Looking for ways to make new friends as an adult? This article will help.
“Of all the things which wisdom provides to make us entirely happy, much the greatest is the possession of friendship.”
So said Epicurus, an ancient Greek philosopher and the founder of the Epicurean school of philosophy.
Though the word “epicurean” is now widely associated with pleasure-seeking hedonism through food and drink, the original intention of Epicureanism was anything but.
Instead, this wise man advocated for a life based on simple pleasures, the absence of hardship, and the company of good friends.
In thinking about how to make new friends as an adult man, it’s easy to get caught up in the most common advice: Join a club. Go out to the bars. Attend work functions and social gatherings.
But let’s be entirely honest here: How often do those things work out in the long run?
So instead of repeating the same advice that you can read anywhere online, in this article, I’d like to share more about how an adult man can go about changing his life such that it can lead to lifelong friendships.
It’s not an easy task, nor is it a quick solution. But by putting in a consistent effort to live your life in a more meaningful way, you can open the door to real, lasting joys in life.
To Make Friends, First Make Time
It’s no secret that we live in an age of constant busyness.
What time we have that isn’t taken up by our jobs is quickly diverted into either ways to improve ourselves with our weekly workout routines, side hustles, or reading self-help books, or to entertain ourselves with social media, streaming videos, and food and drink.
However, many adult men they’ll find that this constantly busy schedule leaves precious little time for actually enjoying the things they’re doing.
Enjoyment, appreciating the simple things in life, is often the end goal. But we have to ask ourselves: If we’re not enjoying our lives now, when will we begin to?
This is especially noticeable when men first try to make new friends. With packed schedules on both sides, it might be all but impossible to find a time when you and a potential friend can meet up.
So my first step towards making friends is this: Leave time in your days specifically for friendship.
If you’re looking for new friends, that can be time spent at a club or social activity, or even just going out to a coffee shop and making small talk with a stranger.
If you already have friends, this advice is equally valid — because your friends also have friends, and they too can become your new friends, if you have time to get to know them.
Try blocking out a few hours per week in your calendar specifically for friendship. What exactly you do in that time isn’t nearly as important as simply making the time in the first place.
Because once you have set up the expectation that part of your life will be filled with making and keeping friends, you’ll be empowered to actually make it happen.
To Make Time, Get Your Priorities In Order
“But Brian,” you say, “I’m so busy! I barely even have time to get everything done that I need to. How can I make time for friends?”
Here again, Epicurus has valuable advice to offer:
“Nothing is sufficient for the person who finds sufficiency too little.”
Or, in other words, you may need to take a look at your priorities.
And that means considering what it is that you value about all of the things that keep you busy. How much do you really need in order to live a simple, happy life?
I’ve yet to meet a chronically busy person who wasn’t concerned with more. More money, more muscles, more status at work, more successful relationships.
Those are all perfectly fine in and of themselves. But when they interfere with a person’s ability to enjoy the simple pleasures of friendship, they become harmful.
There is no silver bullet solution to understanding your own values and priorities in life. It can be a lifelong task to develop the sort of wisdom that allows you to see what’s really important.
But if you’re already asking how to make friends, then you’re on the right track because, alongside food and shelter, the fellowship of friends is the third essential to a happy and satisfied life.
A Simple Life With Good Friends
Simplifying your life is the tradeoff that most men will need to make if they’re going to have more and deeper friendships in their lives.
What this looks like will differ from person to person. But where and how you choose to spend your time should reflect what’s most important to you.
That’s why, in my opinion, advice on how to find friends that focuses on what you’re doing — not why you’re doing it — is always bound to come up short.
In my own life, I’ve had to question how much time I am spending on developing my career in comparison to nurturing my relationships.
It wasn’t just how much time I was spending at work; it was also how often my friendships started to revolve around work and talking about work.
Simplifying my working life by focusing on what was most important to me in work opened the door to being able to focus on my relationships more, and I’m thankful for it.
Focusing more on friendships and relationships has improved my health to the point where I find I can take on more work without burning out.
In conclusion, friendship is a simple but exceptionally meaningful and powerful thing. And when you give it the place of honor that it deserves in your life, you’ll start to see why a wise man like Epicurus valued it over almost everything else.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are two of the most frequently asked questions about how to make friends as an adult man:
Why Is It Hard for Adults To Make New Friends?
Difficulty in making friends as an adult has both personal and societal aspects. On a personal level, our busy lifestyles and questionable values can prevent us from having the time necessary to build deep and lasting friendships.
On the societal level, adults don’t have as many dedicated spaces for meeting friends as children and adolescents do. Both contribute to a generalized difficulty in making new friends as an adult.
How Do You Make Friends Fast as an Adult?
An old proverb says: “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”
There is no fast-track secret to making friends as an adult, but you can greatly increase your chances of finding new friends by spending more time in social settings like sports clubs, cafes, bars, or volunteer organizations.
Questions? Comments? Leave them below!