“How come it’s easier to make friends as a kid than it is as an adult?” asked several acquaintances of mine.
I think the more relevant question is, how does one go about making friends? How about going on friend-dates?
No, no, no. It’s not like going on online dating services like Okcupid and trying to message women in an attempt at being impressive enough to go on a date. And it’s not like Tinder where you determine a friendship by the way they look (swipe right to ignore).
During the activities you do outside of work, take the time to get to know the people around you. Perhaps ask one of them to coffee, lunch or dinner. If you feel too vulnerable about asking someone to go on a friend-date, take the advice from Kelly Williams Brown, author of “Adulting”.
“Anytime you say to someone, even in a very veiled way, I care about you. Do you care about me? it’s scary.
But almost everyone will be pleased that you took the initiative. And if they’re not delighted by your straightforward friendliness, there you go! That is a bad friend candidate, and it’s good you won’t be wasting any more time.”
— Kelly Williams Brown, “Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps”
Be personable and presentable to your new fellow friend. Just like dates, the best way I’ve found to get the ball rolling is to talk about something you’re passionate about. For me, it’s traveling. I go to weekly meet-ups with other like-minded world travelers. We talk about the adventure, the excitement, and the places we’re going to go next.
To finish off the friend date, remember to follow-up. When I get a follow-up email, phone call, or a physical card from someone else, it really shows that they care. Congratulations on your first successful friend-date!