Why Is It So Hard To Make Friends As An Adult?

Remember when you were a kid and making friends was easy? You were in the same class, you went to all the same parties, or you played sports together, so you were automatically besties. Now that you’re an adult, making new friends is a million times harder. What gives?

  1. People consider their significant other their best friend.When you’re in a relationship, you always have someone to go see a movie with, have dinner with, and have a drink with. That person becomes your best friend because they’re always around, but if you find yourself single again, it becomes obvious that you don’t have as many friends as you thought you did.
  2. Work takes up a lot of time.Building a career can be stressful, especially when you’re just starting out and you’re working long hours for little money. For a lot of people, work barely leaves time for maintaining the few friendships they already have, let alone pursuing any new ones.
  3. You don’t want to mix work and your personal life.Co-workers are probably the only new people you see consistently enough to know if you could see yourself being friends with them. But there’s always a risk when mixing your work life with your personal life. Sometimes it’s just easier to keep work at work, and that includes your work friendships.
  4. You’re pickier about who you spend time with.In college, there were always people coming in and out of your group for whatever reason. There were always parties and activities going on, which meant plenty of opportunity to meet new people. But now, your free time is limited, and you aren’t going to waste it hanging out with someone you don’t really have anything in common with.
  5. Going out isn’t as appealing.At the end of a long work week, you’re probably looking forward to putting on your sweats and vegging in front of the TV. Parties don’t happen every weekend, and even when they do, it’s not a given that you’ll be up for going. Sometimes even meeting up for dinner with a new friend seems like more effort than you’re willing to put in.
  6. New friends tend to get compartmentalized.Even when you do manage to connect with someone over a hobby or at a yoga class, it’s hard to cross that friendship over into the rest of your life. You’ll see each other once a week during the regularly scheduled time, but that’s about it. You’re more like acquaintances than real friends.
  7. Spontaneity is rare.Most of your close friendships probably originated during a time in your life when you didn’t have to meticulously plan every minute of your day. You could call each other up and be at the bar with a drink in front of you within the hour. Now, the ability to be spontaneous is rare, and people stop trying to make last minute plans, because it never works out.
  8. Networking becomes more important.There aren’t many industries these days where knowing the right people isn’t essential. That’s why meeting new people has become more about finding out what they can do for you, rather than if they’re up for a movie this weekend.
  9. Maintaining friendships with couples is way more work.If you’re in a relationship, it’s probably at least a little important to you that your significant other likes your friends and likes spending time with them too. That’s why having couple friends is ideal, but that means there are four individuals and their schedules to deal with instead of just two. Not to mention four people who actually have to want to hang out with each other. Damn near impossible.
  10. Coordinating schedules can be a chore.So you’re completely free on Wednesday and Thursday nights. But your new friend is only free on Mondays. There’s always the weekend, but between family stuff, running errands, and spending time with your boyfriend, the weekend is hit or miss.
By day, Courtney is a digital marketing copywriter living in Toronto, Canada. By night, she's a freelance lifestyle writer who, in addition to Bolde.com, contributes regularly to AmongMen.ca, IN Magazine, and SheBlogs Canada. Want to chat about relationships, Stephen King or your favorite true crime podcast/documentary/book? She's on Twitter @courtooo.