone you can depend on when things get tough or you just need a laugh.

Making friends at work is always an option, but often those workplace friendships do not translate well to the world outside the office. Spending plenty of unstructured time together is one key way to make a friendship stick. 

It is also important to note that the process of learning how to make friends as an adult might take some time, and some of the steps along the way might be a little uncomfortable. While it might be scary to push yourself outside of your comfort zone as you learn how to make friends as an adult, the resulting friendships will be relationships that can last a lifetime.

If you’re wondering how to make friends as a young adult, or if you've recently moved and are wondering how to meet people in a new city, we’ve gathered 17 great ideas of ways to branch out, meet new people and start developing real, long-lasting friendships, no matter what stage of life you are in.

17 Ideas for Making Friends as an Adult

1. Paint and Sip

One great way to tackle how to make friends as an adult is with a fun paint and sip class. These classes will let you relax with a drink while you strengthen your artistic skills and meet new people with similar interests.

This is a popular event, which means that you can find paint and sip in Denver, paint and sip in Chicago and paint and sip in NYC. There’s sure to be a paint and sip near you, or you could even use these paint party ideas for adults to host your own paint and sip party at home.

paint and sip how to make friends as an adult
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2. Pottery Classes

One way to make friends as an adult is to bond over shared creative hobbies. Pottery classes are a great way to do that. You’ll be able to get your hands dirty or paint pre-made pottery at pottery classes in Boston, pottery classes in Houston, pottery classes in Los Angeles or other pottery classes near you.

3. Dance Classes

If you’re looking to improve your rhythm and meet new people at the same time, why not try a dance class? Dance classes are a great way to get your body moving and loosen up.

Not to mention they make great divorce party ideas if you're looking for a fresh start. You can find dance classes in Las Vegas, dance classes in NYC, dance classes in the Bay Area and even online dance classes that can be a great step in learning how to make friends in your 30s.

4. Cooking Classes

Give your culinary skills a boost while meeting like-minded friends in a cooking class. And if you’re trying to figure out how to make friends as a young adult in a new city, cooking classes in Houston, cooking classes in Tucson, cooking classes in Portland and cooking classes near you might just be the perfect fit.

There are also online cooking classes available if you can’t find a good one in your new city. And you can always take the skills you learn in these cooking classes and apply them by hosting an outdoor barbecue or dinner party for your new friends. 

5. Flower Arranging Classes

A fun way to connect with others or to get to know a new friend better is with in-person or virtual flower arranging classes. This is a great girls night idea, and if you choose the virtual option, you and your new friends can stay in and wear your pajamas while you learn a new skill and bond.

person arranging white flowers in vase
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6. Game Nights

Some local bars and coffee shops host weekly events like trivia or open mic night, which are great options for meeting new people! Events like these are a little easier for extroverts, and you might be wondering “How do introverts make friends?” If being in social situations makes you feel drained and tired, give fun virtual events a try. 

There are still plenty of ways you can connect with others, even from your own living room. Try online trivia gamesvirtual game nightsvirtual scavenger hunts or virtual escape rooms. You never know who you might meet!

7. Mixology Classes

If you’re still trying to figure out how to make friends in your 20s, mixology classes and online mixology classes can be a great way to learn. These low-stakes events will help you start to branch out, and could potentially lead to more events in the future. If you attend these classes with a new friend, you’ll be able to learn their taste as you move forward in pursuing friendship. 

8. Wine Tastings

Other great options for those learning how to make friends as an adult are wine tastings, and even virtual wine tastings. These options will help you connect with others in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. Or, host a group of new friends at your house for one of these online wine parties!

9. Woodworking Classes

It can be difficult to know how to make friends as an adult, but woodworking classes are a unique and creative option! You’ll be able to focus on working with your hands, cutting down on the potential awkwardness of small talk, but you’ll still be putting yourself in an environment to meet people with similar interests.

woodshop class how to make friends as an adult
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10. Glass Blowing Classes

Shared interests and hobbies are always a great foundation when figuring out how to make friends as an adult. Glass blowing classes can be a fun way to do this; you’ll be able to learn a rare skill while also connecting with others your own age. It is also nice to have something besides small talk to focus on while you’re networking or connecting with others. 

11. Sewing Classes

If you’re struggling to know how to make friends at 25 or any age, why not try sewing classes? This hands-on hobby will help you learn a new skill while you meet new people. Plus, arts and crafts for adults can be a great way to relieve stress and decompress after a long day at the office.

You’ll learn how to make something useful while also getting to know strangers or acquaintances better. And as you track your progress each week, you’ll also be able to watch your new friendships grow over time. 

12. Community Sports Leagues

Check your local Parks and Recreation website for ongoing sports leagues if you’re hoping to make friends in your 20s. From amateur volleyball and softball to flag football and pickleball, there’s sure to be an active way for you to join a team and learn how to make friends as an adult.

If there are no community recreational leagues in your area, sometimes local churches offer leagues, too! In no time your teammates will become some of your best friends.

13. Neighborhood Book Club

One easy way to branch out and learn how to make friends as an adult is to join or host a neighborhood book club. This is a great way to read more, sharpen your mind and meet others. You’ll be able to engage in great conversation and catch up with each other.

One great thing about book clubs is that they appeal to people of all ages. This could be a great way to take a workplace friendship out of the office and see if it has the potential to turn into a long-term friendship.

group of people discussing books in book club meeting
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14. Volunteer Organizations

If you’re wondering how to make friends when you have none, volunteering can be a good way to serve your community and meet other people. This option takes all the pressure off; even if you don’t meet anyone, you’ll still have done something good for those in need. This is a real win-win situation for anyone learning how to make friends as an adult!

15. College Alumni Associations

One way to learn how to make friends as an adult in a new city is to look up your college or university’s alumni association. Many schools have alumni groups in major cities that get together and watch sporting events or host networking opportunities.

This is an easy way to get connected with people you already have something in common with your alma mater! Who knows? You may even reconnect with a college friend and reminisce over your shared experiences. 

16. Community Festivals and Events 

Another way to make friends as an adult is to attend community festivals and events. Many small towns host seasonal festivals all year long. You’ll be able to attend and meet people who live in the same area as you and can be an easy option if you’re still learning how to make friends in your 40s.

Don’t limit yourself to fairs and festivals, either! Community events like 5Ks, fundraisers and outdoor concerts also hold lots of potential for meeting new people. 

17. Exercise Classes

If you’re a member of a local gym, check to see if they offer group fitness classes. Zumba, Pilates, Yoga or boot camp classes are great ways to burn calories and meet new people. Just know that making friends this way might take some time!

You might have to show up week after week before you start building real relationships with the other people in your class. But committing to an exercise routine will not only help you learn how to make friends as a young adult but it can also help you accomplish your New Year’s resolution ideas and meet all of your fitness goals.

friends working out in dance class
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So, how do adults make new friends? Well, it is a combination of time, commitment and a little bit of good luck. But by putting in the time and effort to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, you are sure to find wonderful friends, no matter what stage of life you are in.

We hope this list of ideas has inspired you to get out there and start meeting new people and making new friends, whatever stage of life you are in. 

For even more fun ideas and inspiration, check out other experiences happening on Classpop!