Maintaining friendships as a mom can be really hard. And making new friends is even harder. When you have kids and are in an established routine, it can be hard to find people that are like-minded that you want to spend time with. But making friends after 30 (and even 40) is possible. Here are some ways you can make new friends, even if you're super shy.
Tips for Making Friends After 30
When you were little, your friends were pretty much determined by where you lived. All the people you went to school with were the people that you hung out with. The friendships were real, but sometimes they were hard because they weren't always based on similar interests.
College friendships, for me, were where I could really go deep. They were based on liking similar things and sharing life experiences with people who were always there to support you.
As you get older, and start having children, your friendships shift yet again. While you still talk to your childhood friends and may spend time with your college pals, the people in your life day-to-day are again, based on location.
That's not good or bad. But finding people who you can make really strong friendships with after 30 years of age, can be really difficult.
How to Make New Friends as an Adult
Compliment A Perfect Stranger
If you compliment a random stranger on those killer heels they're wearing, that lovely haircut, or the insane moves they showed on the dancefloor, you're practically opening a door to a brand-new friendship. The trick is to always be honest, and only give out compliments if you really mean it.
I make it a point to ask people where they got a clothing item if I truly love it. Sure, I may want to buy the item, but you can practically see how the person lights up when asked. It usually sparks a conversation which is a perfect segue into forming a bond that might turn into a friendship.
In this day and age, we often just put our heads down and get shit done. But having someone stop to compliment us can really make our day and help feel connected with another human. You have to be open in order to make new friends.
Make A Friend At Work
Work is more fun with friends. Chances are that you have chatted openly with co-workers and know you have things in common. You probably spend lunch hours with them too.
Taking your relationship outside of the office can be hard if you mostly talk about work things. Make sure that you try to make a habit of leaving work at work and build a relationship based on real-life instead.
I miss work friends a lot being a stay at home mom. I'm super grateful that I still have “co-workers” in other bloggers who I get to see at events. I've connected with several of these gals and formed real friendships with them. We make it a point to meet for drinks and chat about mom life.
Steal A Friend
If your well of friends has run dry, then try stealing one from one of your friends’ circles. Not in a jerky way. But chances are you have connected with a good friend of a good friend at a past party or event.
Plan a few outings with your friend and the new friend you are interested in so you can grow the friendship without cutting the old friend out.
Over time, your relationship will grow on its own and stand alone.
Put Yourself Out There
Whether you are volunteering or just taking an art class, you won't make new friends sitting at home. You need to be around people to be able to chat with them.
I love to spend time at home, but if you are really wanting to grow your friendship circle, you should try to add in some new activities that would give you the chance to meet someone.
Weirdly, Instagram is also a good place to meet people to become friends with in real life. While obviously you aren't seeing their whole life in those little square images, it is a quick way to tell if they like similar things as you. It's easy to chat through comments and DMs to see if there is a friendship opportunity there.
Just be careful and don't share all your personal info until you feel like you really know them. Be smart and use your best judgment!
Reconnect With An Old Friend
There was a bond that brought you together in the first place, but life may have gotten in the way. If you enjoyed spending time with someone, who might currently be in the same stage of life as you, reach out to them. You already know you have a baseline friendship (and maybe just lost touch).
Catch up on what you've missed and see if you can build on your friendship from there. Having past experiences to draw from is helpful in making up for lost time. But don't expect them to be the same person you used to know. Everyone changes and grows and you need to see if who you are now is compatible.
Join a Mom Group
I resisted joining mom groups when I had kids. I was bummed that I couldn't see the friends that I loved enough and felt like I shouldn't take away any time I had from them to give to new people. But that way of looking at things is flawed.
Having people in the same stage of life as you is super helpful. You understand the kid's schedules and the strain little kids can have on relationships. What I loved about having close friends when the kids were little is that we could meet at a park for not even an hour and yet it felt restorative.
Getting to spend any amount of time with someone who's company you really enjoy is soul-satisfying. These types of friendships become less about what you are doing together and more about enjoying every second of the time you get with each other.
Things to Keep in Mind When Making New Friends
Making friends over 30 isn't impossible but does take a little bit of work.
Temper Expectations With Realism
You're never going to find someone who’s exactly like Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, or Samantha from Sex and the City, all wrapped into one. You can't expect people to be a perfect emotional copy of yourself either.
By opening up your horizons, you will find someone who likes some of the same things that you do. They might have different tastes in fashion or has adopted different eating habits than you. But that doesn't mean that you can't be friends.
Bond over the things you do have in common, and maybe open yourself up to learning about each other's differences. Just realize that the perfect friendship you have in your head may not be a reality.
You Have to Woo Them
Friendship is a lot like dating. You aren't going to be bff overnight. You need to start out with some small talk so you can reach them on a personal level. Show them that you're actually interested in what they're talking about.
If they tell you they're into reading books, ask them about the last book they’ve read and whether they recommend it or not. Listen to what they're saying and ask questions. People like to talk about themselves so this is a great way to get to know more about them and find those things you have in common.
At this stage of life, everyone is busy and free time is limited. Adding a new friendship to the mix can be daunting. Don't force it. If it's a fit pursue it.
Keeping Friends Once You've Made Them
Clear Your Calendar
You can't expect to make or keep, a friend if you don't have any spare time to hang out with them. If you really want to fill that friendship void in your life, then you need to make some sacrifices.
I get really into my work. I freaking love it. But my friendships have suffered as a result. Sometimes I feel like I can't sneak away to meet for lunch, but when I do, I know that I have strengthened that bond.
If I don't make intentional time to hang out with the people I love, they are going to feel undervalued and that I don't have time for them.
So if you meet somebody that you like, who you think you could be friends with, you need to show them that you can be available to support them. And sometimes that is being free to meet for lunch or even just tea.
For real. You may want to develop new friendships but you need to be true to who you are. You might really like someone but if their political views or even the way they parent are the complete opposite of how you do it, you may run into problems.
Never change how you are to please other people.
More Friendship Posts
- How to Plan a Girl's Trip for Mom Friends
- Tricks for Planning an Effortless Mom's Night Out
- Host a Wine and Essential Oils Party for Your Pals
- My friend Clarissa has a great post on How to Plan Travel with Friends
- Celebrate Galentine's Day (or any day) with Your Friends Coffee with these tips from LaShawn
Pin these ideas for making new friends
These easy tips for making friends after 30 will help you to grow your support system and let you find people you can laugh until you cry with. Good friends are what makes the world go around.