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NOW READING Yes, You Can Still Make Friends in Your 30s — Here’s How I Did It
March 7, 2020

Yes, You Can Still Make Friends in Your 30s — Here’s How I Did It

Your 30s is a time of transition — marriage, children, career, a lot of things are happening that take up your time. So it’s no wonder your friendships take a hit as well. But you know what? Friendships are crucial when it comes to your quality of life and wellness. So how do you make friends in your 30s? Editor Sheryll shares her experience.


 

Making friends is challenging, but making friends in your 30s is a whole other ball game. It’s when the weird life split happens — friends get married, have children, move for a job, sometimes a combination of all three. Everyone starts to move on to their new phases of life, and if you’re not married or don’t have kids (aka me), it can be hard to navigate these changes.

 

For me, this feeling of isolation was compounded by the fact that I moved to Atlanta from Southeast Asia — a city where I had no friends, no family, and no support system. And yes, of course, I moved with my boyfriend, and he is the most wonderful human on the planet, but every girl needs a few girlfriends.

 

I don’t really think I realized just how lonely I was until I started going to therapy and, through a few sessions, discovered that a major component of my life (friendships) was missing. It was like a lightbulb went off in my head. Like, of course, I was depressed and lonely — I had no close friendships. But then came the next challenge: How do I find friends in a city where I know no one and I work from home?!

 

 

friends in your 30s
Unsplash/Thought Catalog

 

 

To make a long story short, through work and effort, I now have an amazing support group of friends. They’ve come to my powerlifting events, we go to the movies together, or sometimes just hang out on a friend’s porch and chat with snacks. I’ve had friends come over to make dinner with me (which I’ve discovered is one of life’s greatest pleasures) or simply hang out in PJs and binge-watch Parks and Recreation. For one of the first times in my recent memory, I feel happy and fulfilled. And despite what all the memes tell us about being introverted and not wanting to hang out with friends, friendships have been proven to help people live longer and improve stress, depression, and anxiety.

 

So, just how did I do it? How did I find these close friendships? Read on for my tips.

 

 

1. Put yourself out there

 

One of the scariest things I had to do was put myself out there. You’re not going to find friends cooped up in your apartment. I work from home, so I didn’t even have the luxury of making work friends. I joined Meetup.com and joined a few groups that seemed interesting to me. If meeting people in a group is not your jam, I recommend BumbleBFF. It’s like the dating app Bumble, but only for women who are looking for friendship.

 

 

via GIPHY

 

 

Yes, it IS super intimidating at first (who wants to be judged on your profile and photo!), but it’s actually the place where I found all of the women I now consider my close friends. And it is really affirming to know that there are a ton of women out there that are also looking for friendship. You aren’t alone!

 

 

2. DON’T FLAKE

 

Now, once you’ve put yourself out there, joined some groups or swiped right on a couple of people from BumbleBFF, you actually have to commit to meeting up with them. Yes, I know, after work or on the weekends it sounds really good to order some takeout and watch TV, but you actually have to stick to your word and go hang out. NO GHOSTING ALLOWED.

 

 

Some of the first meetings I had with my friends — coffee dates, a co-working date, Korean BBQ dinner, a walk around a bookstore, a dessert date — none of these things break the bank, and they allow you to chat one-on-one with your potential new friend and see if you’re compatible. Think of it like this: How can you want friends if you don’t even want to meet people? No one wants a friend who constantly cancels plans and flakes!

 

 

via GIPHY

 

 

And in the same vein, it’s 2020, we’re all busy. So instead of doing that back and forth:

 

“Hey, let’s hang out!”

 

“Oh, I can’t after 8pm because xyz.”

 

“Oh, well what about this date/time?”

 

“Sorry, I’m busy then, too.”

 

Plan on a date out of the month or week that you hang out and stick to it. My friends and I like to do movie dates once a month on the same day, or you could have a bi-weekly coffee date. Just find something, put it in your calendar, and stick to it!

 

 

via GIPHY

 

 

3. Keep up the communication

 

So, you and your potential bestie have gone out for a friend date and you’ve really hit it off. Don’t let it fizzle out! I like to keep in contact with my friends by sending funny GIFs or just checking in every once in a while. Of course, we’re all busy, but a simple “Hey! How are you?” text really goes a long way. The whole point of friendships is to have someone to talk to or hang out with so make sure that you’re keeping in contact!

 

 

 

via GIPHY

 

 

Have you found it harder to make friends as you get older? Do you have any tips on making friends in your 30s or at any age? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Sheryll Donerson got her start as a beauty writer by writing K-beauty reviews for her blog, The Wanderlust Project. These days, she's lifting heavy weights, eating tacos, drinking (too much) coffee and is 1/4 of the beauty podcast, Beauty Beyond Basics (or Triple Bees for short). You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @sheryllrenata.

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COMMENTS 18

This post is SO relatable. As a military wife and mother, I totally understand moving across the world countless times and having to re-build your life in each place. It’s not easy for anyone. Especially when you are away from your home town and everything you’ve always known. Being older in age also does not help anyone’s case, haha! These points are accurate and necessary to build solid new friendships anywhere you travel to.

The hardest part about trying to meet people in 2020 has been the lack of places to go out/do things.
I've found some interest groups on Instagram and Facebook where members hold zoom meetings for various nerdy things (Japanese fashion and cosplay to name a few). It's always been a lot of fun. Don't be afraid to search/reach out!

alfud227

I've been ignoring my loneliness with so many excuses.. but this article clearly is a sign for me to start making friends again

wlals9270

I love meetup! I usually tag along my local hiking session during the weekend and it's been amazing to meet new people

topsan

This is an important subject to talk about. I only have handful of friends and even less when it comes to true friends. It's reassuring to know that everyone is struggling with this

meilan6299

My friend and I used to live couple of blocks away and it was easy for both of us to stay in close contact... she recently moved to a different state and it's getting harder to maintain our friendship. This article was a great insight for me to remember how important she is to me!

zangsheong

After graduating from college it's been a struggle making new friends.
I feel like I'm even losing some as they get married and busy with their family. This was an encouraging reminder!

meina712

It's also important to remember their birthdays! Even though you can't give them gift every year it's good to make diy gifts!

wuzhentie

I agree whole heartedly! I think asking and truly wanting to know about their life (not in a fake way) is a great advice too

bjih1103

Ahh.. tip #3 is the hardest for me.. I feel like I shouldn't contact them just incase I'm bothering them:( I guess making effort to communicate is like the heart of maintaining friends!

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