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14 Ways to Find Good Friends No Matter What Your Age

14 Ways to Find Good Friends No Matter What Your Age

Making good friends as you get older can be difficult. Trying to balance your personal life with work can leave you with limited time to get out and about. Worse still, the longer you leave it the more anxious you become about meeting new people.

Whilst it can be difficult to take that first step back into the world of socializing, once you have made the move you will usually find things fall neatly into place.

To help you kickstart the process, below are 14 possibilities to keep in mind – with some initiative, a smartphone, and a charm offensive, nothing can hold you back.

1. Overcoming nerves

Firstly, I’m aware the below 13 points may seem easy in consideration. But when the time comes to socialize, it’s often a tad more difficult. If you are shy, highly introverted, or out of practice with talking to people, it may even seem like an impossibility.

If you have anxiety, then you can find services such as the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) – it offers tips on how to deal with, and even overcome, some of the symptoms to make socializing easier.[1]

Just remember, many times you will find yourself nervous and anxious before meeting people, but once you’re talking away you will calm down and begin to enjoy the experience.

It’s just about taking that first step and chatting to people, but you can condition yourself to make positive steps simply by following some coping strategies here:

Feel Anxious in Social Situations? Try These Methods 

Or watch this video:

2. Opportunism

Now, to meeting people! The first option is challenging as it depends on your personality type – it will either be too obvious or crushingly difficult.

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What are your opportunistic options?

Approach your neighbors, for instance, and get to know them over a coffee or tea. At work, offer to catch up over drinks and get to know your colleagues in a relaxed environment. Attending a party? Get talking to people when you arrive, find someone you have something in common with, and then offer to connect on Facebook. From there you can suggest meeting for drinks.

This one will be nerve-wracking/annoying for the introverts of this world, but an opportunistic streak (even if it’s a cheeky one, such as inviting yourself to after work drinks you heard colleagues discussing) can go a long way.

3. Frequent a local café

Choose a café you like, head there at regular intervals, and practice your charm offensive on the baristas. It can be fun practice for other social occasions, plus you can genuinely get to know people.

Day after day, as the weeks pass, your confidence will grow and you will become a regular – a great way to practice witty conversation with the staff.

Also, it’s a chance to drink some coffee and tea and you can’t grumble at that.

4. Break out of your comfort zone

Break on through the habit of a lifetime – try something you would never normally do. This could be taking up rollerblading or learning a musical instrument – nothing is stopping you from joining a local band.

Volunteer at the local theatre, or take up amateur acting. Out of the randomness can come lifelong friendships, so dare yourself to try something new.

5. Meetup

Meetup helps you find meetups that interest you – it’s as simple as that. It can be difficult to meet new people and think of conversation. Especially if you’re nervous. If there’s an activity to get on with, though, then conversation can be free-flowing. 

Check out what people say about Meetup:

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6. Travel

Heading off on holiday, whether locally or abroad gets you around people – obviously. In this scenario, everyone is in the same situation. You’re in a new location, you don’t know anyone, and it’s an ideal opportunity to get talking to complete strangers.

Wondering where to go?

Lonely Planet is an excellent site to check out for ideas – it has a brilliant blog.

There’s also Atlas Obscura, in case you feel you have done it all from a travel front, which offers endless weirdly wonderful tourist spots from across the world.

And of course, we have plenty of suggestions for you on Lifehack: World’s 10 Best Destinations To Travel Alone

7. Volunteer

All it takes to find a worthy cause is a quick Google search. It may be a local cat shelter needing volunteers to take care of its felines at weekends, supporting the local library, or at a sporting event (motorsport races always need track marshals, for example).

Wherever you volunteer, there will be other volunteers, too, making it a fun way to get to meet new people. It’s also something to add to your CV/résumé.

8. Join (or even start) a book or film club

You can find plenty of these already set up on the likes of Meetup. But if there isn’t one in your local community, then you can start one.

Books or films are an easy choice to get a conversation going, as you’re rarely like to find people who hate films.

Simply ask someone what films they like and you will be off for hours. Ask someone about their favourite author and you will get the same result.

9. Late night classes

If you want to learn something new, and meet a batch of new people whilst you’re at it, then here’s a rewarding option. Have a search on Google for late night classes or adult training courses in your area. You will pretty much immediately meet a group of people with a shared interest.

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10. Try meet-friends apps

There’s an app for everything these days, including ones for making good friends no matter the situation you’re in. Peanut , for example, is for your mothers looking to connect – “Meet as Mamas” as the site puts it.

