Friend Me: How Adults Can Make and Keep Friends

Why is it so tough to get new pals, and how can we be happy with the ones we have? We’ve got the answers.

Friend MeCourtesy Jennifer TroyerRachel Bertsche, 29, chronicles her year of weekly “friend dates” in her new book, MWF Seeking BFF. The experiment didn’t uncover a new soul mate, she writes, “but I might have something better: a bouquet of friends.” We asked:

Why is it so hard to make friends as adults?
As kids, we’re thrown together in friendship breeding grounds like school and sports. As adults, approaching potential friends feels awkward. I was terrified that people would think I was a weirdo. But time and again, I found they were receptive.

Do we have unrealistic expectations about best pals?
I still have this image in my head that my new best friend will be the same as my best friend in grade school. We’ll talk every night and hang out every weekend. That’s not reality for adults who have other commitments. Seeing someone once a month is pretty good — once every two weeks is amazing!

How do we make new friends?
Be open to creating connections anywhere you go, let people know you’re in the market for friends, and accept all invitations — no matter how much you’d rather stay home.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest