Making new friends as an adult can be difficult. It’s not like the days when you were in school, and you were forced to be in classes with other students, that you could easily make friends with. As an adult, you have your own routine – you have your own life pattern. And fitting new friends into that life pattern can be a tough challenge. But it’s not impossible to make friends as an adult. Here are five ways to make friends as an adult.

Take a class

Going back to school is a great way to sharpen your mind, and expand your social circle. And today, there are more options than ever for furthering your education. You can seek out a degree online, of course, but if you really want that feeling of “going back to school” with an in-classroom experience, then seek out a local college. Many community colleges offer a number of continuing education courses, both during the day and at night, so you can fit them into your schedule. Or, invest in your future and make the choice to go back to school full-time.
Taking classes is a great way to challenge yourself and meet new people, who are also looking to challenge themselves. School offers a natural way to make friends, because you share a common activity and common goals. If you suspect you have a few friend prospects in your class, arrange a time to study together, or just meet up to review material and chat. Pretty soon you may find that you have more than just your class in common.

Join a gym

If you’re looking to revamp your fitness routine, a great way to start accomplishing this goal, and meet some new potential friends is joining a gym or a specific fitness club. But before you jump in feet first, take time to ask yourself: what workout have you always wanted to try? Maybe Pilates? Barre? Crossfit? Yoga? There are so many different studios out there, each with their own unique set of benefits. And furthermore, these workout-specific studios create more of a social environment – people join them to be part of a group, a movement in the way of fitness.

Get your feet wet by doing a trial week, and then figure out a schedule that works for you. It is easier to make friends if you start going to the same classes, at the same time each day or week. This way, you will find other people who regularly attend those same classes. Arrive a few minutes early to say hello, and potentially strike up some conversations. Be friendly, and open to new friendships. You can always take initiative and ask a fellow fitness friend to grab coffee after class – it’s a great way to get to know each other. And don’t worry about running out of things to talk about; a coffee date is great in that it can be 5 minutes, or 50, depending on how the conversation is going!

Get to know your neighbors

Depending on where you live, another great option for making new friends is to look in your local neighborhood. If you live in an apartment, a condo, a house in a neighborhood, or anywhere where you have neighbors, then pursue local friendships. Consider having a small get together in your home, and inviting a few neighbors over for tea or drinks. Have an “open house” to get to know your neighbors, and bring the neighborhood together. This is especially a great idea around the holidays, when people are expecting more get-togethers than usual, but it works year-round as well. Hang up flyers in the common area of your apartment building, or drop some sweet invite cards in the mailboxes of your surrounding homes. People will find this to be a sweet gesture, and you may end up with a few new friends because of it!

Don’t neglect current friendships

It’s great to try to make new friends, but at the end of the day, don’t forget about your current friendships, or even trying to resolve previous friendships that may have fizzled out slightly. If these old friends live locally, give them a call and see if they want to meet up. Or if they live long-distance now Skype, Facetime, and social media to reconnect.
Your relationships will be some of the most powerful things in your life, and they take time to build. Don’t throw away old friendships just because you haven’t talked to someone in a while. More often than not, they’ll be thrilled to hear from you and reconnect. Human beings naturally crave that familiar feeling of connection, and this feeling is all the better when you’re rekindling an old relationship that’s familiar and known. When you’re looking to make “new” friends, it may make just as much sense to look to your past.

The most important thing about making new friends as an adult is to be open to the possibility. If you are mentally closed off, then are are probably displaying closed off body posture as well, which does not put out a vibe of “I’m here to make friends.” Be open to the possibility of meeting new people, and invite new friendships into your life. Your life may change for the better because of it!