How to Make New Gal Pals in Adulthood

With today being Galentine’s Day, I thought it only made sense to share some thoughts on friendship. In my post-college years, I realized how difficult it was to make friends as an adult. The opportunities to reach out and find new female and male friends is just not there quite as often. You get up, go to work, come home, and repeat. Unless you happen to make friends at the office, at your local lunch spot, or during your everyday errands along the way, it can be a challenge.

How to Meet New Friends in Adulthood // Hello Rigby Seattle Fashion Blog Photos by Vivian Hsu Photography

After hosting a Galentine’s Brunch event with Bissinger’s Chocolatier at Bottlehouse in Seattle’s Madrona neighborhood this weekend, I came to realize how fortunate I am to have made so many new friends during this stage of life. It’s not easy to put yourself out there, and it can be hard for an introvert like me to feel comfortable introducing myself to strangers. Joining friends over a glass of bubbly and chocolate (may I add, the new Bissinger’s Chocolate Covered Bing Cherries are probably the best thing I’ve discovered in awhile? Seriously, in love!) was the perfect way to celebrate Galentine’s Day, a day for celebrating the special gal pals in your life.

If you’re not quite yet feeling like you have as many gal pals in your life as you’d like, I totally get it. I felt the same way a few years ago. Fortunately through blogging and exploring my adult interests, I have been able to cultivate a small but amazing group of people I can call close friends. It wasn’t without a few stumbles though, so if you want to know a few surefire ways to make new friends, today I’m sharing my suggestions and road-tested ways of finding them!

Bissinger's Chocolate Cherries and Pecans // Hello Rigby Seattle Fashion Blog Start a Blog

If I had known how many friends I would make after starting a blog, I probably would have started sooner. While blogging is an incredibly time-consuming hobby, it’s also led me to some amazing women who share many of the same interests and passions that I do. It’s kind of like finding instant friends, because you already have a shared hobby (blogging) and many conversation starters built right in.

How to Grow Friendships as an Adult // Hello Rigby Seattle Fashion Blog Join a Book Club

Once I moved back to Seattle from college, I joined a book club. I found it via Meetup.com (which is actually my next suggestion, but you can find book clubs other places besides Meetup!) and looked for a book club that would be reading selections that I would actually be interested in. Fortunately, the club I joined had already read one book that I had been dying to read, so I knew it would be perfect. It’s actually how I connected with one of my closest friends, Sarah!

Growing Adult Friendships: Tips and Advice for making new friends in adulthood // Hello Rigby Seattle Fashion Blog Sign up for Meetup.com

I found my book club via Meetup, but there are so many other options here too! If you have pets, check to see if there’s a breed specific Meetup, or even a general one for walking your dogs together in new locations. If you work in a field like marketing or web development, check to see if there are groups that cover the topics you enjoy. If you love writing or poetry or art, there’s probably a meetup group in your area for that too! Just look for groups that have had past events that have been well-attended and already have future events on their calendar. Many I was excited about only to discover they hadn’t been active in awhile.

Bissinger's Chocolaier Galentine's Day Brunch // Hello Rigby Seattle Fashion Blog Attend career focused events

Speaking of careers, attend events, talks, and conferences in your field of interest! There are always conventions and conferences coming through the city for a wide range of career paths. Check some of the bigger venues for event listings to see what’s coming soon. Also, if your city has any co-working spaces, they often will have guest speakers and host events. Be sure to check their event calendars, as many of their events are open to the public. You can also check to see if your city has any organizations specifically for your career or for young professionals. Seattle, for instance, has

You can also check to see if your city has any organizations specifically for your career or for young professionals. Seattle, for instance, has it’s own Young Professionals organization that is constantly hosting events. Events liks this can also be an excellent way to build your business network as well as try on new careers!

How to Meet New People // Hello Rigby Seattle Fashion Blog Plan a get-together and ask friends to invite other friends

Hosting a BBQ or other gathering already? Ask your invite list to bring a new friend! This can be a great way to meet new people who you will have at least one thing in common with (your mutual friend), and who knows, maybe you’ll find more in common with them too!

