Do you think it's hard or easy to make new friends as you get older? You're probably going to say that it's really tricky, and that's definitely a pretty common opinion. After all, when you're a kid, you're pretty much forced into making friends with other children who live in your neighborhood or who you go to school with. In junior high and high school and then of course college, you can choose who you spend time with a lot more carefully, for better and for worse (unfortunately, pretty much everyone has been bullied or ignored or excluded). But when you reach your early, mid and late 20s, forming new friendships becomes pretty confusing. Where would you even meet new people? Would someone think it's weird that you're asking them out on a "friend date"? Are you supposed to just accept that you've already made all the friends that you're going to do? It's definitely possible to make new friends at this stage in your life, and more than that, it's pretty awesome. Here are 15 reasons why making new friends in your 20s is awesome.
15 You Learn About Yourself
The thing with old friendships is while it's amazing to know the same people for a long time, you don't really get to learn anything about yourself. You have the same inside jokes, the same stories, and talk about the same things for the most part. But when you're in this important decade and make some new connections, you can totally learn new things about who you are and who you're becoming. Maybe your new friend is much more adventurous than you are, and while you usually think that you're kind of a wallflower and don't really get super brave, you might be surprised to find yourself wanting to be like her. That's a pretty great thing. You don't have to play the same role that you do in your usual friend group -- you can leave that person behind and be a new kind of girl. It's okay and it's actually going to be really good for you.
14 You Experience New Things
With your group of friends, you pretty much do the same kinds of activities together. That's not necessarily bad -- it can be really comforting to go to the same bars on girls' night out, have the same conversations and watch the same rom-coms when you're hanging out at one of your apartments. When you make new friends past college, you pretty much are trying something new and that's how you meet them. Maybe you joined a book club that you found on Meet Up (or a film club -- those are becoming pretty common these days) or tried that barre studio that a Facebook friend is always talking about. It's really an amazing thing to experience something and step out of your comfort zone and end up with a new friend or two in the process. That's pretty much the friendship dream.
13 You Get Out Of Your Friend Rut
The friend rut is totally a thing. If it's not, well, it should be and let's agree to make it a thing. You know that you can get into a rut when it comes to anything in your life, from your relationship (watching a movie at home every night and never doing anything else) to your food (ordering pizza and never cooking). It's totally possible to get into a friend rut, too. Think about it: you love your friends, of course you do, but you get into the habit of hanging out with the same people all the time -- and the same types of people, too. When you're in your 20s and make new friends, you can talk about different things and maybe even start to see your life and your future and your dreams in another light. That's a pretty powerful thing.
12 You Can Be Introduced To Other People
New people, more people. That should be your motto. Your new friend from barre class can invite you to a bar on Friday night for her birthday celebration, and then boom, you meet all her friends and make even more new connections. So really, here's a simple formula: make one new friend, make about a million. Okay, maybe not a million (unless your new pal is a celebrity with an insanely huge social network, of course) but definitely at least a few. Social connections are pretty awesome in your 20s especially because you could even get a new job or work client out of the whole deal. Then you'll be happy and super social with all your new friends, and richer, too. Sounds pretty good.
11 You Could Find Love
You really never know who you are going to meet next, or where your future is taking you. It's totally possible that your new friends could set you up on a blind date with the absolute love of your life. You may think that's not possible because maybe you've been on awful blind dates before, like most people. Blind dates by definition are pretty awkward. But anything is possible and it's best not to think negativity, right? Think about it, though: would your rather go back on Tinder and find a random stranger, or be introduced to a supposedly sweet, smart, funny guy by your new best friend? The latter sounds a lot better probably. You could definitely suggest being set up to your new social circle -- go ahead, be brave and take a chance. That's what this decade is all about when you think about it.
10 You Can Relate
You can't always relate to your old friends, no matter how much you love them and how much they mean to you. They are childhood friends. They're the kids who lived down the street from you. The ones who picked you up when you fell, when you got your heart broken for the first time, when you got your first bad grade in college. You care about them and you're not going to stop being friends with them or anything. But you can't always relate to them, because unfortunately, things change and people change and you don't always grow in the exact same way. Maybe now you're really into your career and you're happily single and all your friends are getting engaged left, right, and center. But when you make new friends at this stage in your life, you can relate to them because you can be at the exact same place and going through the same things.
9 You Can Mix Up Your Routine
When you make new friends in your 20s, you realize that not everyone has the same schedule as you... or even anything close to it at all. People work in different ways. Some people freelance, some own their own businesses but rent office space, others work the obvious and traditional 9-to-5 kind of office days, and others work evenings or even through the night. It's all good, it's just different. When you make new friends right now, you can mix up your social routine because you're dealing with new people with different schedules. You can meet one friend for a Friday coffee or lunch date because she works nights so you would never see her otherwise, or plan some brunch dates if someone works pretty much all the time and can't handle partying on Fridays or Saturday nights.
