Published on February 10, 2024

Friendship 101: A guide for grown ups

Adulting is hard, but making friends doesn’t need to be. Here are eight simple ways to find new friends.

Whether you’ve recently relocated to a new city, or just feel your social life is lacking, making friends as an adult can feel like a challenging task.  

 

These things come easy when you’re young. But by the time you’re past post-secondary school, life becomes consumed with work, family and a whole host of added responsibilities. 

 

We’re deeply passionate about the potential of great public spaces to serve as catalysts for new connections. However, the recipe for new friendships requires more ingredients than just a well-designed public space. Here are eight simple ways to make friends as an adult. 

 

1. Make the time and space

When it comes to making and nurturing friendships, one of the basic building blocks is spending quality time together. After all, those who share experiences and moments tend to form bonds. As adults, it takes consciously prioritizing and creating space for these relationships. That means making time and space to ensure consistent face-to-face time with those you’d like to build friendships with. Take the pressure off by meeting in a neutral place, like your favourite public space, rather than hosting at home.  

 

2. Pursue your current hobbies

Pursuing your passions is not just about engaging in activities you love; it’s about connecting with others who share similar interests. Whether it’s joining a book club, taking a cooking class or joining a recreational sports league, the possibilities are endless. Public spaces such as community centres, libraries and parks often serve as the backdrop for these activities, providing the perfect place for cultivating friendships. 

 

people pose with binoculars in front of evergreen brick works

Birding at the Brick Works with Toronto Feminist Bird Club

3. Try out some new hobbies

Discovering new hobbies will connect you with completely new groups of people. Want to learn to dance, or ice skate or to experience new genres of music? If you’re in the Toronto area, check out What’s On at Evergreen Brick Works to see if there are any groups or events that might pique your interest! 

 
4. Accept invitations

Let’s face it: we often feel busy, tired or overworked. But making an effort to accept invitations that come your way can pay off in the long run. It’s about being open to new experiences and opportunities, even if they may seem outside your comfort zone at first. 

 

5. Use an app

As much as social networks might make us feel more isolated than ever, there are some apps designed to help you meet people IRL! Along with the rise of dating apps, friend-finder apps have also begun to increase in popularity. Meetup helps you find events or join groups and connect with like-minded people; Nextdoor helps you connect with people in your neighbourhood; and Bumble For Friends lets you swipe through potential friends nearby (similar to their dating app).  

 

6. Join a club (or start one!)

Joining a club or starting your own is a fantastic way to meet new people and explore your interests. With websites like Meetup or Eventbrite, discovering groups or events happening near you has never been easier. But what if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for? Perhaps it’s time to take matters into your own hands. Whether you’re passionate about cooking, birding or competitive cheese rolling (yes, it’s a thing!), there’s bound to be others who share your enthusiasm. 

 

7. Volunteer

Making friends often begins by spending time with people, which is why many friendships start in the workplace. However, volunteering offers a unique opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals who share your commitment to making a difference. By dedicating your time to a cause you believe in, you not only contribute to the community but also forge meaningful connections with others who share your values and passions. Evergreen is committed to providing a rewarding volunteer experience and welcomes volunteers from diverse backgrounds and all walks of life. 

 

people of all ages skating on ice rink

 

8. Maintain your friendships

You’ve made a few new connections — congrats! Now it’s time to nurture those new friendships. Make sure you’re regularly reaching out to new friends, even online, to ask how they’re doing or invite them to an event. You can also use this as an opportunity to reconnect with old friends too. It’s easy to lose touch with people who were once a big part of your story, but it’s less scary than you think than sending a message to an old friend.  

 

Learn more 

 

We believe that transforming public spaces into vibrant places can serve as catalysts for meaningful connections — even those brief, subtle microconnections that happen in everyday life. Interested in helping us transform public spaces into vibrant hubs for building lasting friendships? Join us as a donor and help make it possible!