Why is it so hard to make friends as an adult? There are various reasons, but the good news is that they’re not insurmountable. It’s entirely possible to make good, long-lasting friendships in your 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. Here’s how to make it happen.

Accept Invitations

Start paying attention to the invitations that you receive. You might be surprised to see how many come your way! A lot of us brush off parents inviting us to lunch, colleagues inviting us to drinks after work, or casual acquaintances inviting us to go jogging, barhopping, or movie watching with them. We assume that they’re just being polite, or we turn them down because we’re feeling tired or not in the mood to socialize. Start saying “yes.” Start seizing the opportunity to hang out with people.

Get Out of the House

Four happy African American Women sitting together at an outdoor restaurant at summer day

If you aren’t getting any invitations, you might be socially isolated in a way that requires more direct action. In other words, you’ll need to put yourself out there. Here are a few ideas:

  • Join meet-up groups.
  • Enroll in classes for a new hobby.
  • Volunteer for a cause that matters to you.
  • Attend fairs, festivals, conventions, and other events.
  • Join a hobby club.
  • Join a gym or sports league.
  • Go to networking events for your job.

Do you know why it was so easy to make friends as a child? Because you were in constant proximity to others. You weren’t squirreled away at home or in a cubicle all day. If you want to meet people as an adult, you’ll need to give yourself an actual chance to do so.

Make Time For It

Pretty African-American woman having coffee and telling story to her female friend at a restaurant on a bright sunny day

It’s perfectly normal to want time for yourself, especially if you lead a busy life where personal time is precious. If you find yourself always craving company, however, you might be lonelier than you realize, and you might be using your busy schedule as an excuse not to get out there. Make some time on your calendar to be social. Pencil in those cooking classes, book club meetings, and volunteer hours at the library. If you have time to read this article, you have time to grab a cup of coffee with a new friend.

These are just a few tips for meeting people and forming friendships as an adult. It might be more difficult than the days of running around the playground with other kids, but in the end, the effort will be worth it.