Years ago, I stumbled upon a study stating it takes around 50 hours to form a new friendship. This insight clarifies why, as adults, new friendships often feel elusive. Between juggling work, family and personal interests, time is scarce. For many, the shift to remote work further narrows opportunities for casual social encounters, making it even more challenging to meet new people. But it's not just external factors; as we age we often get in our own way by increasingly saying no to experiences.
In contrast, younger people, freer from life's obligations, are generally more open to experiences, making it easier for them to form friendships.
If you're looking to make new friends, reevaluate your current activities and be willing to adopt new social tactics. For instance, consider the person who opts to join a running club over running solo. By participating in group events with a common aim, they're committing to their practice while also surrounding themselves with individuals they already share something in common with. It's a an efficient way to spend time exposed to a cast of new characters.
Being deliberate about social engagement is beneficial at any age. Group activities let you pursue your interests and create friendship opportunities simultaneously.
Making friends at any stage in life is possible. Whether you find these connections naturally or create the setting yourself, saying "yes" to new experiences is key. In the end, the friendships we forge IRL not only enrich our lives but also become catalysts for growth.