People’s lives move at different paces. Milestones and priorities change, meaning that our social lives with our lifetime pals can sometimes fall out of step. But instead of spending lonely nights in, pining for the past and watching The X Factor because you feel like that's all you have left, here is how you make new friends as an adult.
It may seem like a risk but the secret to making new friends is to obtain that naivety you had when you were five years old, back when you had no fear in asking a person that you are drawn to, to be your friend. Having been on both sides of the question, there is no greater thrill than someone deciding that they want to be in your life. To know that someone wants to get to know you, just when you thought that you were settled in your ways, gives you a new burst of life and, unlike a romantic relationship, the risk of heartbreak and rejection is far lower. You can sit cross-legged on the couch with this new friend at 4am, picking their brain apart as the ice melts in your untouched gin and tonic and imploring to know them entirely without the fear of commitment flashing across their eyes because this isn't about marriage or co-signing a mortgage, this is simply friendship.
Magic carpet ride
As you get older, you are one step closer to being the person you’re meant to be and while there’s a great joy in watching a person you've known all your life grow into themselves, there’s also the hell of watching them make the mistakes that forever indent their behaviours. Imagine skipping all of the troublesome teen years, the lairy, early 20s and landing right into a friendship with a fellow adult; glorious! But, for some reason, there’s an invisible blockade that people put up in and around their mid-20s, thinking that they’ve had their fill of new people and to that I say pssshaw! Allowing new people into your life increases the levels of adventures you go on because you get to re-see the world through their perspective, learn their tricks and their in-jokes and quite literally go to places you’ve never been before. It’s a whole new world and they’re your magic carpet ride.
I’m a big believer in soulmates. In fact, I believe that one person can have multiple soulmates… at the same time. When it comes to soulmates, I am one living, breathing polygamist but the rule is to keep it platonic and make your new friends your soulmates. To detect a potential new soulmate, all you have to do is find someone whose eyes contain the same level of divilment as yours. You can sense it in the way they guffaw at a comment someone else has made at a dinner in a mutual friend's house or how they roll their eyes when someone keeps banging on about Dry November in work.
"You'll know that friendship is looming with that person if you lose hours in the bathroom chatting to each other or, in my case, the tell-tale sign is sitting on the ground and getting lost in each other's stories as the rest of the party/festival/night club whirls by"
It's how they insist on being the first one on the dance floor or how they'll always be the last one at the party cleaning up, making it feel like a game and not a chore. There are no restrictions as to who your new friend could be. They can be a pal's new partner, your pal's new partner's roommate, a new colleague, your friend's cousin that just came back from Australia, someone that sat near you in college but that you never really got to know, an old friend that's just fresh out of a relationship and has rediscovered life outside of a couple or even a sibling that's finally found a way to talk to you like a friend and not someone who will rat you out to your mam if they see you smoking.
You'll know that friendship is looming with that person if you lose hours in the bathroom chatting to each other or, in my case, the tell-tale sign is sitting on the ground and getting lost in each other's stories as the rest of the party/festival/night club whirls by, your eyes widening as you realise that your jokes follow the same rhythm and their kindness enhances yours. Everything is shared in that space of time; secrets, wine, the spotlight, and nothing is spared. The critical part in moving this whirlwind encounter into a full-time fixture is to take it to the next level and the next level is coffee or lunch, outside of the buffer of your other mutual friends. In the daylight and with the intake of caffeine keeping your senses sharp, you will know that this person is a keeper.
There’s a certain beauty in making new friends as an adult. The friends you make as a child are often other kids that live within a stone’s throwing distance of your house or sit near you in school and the friends you make in college are the ones that are capable of matching every one of your drinks with theirs. But the friends... the friends that you make as an adult are the ones that get to meet (and fall desperately in love with) the person that you’ve spent your whole life developing.