Do you have or need adult friends?  Finding those friends can be somewhat challenging given our busy lives. But researchers confirm, friends are critical to a happy life. In fact, a 2023 Pew research survey on friendship reported that 61% of adults in the U.S. say that having close friends is essential to living a fulfilling life- even more important than marriage, children, or money.

So what can you do to build adult friendships? Here are a few tips:

  1. Try reconnecting with old friends. Maybe you’ve lost touch with an old friend. Consider reconnecting. With social media, it is easy to find and message people. This requires a little assertiveness but isn’t that difficult. The worse thing that could happen is the old friend might not respond.
  2. Be interested in other people. When making friends, don’t always talk about yourself. Listen, look for similarities and commonalities. Commonalities bring people together. A friend is a good listener and celebrates both positive and challenging events in a person’s life.
  3. Move beyond superficial. You don’t have to have conversations that sound like a therapy session, but you do need to be open and vulnerable. The more you know someone beyond a superficial level, the more invested you are in their life. So, risk being vulnerable with a friend you think you can trust. It will lead to a deeper friendship.
  4. Make time for others. There is no short cut here. You must spend time with someone to get to know them. So, force yourself out of your apartment or bed. Accept an invitation to do something together. Time with someone says I value you.
  5. Join a group. Maybe it is a small group at a church, a sailing club, a painting group, a reading club…something of interest that will get you connected to other people. In fact, you might start a group based on an interest you have. This is a good way to expand your friendship network.
  6. Tell your friends that you value them. Keep in touch, be positive, get to know the person and tell them they are important in your life. Again, it is the positive feedback of a relationship that helps build it.
  7. Find Christian friends to encourage you in the faith. in today’s culture we do need strong Christian friends. John Piper tells us that Christian friends can heighten our joy in God, expose sin in us, encourage us to obey God, and encourage us to turn to God in our weaknesses. In other words, Christian friends keep us accountable to God and encourage us in our faith. And who doesn’t need accountability and encouragement?

Okay you know what to do. Get out there and make some friends.

The need for adult friendships