Or there’s Bumble BFF. This is very handy if you have found yourself in a situation where you just don’t know anybody nearby (e.g. if you have moved to a new city).

Huggle is an other: “Discover people who go to the places you go to” reads the slogan. The app filters people based on the locations you go to, what you get up to, and what you’re interested in. From there, you can connect and see where it all leads.

If you’re over 50, there’s Stitch. It’s about companionship, travel, and activities and can connect you with people locally and globally.

11. Join a sports group

Sports, asides from keeping you fit, are usually pretty sociable occasions.

Think of the likes of badminton, tennis, cycling classes, cricket, and various others. Book yourself into local matches at you have got a bit of casual competition on your hands – a great way to get natural conversation flowing.

12. Get a pet

Animals are great companions, which is a major bonus right away if you’re feeling lonely.

Whether you get a cat, dog, fish, hamster, or a pigeon (yes, these make great pets!), there are going to be other people out there who love these sorts of animals as well.

A pet dog is arguably the best option, as you can take it for walks, bond, and head to meetups (such as with the pug one in New York above). It’s an easy conversation starter, as most people can talk for hours about the various quirks of their four-legged friend.

13. Start blogging

A bit of a shift now, as the final two involve sitting behind a computer. But you can find good friends from across the world easily if you start blogging on a platform like WordPress.

With its online community, it won’t be long until you have come across lots of people you have things in common with.

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All you have to do is setup your blog (for free, if you want to) and start posting away:

Pick a topic you’re interested in, such as films, music, or food, and people will arrive to look at the content you’re publishing.

14. Online gaming

Video games aren’t for everyone, but if they have piqued your interest then there are plenty that encourage socialising (in digital form).

If you’re suffering from anxiety and unsure about getting out and about in your local city or town, then games can be a fun way of starting the step towards bigger things.

MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) are a great place to start. Titles like World of Warcraft have many millions of players across the world.

Some people have even married after meeting on it![2] That’s not mandatory of course. But it shows you how well you can get to know people through a mutual passion.

Your age can’t stop you from meeting friends!

No matter how old you are, you can still make friends and bond with others.

To begin with, just keep things simple and avoid unnecessary stresses.

Start a blog, chat to people online, read some of the ADAA guide if you’re nervous, and maybe reconnect with an old friend you have not seen for a while.

After that, you can slowly ramp up your socializing plan to take on bigger opportunities. Ultimately, you’re the boss. You don’t have to meet anyone – downtime in solitude can be great, after all – but if you have experienced a twinge of loneliness on a Friday night, then consider a few of the steps above to make some good friends.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Coping Tips
[2] Cosmopolitan: 3 Couples Talk About How World of Warcraft Brought Them Together

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Alex Morris

Creative Writer, Copywriter, & Journalist for Business, Culture, Lifestyle, & Work

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Published on June 5, 2020

12 Relationship Deal Breakers That You Shouldn’t Tolerate

12 Relationship Deal Breakers That You Shouldn’t Tolerate

Do you have relationship deal breakers?

A deal breaker is a factor to consider when deciding whether to follow through with something or not. It’s that little something that makes you say “I’m done!” even when you really love someone or you’ve been together forever.

It may sound harsh — after all, no relationship is perfect, right? — but having a list of relationship deal breakers is actually a healthy way to protect yourself from toxic situations.

Don’t get caught up in controlling, hurtful, and potentially dangerous relationships. Here are 12 relationship deal breakers that you should seriously consider when deciding whether your sweetheart is actually worth your time.

1. There Is Abuse in the Relationship

A healthy relationship is about respect, putting your spouse first, and treating them how you want to be treated.

On the other hand, a partner who lays a hand on you or emotionally abuses you is a major relationship deal-breaker[1].

Many people convince themselves that just because it happens once doesn’t mean it will happen again. Remember, you deserve a healthy relationship, and someone who abuses you physically or emotionally even once isn’t worth your time.

2. You’re a Secret

If you find out that your spouse hasn’t told their friends or family about you, run for your life! Because being a secret means one of three things.

  • They are already in a relationship and you are the side piece.
  • They can’t commit.
  • They are embarrassed by you.

Your time is valuable and shouldn’t be wasted being with someone who would rather keep you as their dirty little secret.

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3. Plans Are Constantly Cancelled

Does your partner always seem to be ditching out on plans with you last minute?

