How To Make New Friends In Your 30’s?

Well, this is not a how-to post about making new friends or anything to do with personal finance. This is a cry for help to other bloggers who can tell me how-to make new friends. I don’t know if I’m one of the few losers people that have trouble with this or there are many other closeted people who are looking to find new friendships and having difficult time like I am. I find myself being lonely and wanting girl friends that I can call up out of the blue to have coffee or go shopping or talk about books or go out to the city on weekends. Actually I don’t care what. I just want someone that’s emotionally and physically available to form a friendship with me. I guess to diagnose my problem properly and come up with solutions, I need to tell you more about my situation and personality in real life.

I grew up in northern Virginia most of my life, so I’m not even new to this area. I was very quiet and basically a wall flower in my high school years. I had maybe 2 or 3 close friends, but by end of high school, they all moved away to either California or New York. I did try to stay in touch, but I gave up after couple of years since I was the only one who was still trying. Once I stopped, the relationship ended immediately. In college, I made a few new friends, but it was cut short since my mom got sick and I had to quit school to take care of her. For couple of years, I basically didn’t have the time, money or even a desire to meet friends since I was wrapped up in taking care of my mom and making ends meet. I lost contact with most of my college friends other than 1 or 2 that I see maybe once every other year or so. They all meet up regularly and stay close since they graduated together and had similar life journey so far.

After my mom got stable for a while, I started meeting new people through friends, church, and work. But nothing really lasted. For some, it didn’t last because I didn’t hear from them once they started dating someone. For others, they moved away and same thing happened like before. Once I stopped trying, that was it. And more often though, they already had close group of friends, so they weren’t looking for a new friend. They were perfectly happy with keeping me as just an acquaintance. So I made acquaintances, but not friends. I did get lucky and found my best friend during this time. She and I are very different, but we really tried to be each other’s friend by doing things the other person was interested in, making time to spend it together, keeping in touch, and etc. It sounds simple, but she’s the only one who’s been consistently there for me and constantly working on maintaining this friendship. But since she has a kid herself and we live about 1 ½ hour away, we get to see each other once or twice a month.

Then people started getting married and it got even harder. Even more difficult when they started having babies. They’re always busy with their family and other friends. Since I don’t have a baby, our priorities are different too. I do try to open up first and contact people even though I’m quite shy. But it’s hard when the other party is not open to new friendship for various reasons. I tried joining couple of meet up groups, but so far I didn’t have luck. Even meet up groups seemed clique-ish. So here I am.

How do you guys make new friends in your 30’s? What do I need to do? Where do I go to meet new friends?


13 thoughts on “How To Make New Friends In Your 30’s?

  1. This really depends… you can meet friends anywhere! For me, I’d say the best way to meet friends is through your existing friends. This is how I met a lot of my friends. Another way is to make friends with your colleagues. I have got some wonderful friends who are also my co-workers. This depends though if you like mixing “business with pleasure” as you will end up discussing work whether you want it or not. Another way to meet people is through travelling. Mostly, solo travelling. You meet all sorts of people when you travel and I am very lucky to have met some amazing friends. Also, my very close friends are male friends. I get on well with my girls too of course, but for some reason I get on much better with my boys and I can really trust them! It really depends… I hope you will soon find some friends that you can spend time with and enjoy their company. In the meantime, you have us, your “online friends” 😛

    • I think my surrounding is a little different than yours, but I will continue to try and look for opportunities to meet new people. And thank you for being my online friend. I do feel a sense of belonging through you guys.

  2. My suggestion would be to take a class. Whether its a hobby, for your career, or exercise you’re bound to meet new people with at least one similar interest. I have trouble making new friends too, but I’ve made a few new ones taking Zumba over the years. The main thing is to be friendly and try to strike up conversations. Good luck!

    • I feel so awkward just starting a conversation with strangers. But I need to get out of my comfort zone. Next time I go to my gym group class, I’ll try to say at least one thing with someone there. Thanks~

  3. I have a lot of trouble making new friends. I only have a few and have had those since high school or earlier. I don’t even see or speak to them that much since I moved away. It sucks being somewhere new, not knowing anybody, and being unable to make new friends. I guess I should say the reason for this is most likely my Social Anxiety. It would be really nice though to have someone I could call (or in my case text because making phone calls are difficult) and be like ‘hey want to go out for coffee’.

    • I’m sorry that you’re also having some trouble finding new friends. I don’t have social anxiety like you described, but I feel so awkward. Maybe that is anxiety, I dont’ know.
      But I have been calling and texting people first, but seems like they have other plans or they just want to sit around. Maybe I just need to find a hobby and maybe I’ll find people through that. Good luck~

  4. This post completely resonates with me . I’m 35 years old female living in southern california and I find it hard to make more female friends. I am thinking of resorting to going through local group meet ups for hobbies, etc, etc with another friend. The problem is not meeting new people. It’s after meeting new people that I have a problem with developing into quality long lasting and positive friendships. I’ve had a couple of friendships that i have had to terminate because it was so toxic to be in those relationships.

    Good luck on your attempts at making quality female friendships! Let us know how they are going

    • I agree with you. I can join meet ups and different social groups, but I don’t know how to make real friends through that. I wish I had another friend to go with too, but that was my whole problem to begin with. Good luck and let me know when you find friendship and how it happened.

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  6. This is something we have struggled with too. This may not be feasible, but I would try to live around people who reflect your values.

    We moved out to Colorado 18 months ago and couldn’t stand the people we lived around. They were plastic and materialistic.Within a month, we knew we couldn’t stand to raise our children around these people. We moved to a much better place and now have several friends in the neighborhood. We are much, much happier.

    • Wow that’s a big decision. I’m glad it worked out for you guys. We hardly see anybody in our neighborhood. It’s a condo building and I rarely see people out at all. Next time we move, I’ll have to consider this too. Thanks~

  7. Michelle –
    Have a look at this website: Girlfriend Circles
    It’s harder to make friends as you get older and away from school. The founder tries to address this through matching women close in age. They may not have a “circle” in your area but you can sign up and if/when they have enough women in your location, they’ll form a circle. (They pick a safe public place and you meet for coffee or a drink so no worries there.)

    Just an idea ~ Pru

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