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How You Make New Friends Differently In Your 20s Vs. Your 30s

Without a doubt, adulting changes the friendship game. While you're bound to grow up with some friends, you'll always be making new ones. How you connect with your new friends depends a lot on you and your environment, but there are a few commonalities between young adults when it comes to how you make new friends.

The farther you get into your adult life, the busier your life tends to be. Keeping up with a social life may not always be your first priority among jobs and relationships, but there will be time to dedicate to new friends at some point or another. Where you meet your new bud will probably affect the beginning of your friendship until you learn about all you have in common.

Everyone tends to be at different stages of their life in their 20s, so friendships can be a little less predictable. The spontaneity can be tons of fun, but the stress of the young adult years can test many friendships as well. The older you get, the more you'll start to see which friends are going to stick around in your life through the thick and thin. Here's how you make new friends in your 20s versus your 30s.

1. At Work

In your 20s: Odds are, you're probably not working your dream job just yet. You and your coworkers may have nothing in common, but you also may be able to become fast friends just by commiserating about your jobs until you're able to find new ones. You may even go to school together or live in the same area, which means you'll probably see each other outside of work, too.

In your 30s: When you and your friends share a common career aspiration, you'll always have something to talk about. Your relationship might be more professional than anything, but having someone to go to happy hour after work with is never a bad thing. Be careful, though, so you don't bring work home with you every time to see your new friend.

2. On Social Media

three friends pose for a selfie on a smartphone

Jacob Lund/Fotolia

In your 20s: You'll probably connect with lots of new friends through social media in your first decade of adulting. It makes communication a heck of a lot easier, which is great when your schedules are busy and inconsistent. You can even make long distance friends and keep up with them throughout the years, which could potentially bring you closer than ever.

In your 30s: As your life starts to sort itself out and your core group of friends becomes more stable, you'll likely rely less on social media for keeping up with your friends. By the time you've all settled down, you'll be able to have dinner parties and scheduled brunches, which will leave less communication to social media. Many people prefer these in-person friendships as opposed to those that use social media, but in the end, it's up to you.

3. Through A Mutual Friend

a group of four friends sit outside on steps and laugh together

oneinchpunch/Fotolia

In your 20s: Spontaneity rules the young adult years, so you'll meet lots of friends without any heads up. Even when plans are made, don't be surprised when unannounced guests make an appearance. It's all good, so give everyone a chance; you may just meet your new BFF.

In your 30s: When your friend has someone they want you to meet, you'll be sure to know about it. Plans will be made, and introductions will take place before you can really get to know this new person. It may be a bit formal, but it's still a great way to get to know someone.

4. Through Your SO

friends at a party

Guille Faingold

In your 20s: You'll likely hear about bae's friends more than you need to, and it won't be long before you meet them. You'll be invited to group hangouts and spontaneous trips, so you'll get to know them like they're from your own circle. Unless you and your SO already have the same group of friends, you'll certainly be making some new ones.

In your 30s: With such a busy life full of adulting and jobs, you and your parter might not have the same kind of time to spend with each other's friends. You'll want time to spend with just each other, so your friendships may be more separate from your relationship. You'll still get to know the important people in bae's life, but not quite as well as you may have in earlier years.

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Gabrielle LaFrank

Staff Writer

Gabrielle LaFrank is a San Jose State University student, published poet, and self-proclaimed diva. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and is drafting her first children’s book. In the rare event she has spare time, she enjoy ...
Gabrielle LaFrank is a San Jose State University student, published poet, and self-proclaimed diva. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and is drafting her first children’s book. In the rare event she has spare time, she enjoy ...

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