Why is it hard to make friends as an adult

Why is it hard to make friends as an adult

 It seems as if something changes when we approach our 30’s and all of a sudden…. Meeting new people is getting a little bit harder.

 If you find it difficult to make friends as an adult, you are not alone. Reports suggest that many adults report having few friends or none at all. Among millennial-aged adults, 27% report that they have no close friends.

And then there is the question of how many friends should we have? Of course, there is no right answer for this, it totally depends on you. But everyone likes to have some friends in their life, right? Research has suggested that the sweet spot is somewhere between 3 and 5 close friends, with around 50% of people having less than 3 close friends. Even Oprah Winfrey said she has 3 close friends. 

So if you ever wondered if it is normal that you are struggling to make new friends as an adult, then we are here to tell you, yes, it is completely normal. 

Regardless if you are starting to (re-)build your friendship group from scratch or just like to expand your social circle a bit, making new friends as an adult is difficult. As so many of us have experienced, growing up changes a lot about our friendships.

There are many reasons as to why this might happen and again is different for each friendship. Some of the factors we are all dealing with is that everything has moved online. You might follow more classes virtually than spending time in university, or you are working remotely instead of at the office. Giving us the flexibility that we love but also decreasing our chances of meeting new people and making it more difficult for organic friendships to blossom. 

While our online interactions with strangers have increased and it seems completely normal to comment or like a post of someone we have never met before, talking to a stranger IRL seems to have gotten so much more difficult. 

Our priorities shift as we get older. For some of us, this might mean spending more time focussing on our careers while for others they spend it with their family. We have an unwavering routine and might be less likely to try something new.  

At the same time.. we might notice a lot of changes around us, perhaps friends moving away to another city or you or your friends are entering a different life-phase. Half the people are single, the others married with a baby on the way.

 Most people have the same social circle from their childhood. Studies have shown that, when people reach their 30’s, they start to value quality friendships over quantity. Once their social circles narrow down, people settle for fewer friendships. Which again, is more in line with their time schedule. 

As the social circles narrow down, it might also become more intimidating to enter a group of friends that have known each other for so long. On the other hand, we ourselves also become more picky with who we let into our own lives. We might not align fully anymore with the current group of friends we have, for whatever small or grand reason. 

When we mature, we also grow more into ourselves, might want to explore different opportunities, or find ourselves in different places and in these situations, we want to align ourselves with other people matching our ideas and rhythm at that point in time. 

While it might seem a bit difficult, especially with the limited time we have as adults, to find new friends. It doesn’t have to be. You can find a group of like-minded women in your city by joining After5. All these women are looking for the same thing; a great evening and connection.

Back to blog