Find New Friends Fast
By Catherine Ryan
Find new friends fast! When you’re younger, friends are everything. As you get older and people change and family responsibilities and jobs require more time and attention, it’s not unusual to lose touch with friends. And if you move to a new city, distance makes it even harder.
“In midlife, women’s lives are particularly full,” explains Irene Levine, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry at New York University and author of Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend. “But having supportive friendships is important — it reduces stress, blood pressure and the risk of depression.” Besides, friends make life more fun.
So check out these strategies for how to seek and develop meaningful friendships. They require only a little extra effort and repay you with a priceless gift.
1. Work your current commitments.
Conventional advice may suggest you sign up for an art class or book club to meet new people. But you’re probably overscheduled as it is! So instead, become more engaged in the groups you already have. For example, instead of watching soccer games with 30 other parents, become a board member of the league. Or lead a subcommittee for the PTA.
“You’ll connect more regularly and intimately with the same people,” says Levine. And doing so allows friendships to develop naturally, even though you aren’t shouldering much more of a time commitment.
2. Elevate an acquaintance to a friend.