Hitting your 30s can be amazing, but it can also be really hard. It’s a big season of change, but it’s also when you kind of start figuring stuff out and getting your sh*t together. Hopefully, that comes with more confidence, so you’re ready to take some big steps: taking on more responsibilities at work, having kids, starting a business, etc.
With all these changes, your social life may take a backseat. It can be hard to maintain or develop friendships when you’ve got all that going on! Plus, you’re probably a whole different person than you were in your 20s! You don’t vibe with the same crowd.
But, at the end of the day, a fulfilling social life is essential to good mental health. And, no matter how old you are, you still want your ride or die! Studies show, that strong social connections can lead to a longer life, better health, and improved well-being. Probably because we make better choices when we have a good support system!
When something matters that much to your mental, emotional, and physical health, you’ve gotta prioritize it. But, navigating friendships as an adult is not as easy as it was when we were kids! You can’t just spot another girl who also has a Tamagotchi on the playground and decide to become besties anymore. Sh*t’s complicated now. That’s why today, we’re sharing practical tips to help you make new friends in your 30s.
How To Make Friends In Your 30s
Join a club.
If you like to make friends in an organic, non-speed datey way, joining a club is a really good idea. The club will be focused on a specific hobby or special interest, which means there will be lots you and the others have in common! (Well, at least one thing.)
Try joining a bowling league, a book club (Maybe other people who tune into The Readheads?), a sand volleyball team, or even a Beanie Baby fan group. Whatever you’re into! No shame. You show up and let proximity work it’s magic. You’ll have new friends in no time!
Ask your current friends to introduce you to their other friends.
Have your current besties introduce you to new ones. AKA: network, babe. If you’ve got a friend or two, chances are they’ve got a friend or two you could meet. And maybe they have a friend or two! Before you know it, you’ve got a group of friends full of people with similar interests to you. Then all that’s left to do is a girl’s trip to Cancun, right???
Try an app.
This one might be pushing you out of your comfort zone, but it’s a great way to meet new people. Apps like Bumble BFF are designed to help you make new friends similarly to how dating apps work. Just make a profile with a few pictures, some of your interests, maybe your taste in music then get to swiping!
You may have to be good at small talk for this one to be fruitful, but who knows you may just find your new bestie on the app and be able to dive right into a real-life friendship. Feeling nervous? Here’s some advice on making new friends from House Guest with Kenzie Elizabeth.
Pick up a new hobby.
If you can’t think of a club to join, it’s time to pick up a new hobby! Let’s learn something new, because hobbies are great for self-care and finding friends! Think of something you’ve always wanted to do, and engage with that community of people in your area (or online.)
Try something crafty like painting or crocheting. Go athletic by joining a gym or start hiking. You could also be all geek and learn how to play a new role-playing game or build models. Or, just start traveling the world, diva! Literally, whatever you want! Dive in and you’ll start meeting people ASAP.
Get involved with the community.
Giving back to the community can have great benefits for your mental health. Not only are you going out to do something positive for the world, but you also have the opportunity to form relationships with other volunteers. And since you both care about your impact on the world, you’ve got some common ground already, and they’re probably a good person too. (Way less likely to take the last cup of coffee in the pot, probably.)
If you’re not sure of the needs of your community, we highly recommend you listen to I Am America, which highlights a lot of social issues our world! Or, just think about something you see everyday that you want to make better.
Actually talk to your co-workers.
It can be easy to just clock in and clock out and think of your 9 to 5 as no more than a means to an end, but your office is an amazing place to meet people! These people already get you on a whole other level, because they deal with the same stuff as you. Plus, you already see each other regularly and having friends at work can make it so much more fun!
We have a whole post on how to make friends at work, but it starts with engaging in small talk and being helpful and also not participating in the office gossip. Seriously, that sh*t is toxic and will NOT bring you closer to anyone. Find subtle ways to connect with your coworkers and see who you vibe with! Hopefully soon, you’ll have your work BFF!
Use social media.
Social media has a ton of avenues for making friends. If you follow someone who lives near you that’s always posting, swipe up on their stories to reply. That can be the beginning of a lifelong friendship. Once you’ve talked enough, try inviting them to hang out.
Also, there are like millions of groups and forums out there for different demographics. So, whether you want to find other working moms or other traveling students, you can find those lovely people on the interwebs. Just remember to be smart, we don’t wan to call Nev and Kamie.
Reach out to old friends.
Chances are, there’s someone you know from high school (or earlier!) who might be the ideal friend for you. Maybe you were besties back then, but grew apart due to different interests or proximity. That doesn’t mean you can’t become friends again! And you are already people who share history. It won’t be a long time before you share the present, too!
Just reach back out! See what’s going on. You might find that now that you’re in your 30s you have a lot in common again. (You know, now that we’re all done downing UV Blue and passing out in cornfields. We’re grown-ups now.)
Attend organized social events.
Social media apps like Facebook are good for more than simply seeing other people’s posts. There are also a TON of public events available to attend that you can find online! Pick something that interests you, then see if you can strike up a conversation with someone there.
You’ll see things like adult board game nights, girl’s nights at the club, and painting soirees at the park. It’ll be a fun experience and you’re super likely to find someone you jive with.
Start a new routine in a public space.
If you’re routine has you walled in your home or office most of the time, it’s time to venture out and start a new routine. This will give you more opportunities to see and meet people. Things like going to the same coffee shop or taking a walk in the same park could put you in the path of your new ride or die friend. All it takes is one conversation to get something new started.
You are about to make the best new friends of your life!
We know it can be scary, but just remember this: if it’s scary for you, it’s probably scary for them, too. You’re not alone! Everyone needs friends in their 30s, and the worst they could say is “no.”
Need something to do with your new friend? Try the Bone Marry Bury card game! And, if you want a podcast that you and your new bestie can bond over, listen to Ride. Podcast hosts Benito Skinner and Mary Beth Barone are serious #BFFGoals.
Now that you’ve got your new besties on the way, check out these tips on how to empower other women. You’ll be needing them! Then, head over to our blog for more great advice on relationships, careers, mental health, and more.