8 You'll Feel Happier
The more people in your life, the more fun you're having. And the more fun you have, the happier you have. It's just basic Math, right? Even if you suck at Math (it's the worst, right?!), you can figure that simple formula out. Who doesn't want to feel more joy in their daily life? Look, life is definitely rough sometimes... and your 20s are pretty much the worst when it comes to ups and downs. You're in love one moment... and breaking up with your boyfriend the next. You're having the time of your life at your job... and tomorrow you get downsized. So it's really important to surround yourself with good people and make as many new friends as possible so you have a great social support system for this crucial, tricky decade.
7 You'll Always Have Something To Do
Are all your old friends busy? No big deal... well, before, it would have been a massive deal. You would have felt totally annoyed and lonely because there's really nothing worse than wanting to be social and being told by everyone that they're too busy or made plans about a thousand years ago. But when you make new friends, you always have something to text and ask what they're doing, and chances are at least one or two people will be up for it. You basically deserve to have a steady stream of social plans all the time because you work hard, so you definitely need to have fun too. Well, unless your new friends are total workaholics. And then you might not have anything to do after all. So maybe choose your new friends very carefully.
6 You Will Get More Confident
When you're making new friends in your 20s, you're basically the one doing the asking. It's like asking someone out on a date. You may be nervous and think they might reject you and say no way, but they're probably going to say yes. Why? Well, wouldn't you say yes? Wouldn't you love the chance to make a new friend? Yes, exactly. It's so hard to connect with others once we get into the crazy and sometimes boring routines of work and commuting and making dinner and chores and all that. So it's great when someone else reaches out and makes a point of saying, hey, you're cool and we should hang out sometime. Once you do it once, you honestly won't believe you never did it before. And it will be easy as pie to keep asking other people out on friend dates.
5 You Will Be Inspired
Here's the thing: making new friends is completely inspiring. You're learning about someone new, figuring out their likes and dislikes, hearing funny stories, and generally just getting to know them inside and out. You never know what stories they have to tell you or what wisdom they can apart or what advice they can give you. And whatever they say on your first coffee or lunch or dinner date could honestly and truly change your entire life. It may not seem like that, because how could one person do that? But you've probably been inspired by a friend or family member or even a guy that you dated before, so you know that one person has the power to change a lot in your little world.
4 You Might Surprise Yourself
You usually go through life thinking that you pretty much know what your future is going to bring you... even though, of course, nobody that is that psychic and no one knows what's going to happen to them. When you make a point of making new friends and letting new people get to know you, then you might just surprise yourself with what your future brings. You never know what new experiences and opportunities and activities this new friend might bring into your life. Maybe you'll go on your dream European vacation together, or go hiking in a new park in your area every Sunday morning, or the two of you will take up photography or painting or something like that.
3 You Will Feel At Peace
It's great to feel like you're building your social network, meeting new people and making new good, real, true friends, because it just makes you feel so much more at peace in your life. There are so many things to deal with on a daily basis when you're in your 20s, from work to relationships to whatever else, and anything (or anyone) that can help you feel calmer is always a good thing. Trust us on this one. So what are you waiting for? Why aren't you forging some new friendships? There really are a bunch of positive benefits to making the effort to get together with new people instead of the same old crowd you've hung around with since forever.
2 You Can Replace Toxic People
Look, you have toxic people in your life. You 100 percent do. You might not realize it but that's just the honest truth. Everyone gets through friend break-ups, especially in their 20s, because your 20s are when you really want to "clean house" so to speak and make sure you're dealing with people on a regular basis that you honestly think are good for you. You're too old and mature (or at least trying to be) to deal with jerks and losers and people who are essentially emotional leeches. So when you make new friends during this decade, you can totally replace friends that you think are totally toxic and no longer want to spend your time with. You won't feel the loss quite as much when you have other people to hang out with. Plus you'll have so much more fun with these new friends.
1 You Deserve It
You're an amazing person. You try your best to support the people in your world. You do a great job at work. You're nice to your coworkers even though they can get on your last nerve sometimes (or all the time, really). So why don't you deserve to make some new amazing friends? You do. You totally do. So go ahead and reach out to that girl in your spin class. Ask a mutual friend to grab coffee after work one evening. Host a brunch or dinner party and get people to bring a dish they made (or bought, it's totally okay) but also bring another friend, too. Don't get so caught up in your own life that you forget that it's okay and even a good idea to meet new people and shake up your social routine. You totally need to have great people around, and you won't believe the benefits of making new connections at this point in your life. You definitely won't regret it.