So a Cosmo girl can’t be a gal about town if she has no pals to strut with. No matter your age or location, friends are key to a fulfilling life. However, unless you’ve kept your same crew from school, once you graduate it can be hard to make new friends. I had gals I was so close with in school but once we graduated we slowly went our separate ways. Some of this was due to moving, some due to a shared experience being the real bond holding us together.
So what is a girl to do when she’s ready to make her social mark on the world but does not want to do it alone? Here are some areas I’ve found that did me wonders in my search for friends as a big girl:
- Make friends at work- This is an obvious and easy one. I’ve been blessed that in most of my jobs I’ve been able to make at least one friendship that holds past my time working with the person. Sometimes these friendships are with older people who become mentors or are simply with women (or men) my age who I can socialize with off hours.
- Online- Just like dating sites some sites are great for making friends. I had one friend find her bestie on craigslist, that’s a one in a million. But there are other sites that are great like Meetup.com where you can find people in your area through shared interests or backgrounds. Forums are also another way to make friends. I know people who made friends through talking about a topic like sports or a tv show often via a certain forum (like yahoo) or a facebook group.
- Volunteer- I’ve also had success at making friends this way. Do an interactive activity where you can easily talk to others who also have the same spirit of giving. Habitat for Humanity or cooking and feeding the homeless for example.
- Networking groups- I’ve also made friends when going to certain functions that are work (or hobby) related. For instance, I did the 48 hour film project as a writer and actress and made friends with another writer on the same project.
- Friends of friends- This is another very easy way to make friends. Look to the friends of the friends you already have. When your friend has a function, don’t just stay under her go mingle with her guests. Now I’m not condoning the stealing of friends (that really burns my britches, no one wants to feel their friends are hanging out without inviting them), just be more inclusive if the setting is right. I am blessed enough to have a sister close in age and we’ve shared friends for years.
- Social sports- I made a few good friends from the many social sports groups I joined. There is no easier way to make pals than playing a round of softball and then going out for drinks and food after.
- Just say hi!- I’ve made friends by just randomly talking to people. You can do this at events or on trips. I made a friend while on a cruise once. My friends I was on the trip with had all gone on an excursion I did not want to do and instead I wanted to do another event. I went up to two girls on the ship who were doing my same event and asked if I could hang with them and they said sure. I’m still friends with one of the girls to this day.
- Look around you- My mother is great at this. She is the Oprah of Maryland. I swear she makes friends just by materializing at places. On the plane, at the beauty counter, in the gym, at parties, with her neighbors, her children’s parents. It’s really amazing how she connects with people. Sometimes you just have to be in a spirit to attract positive people to you and…sounds crazy but, like magic they appear.
So we may be older, we may not have school forcing us into social situations but we should never neglect the need for friendship, whether we are married, single, parents, young or old. So get out there and say hi!