When I was a younger, thinner, less beardy man making friends just sort of… happened.
I played in bands, and when I wasn’t playing in bands I was watching bands or writing about bands, and thus would keep running into the same interesting-looking people in the local scene. Eventually one of us would buy the other a drink and thus would a lifelong bond be forged.
I moved back to my old hometown about a year ago after more than a decade away. And I did so with a family in tow, a job I did mainly remotely, and a new bub on the way. And thus it wasn’t until relatively recently that my wife and I realised that oh, we don’t really have a crew anymore.
All of which made us wonder: how the hell do adults make friends?
Naturally I turned to the internets for answers and the good news is that there is no shortage of advice.
Meet parents of your kids’ friends! Join a sports club! Hang with workmates! Join a community group! Church! Rotary! Dating apps (although my unattached GOAT colleagues would like to make clear that they do not appreciate people clogging their matches and I feel honourbound to respect their views)!
Find things on meetup.com! Take improv classes! Book clubs! Volunteering! Get a dog! Online groups! Say, have I heard of The Facebook?
And these are all great suggestions, absolutely. But when you’re a parent whose social time is unpredictable and limited, and who also can’t let Sweet Lady Booze be the wind beneath their otherwise flimsy social wings, all those options for making new friends just sound like a goddamn ordeal.
To be fair, when you have small, adorable children then everything is already exhausting and complicated. Going to the supermarket. Putting washing out. Trying to leave the house for a dental appointment. Sleep. Everything. Joining a book club? That sounds like a fantasy when having seven uninterrupted minutes on the toilet falls into the “distinctly aspirational” category at this point.
And look, I have zero regrets about the move and the parenting. Sure, having pals around would be nice – but feels ambitious, at least right now.
But in another 15-20 years, I’m sure I’ll be able to find a window. Hit me up then.