How to Make Friends in Your Late 20s

How to Make Friends in Your Late 20s by popular Washington DC lifestyle blogger, Alicia Tenise: image of two women sitting together on the floor next to some canned beverages and a charcuterie board.

I’m still in disbelief that I’ve had this blog for eight years at this point. I started this blog right before I transferred to a new college as a 21-year-old. The reason I started it? I was afraid that I wouldn’t make any friends at my new school, and I wanted a hobby to occupy my time.  Since then, I’ve learned a lot when it comes to making and keeping friends.  Which is why I’m so excited for today’s topic on how to make friends in your late 20s.

Back in college, I had nothing to worry about.  Mostly because it’s super easy to make friends at college. I miss those times: they were a lot simpler! Making friends after you’ve graduated from college and moved around the country? That’s a lot more difficult, but not necessarily impossible.

Here are a few ways that I’ve made friends over the years, even though I’ve moved several times, and a lot of people my age are settling down and starting families.

How to Make Friends in Your late 20s

Get A Hobby

Something ironic? I started my blog as a hobby. I would go to blogger meetups, and then make friends as a result. Now that I blog full-time, making blog friends is great and all, but sometimes, I don’t want to talk about my job. I want to hang out and not worry about the Instagram algorithm, follower counts, or campaigns. I feel that having friends outside of the job is very necessary, no matter what type of career you have!

I realized after blogging became my full-time gig, I had to get another hobby. In the past, I’ve joined recreational sports leagues (kickball in D.C. is a blast), taken dance classes, and attended meetups for female entrepreneurs. You’re bound to meet someone like-minded if you’re you pick up a fun hobby (or two!) and put yourself out there.

Get Out More

Listen: my life is hectic. And I’m not going to lie: once I started dating Tom, I started to become a bit of a homebody. However, you’ve got to put in the work to maintain friendships: even if that means going out on a Friday night when you really want to watch Netflix, or if you need to manage your time a bit better to pencil your friends in!

I’m only going to be home for five days in the month of October. While I don’t have a ton of time, I still try to set up coffee or happy hour dates (far in advance!) to stay connected. I think it’s easy to get complacent in your late 20s/early 30s and not make the time or effort for folks. While I understand that self-care is essential, friendships are as well — and even if you’re “busy,” or if you have a bit of social anxiety, it’s important to put yourself out there. Isn’t it funny that the same could be said about dating? 🙂

How to Make Friends in Your Late 20s by popular Washington DC lifestyle blogger, Alicia Tenise: image of two women sitting together on the couch and holding cans of Spritzers.

Be Open & Make New Types of Friends

I’m turning 30 in a few months, and I’m still unmarried. I don’t have kids either, and for now, I don’t really have a huge desire to have children. My generation is getting married later, and having fewer children, however, I do live in a small suburb, and Tom and I don’t come across a ton of couples like us in the neighborhood. For the longest time, I thought I had to have friends who were exactly like me, in the same spot in life as I was.  And my friends: that couldn’t be farther from the truth!

It might be hard to schedule coffee dates with the single mom down the street, but if you both connect, then you should make the time. I’ve made friends who are in their 40/50s. Friends that have different lifestyle preferences. On the surface, it might not seem like you have anything in common with someone, but don’t write them off. You never know who you might hit it off with! 

Be a Good Long-Distance Friend

I moved back to the D.C. area right after college graduation, and that transition was a bit difficult. D.C. is very transient. I can’t tell you how many going away parties I went to those first years back in town: people move here for a few years for jobs, and then move on.

It was really hard for me when I made these great connections with people, only to see them move on. You have to put in the effort to make a long-distance friendship work, but it’s possible to do so. Just because someone has moved away from the area, doesn’t mean you still can’t stay connected!

Set up a FaceTime call with them once a month to catch up. Plan trips to visit each other (or meet in the middle!) Send them little care packages from time to time. I have quite a few friends where we can go without seeing each other for months, yet it feels like nothing has changed once I see them IRL yet again.

If you’re reading this, send a text to a friend that you haven’t spoken to in a while. I’m sure they’ll appreciate hearing from you!

Don’t Force Friendships

All things considered, I think it’s also important to not force a friendship if the connection isn’t there either. If you don’t have a ton in common with someone, or if you have different morals/values, you don’t have to keep them in your life for the sake of having friends. Quality is always better than quantity in the friend department! 

Also, one note: I tried Bumble BFF and didn’t care for it too much (I was terrible at dating apps when I was single, so I’m not super surprised with my luck here either!), but that app might work well for you! 

How have you made new friends in your late 20s/early 30s? Share in a comment below!

Photo by Tom McGovern

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