How to Make Friends as an Adult // Hello Rigby Seattle Lifestyle Blog Get chatty

For an introvert, getting chatty with strangers can be tough. Trust me, I know. But sometimes, it’s in your best interest to take a walk on the wild side and strike up a conversation with a stranger. I’ve shared some ways that you can strike up a conversation at events when you have no one to talk to here that I hope will help you feel confident to try it too!

How to Make Friends in Adulthood // Seattle Lifestyle BLog Up your fitness

New workout class in town? Sign up! I’ve found it can be incredibly easy to bond with new people over a tough workout. Chances are if the class or studio is new, there will be fellow attendees flying solo that will be easy to strike up a conversation with!

Bissinger's Chocolatier Galentine's Day Brunch Event in Seattle // Hello Rigby Seattle Fashion Blog Volunteer at a local organization

Finding friendships and giving back to an organization in need? A match made in heaven! Whether you opt to walk dogs at your local animal shelter, build homes at —, or feed the hungry at your local soup kitchen, there are a wide variety of great ways to get involved and meet new people. Local to Seattle? I have a few suggestions for Seattle-based charities who are definitely in need of your volunteer time!

How to Make Friends as an Adult // Hello Rigby Seattle Fashion Blog Happy Galentine’s Day! I hope you have something fun planned, even if it just means treating yourself to a chocolatey treat. And if you’re feeling like you don’t have as many gal pals in your life as you’d like, I hope these ideas for how to make new friends in adulthood is helpful!

How have you made friends as an adult? Is there anything you do to help build better relationships with new friends and acquaintances? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!


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10 thoughts on “How to Make New Gal Pals in Adulthood

  1. Victoria (@treelinedavenue)

    This couldn’t have come at a better time, Jenn. I’ve been thinking lately how the only thing really missing in my life is good friends. I currently only have long distance friends and it’s tough because I currently live in a retirement area (I know, right? I’m working on making a change soon, hopefully) and the closest non-retirement area is a college town (and I’m pretty sure no 18 year old wants to be friends with someone like me who does not want to be partying every weekend, haha). I need to put more effort into making friends but yes, introvert problems (actually, only child problems). I’m usually okay in my own company but there are days when I really wish I could be around good friends who like to do normal, fun things.

    P.S. This brunch event looks like it was a ton of fun. I so wish I could’ve been there. I am considering checking out Seattle as a possible place to live because I’ve heard there are tons of young professionals who live there and I definitely need to start being around people my own age!

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  2. Maddy

    I agree that it is definitely hard to make friends as an adult, especially when you move cross country to a place you know NO ONE. So far I’ve been friendly with people (like the Starbucks barista), started teaching workout classes, signed up for a personal trainer and joined a co-ed adult sports league. Really it all comes back to putting yourself out there because we’re no longer in college and all in the same “we need friends” boat haha. Love this post!

    xo, Maddy
    http://cassidylou.com/
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  3. Maria

    I have had this conversation with so many women lately!!! Gosh, its so true. The days of bonding at a sleepover in someone’s basement is officially over. Aside from some of our couple friends. I have a decent number of gals in my life but these friendships are isolated from one another (very few of my friends know my other friends). Forging the “group” is what I think is the trickiest because everyone assumes that everyone else has a set “group” of main-stay pals in their life already.

    But all in all, I aim for quality over quantity. I have a few long-standing close close friends. And for me, thats my favorite!

    But, to your point, I have heard from a number of my friends who are in their early 40s that the pre-kid but post college stage is notorious for this;)
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  5. Katrina

    YES to everything in this post! Having a blog and being part of such an amazing community of women in this city was my saving grace. Moving to Seattle with no friends and not having a network of convenience like the good ‘ol days of college was hard.

    Thank you again for the invite to brunch and absolutely love that you continue to push and foster the friendships in our city of bloggers. xo
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  6. suki

    Timely post! I think it definitely takes more effort to make friends once out of school. I’ve had good luck volunteering and finding organizations that focus on social and philanthropic efforts locally. :) Met some of my good friends that way and even found a new job b/c of that network. YAY.
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