Sure, there are legitimate reasons that your partner may be doing this, such as being called into work unexpectedly, but feeling like the person you’re crazy about is bailing on your company in favor of partying with their friends is definitely shady.

If you find that your long-term partner starts doing this, it may be signs of a deeper problem in the relationship that needs to be discussed.

4. Substance Abuse Problems

Sitting down with a drink is a great way to relax — and let’s be honest, having a buzz on is fun! But if your spouse needs some sort of substance to have a good time, or if their personality drastically changes when they are under the influence, it can really throw you for a loop.

Substance abuse is one of the biggest relationship deal breakers on this list. It can cause your partner to mistreat you, be untrustworthy, waste money, and make poor decisions that will hurt you.

Why would you want to be around someone who is high or drunk 24/7, anyway?

5. Your Partner Isn’t Faithful

When it comes to cheating, put your foot down immediately. Don’t forgive and wait for the next round of heartbreak. If you have both agreed to a monogamous relationship, both parties should be respecting that decision.

Even if you put breaking your trust and your heart aside, your partner’s cheating on you puts you at risk for depression, sexually transmitted infections, and major embarrassment.

If your partner doesn’t love and respect you enough to stay faithful, dump them. They aren’t worth your time.

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6. They Fight Dirty

There are times when we’ve all said stupid things in the heat of an argument, but there’s a difference between getting caught up and using a disagreement as an excuse to be a complete jerk.

If, during an argument, your partner or spouse:

  • Brings up past experiences with the intention of hurting your feelings
  • Calls you rude or degrading names
  • Gaslights you to make you feel crazy
  • Attacks you instead of the issue
  • Uses the silent treatment

Then you should consider walking away.

Healthy relationships are about open communication and fair conflict resolutions[2] — not about seeing who can hurt the other more.

7. You Don’t Feel Good About the Relationship

Do you feel good about being around your partner, or do you get knots when you think about hanging out together?

Do you get anxiety when you think about your relationship?

Does your partner make you question your self-worth?

If so, something inside you is probably screaming: “This relationship isn’t right!” There is definitely something to be said for gut instinct when it comes to deciding whether or not to stay with someone.

If your gut is telling you something is off in your relationship, there probably is.

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8. You Want Different Things

Sometimes, even if you really love each other, your relationship game just isn’t meant to work out.

He wants East Coast, you want West.

She wants to save money, you want to spend.

He wants kids, you’re fine riding as a duo.

Even if you get along well, these fundamental differences in your goals and where you see your lives going are going to cause serious resentment problems if you don’t address them soon.

9. They’re Unbelievably Selfish

We’re all selfish from time to time, but some people take it too far.

If you feel like you’re giving your all to your spouse, and all they’re doing is taking, focusing on themselves, and taking advantage of your kindness, it may be time to re-evaluate your relationship.

Don’t spend a second longer with a selfish narcissist. Trust me, it isn’t worth the headache.

10. They’re Always Jealous

Healthy jealousy is totally cool when it inspires couples to treat each other better and not take one another for granted.

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However, controlling, hack-your-Facebook-and-demand-your-phone-password jealousy[3] should never be tolerated. This is a sign of insecurity and can quickly develop into dangerous or abusive behavior. It’s better to get out before it reaches that point.

11. You Don’t Share Values

You may think that opposites attract — and that’s true! — but that doesn’t always mean they make the best partners.

If you are passionate about your politics or your faith and your spouse has opposing beliefs that upset or anger you, it could mean that your relationship wasn’t meant to be.

If you’re going to be in a relationship with someone with opposing values, be aware that it will take a great deal of time to work through how you talk about and handle those things. If you simply don’t have the patience or desire to do so, it’s time to walk away.

12. You’re Always Fighting

Do you feel like you and your spouse are always arguing?

Sure, even happy couples argue, but constantly arguing with a partner is one of our relationship deal breakers because it shows that you have poor communication skills.

Communication is everything when it comes to a healthy, happy relationship. Couples need to be able to talk to each other in order to build empathy, resolve problems, and get closer. This means addressing problems as the arise, not letting them sit and turn into huge fights down the line.

The Bottom Line

Life is far too short to spend it with someone who isn’t worth your time. If your spouse is controlling, annoying, or won’t seem to give you the time of day, it’s time to call it quits! This is obviously a difficult decision to make, but your future self will thank you when they’ve found someone who is better for them.

More Tips on Relationship Deal Breakers

Featured photo credit: Christian Fregnan via unsplash.com

Reference

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