How to make new friends as an adult, even as an introvert

Back when I was in my early 20’s, I always felt that I didn’t need to make new friends because I was happy being alone. A typical weekend for me might have looked like this, and I loved it:

Also, I worried that if I made a bunch of friends then I would never have time for myself anymore. I always imagined those rowdy guys who lived nearby that would always go to bars at night, and I figured that I didn’t want to become like one of those dudes. Or, I worried that my friends would make me go out all the time and I’d never have any time to do things like this…

Turns out that’s not true either. If you receive an invitation to go to an event that sounds lame, or you already had that time reserved for yourself, then you can always just say “No thanks”. You don’t even have to give a reason why you don’t want to do! Or, if you feel so inclined, you can even say something like “That sounds fun, but unfortunately I have to force myself to say no”.

Getting inundated with so many invitations that you cannot accept them all is a good problem to have. Worry about crossing that bridge when you get to it. For now, we’ll focus on how to start making new friends.

Before we even get into that…why talk about making friends at all? Isn’t Quietly Romantic supposed to be a dating advice site? There’s a couple reasons.

First, meeting people through your networks is historically one of the best ways to meet a girlfriend. You can leverage your personal relationships to get into intimate relationships—and I’ll show you exactly how in a future post—but it all starts with making friends.

And second, many of the activities you currently enjoy are more fun when you’re doing them with someone else. I love playing Super Mario Bros. single-player, but gathering a few buddies and playing several rounds of Mario Kart is even more fun!

I’d be wary about Mario Party, though, if you want to stay friends afterwards

So, how do we get started? The first step is to…

Go to places where you can potentially meet new friends

Remember how easy this was back in school? You spend all day crammed in classrooms with people who are the same age as you. Most of your time was naturally spent around people you could hang out with. As we get older, we start to default to just going home after a long day of work and watching Netflix until bedtime. It takes more conscious effort to put ourselves “out there” than when we were kids.

The first step to making new friends is to find some places or events that you would enjoy going to…even if you don’t meet any cool people there. It’s statistically impossible to meet someone interesting every time you go out, so pick somewhere you would enjoy even if you were there by yourself. And if the event turns out to be a total drag, you can always just leave early.

Here are a few examples:

  • Enjoy anime? Try going to a convention!
  • Are you a bookworm? Check out the local reading club!
  • Big fan of video games? Take a look at the local gaming scene!

Don’t overthink it. If it looks even remotely interesting, go check it out. Who knows? You might even have some fun!

Say you go to an event and you meet someone cool that you would like to be friends with. The next step is to…

Ask them out as a friend

Asking someone out as a friend is not unlike asking a woman out on a date. You trade phone numbers as a sign that you’re interested in progressing your relationship beyond being mere acquaintances and then you invite them to go out with you. Close friendships often involve taking them back to your place after you’re reasonably sure that they’re not a serial killer (and might occasionally involve questionable behavior exhibited after consuming dubious amounts of alcohol.)

The first step is to get their phone number. This is the universally-accepted signal that you think they’re a cool person and would like to get to know them further. You can ask for their number by saying something along the lines of:

  • “Hey, let’s hang out sometime. Wanna give me your phone number?”

Afterwards, you want to ask them out as a friend. This is similar to asking a woman out on a date, but with a few minor differences:

  • Your first “date” with a new friend should NOT be to dinner or coffee. Ask them out to an activity instead of a meal.
  • You CAN ask them out as part of a group, whereas a first date with a woman is typically one-on-one.
  • You CAN ask out a friend over text message, whereas asking a woman out should be done in-person or via phone call.

Finally, you want to…

Continue to add value to their lives

Relationships take time and energy to nurture. You accomplish this by continuing to add value to the lives of your friends.

Here are some ways to add value to the lives of your friends:

  • After your initial date, shoot them a text and let them know you had a great time.
  • Continue to invite them to places. If you’re hosting an activity, let them know!
  • Send them an occasional text along the lines of, “Hope you’re doing well. Here’s something I thought you’d like.”
  • Call, don’t text, on their birthday.
  • Find a way to say “Yes!” when they invite you out to places.
  • Invite them to your place for drinks and TV or video games once you’re reasonably sure that they’re not a serial killer

For me specifically, I continue to add value to two of my closest friends by hopping on a Zoom call with them every Wednesday night.

Even though I’ve recently moved to Chicago, I continue to keep in touch with one of my Milwaukee friends by “adding him as a Friend” in Pokémon Go and sending him interesting messages or postcards.

Catching some legendary Pokemon. Gotta Flex them all!

Maintaining your friendships is one of those “important, not urgent” things that needs to be done consciously. This is especially true as you go through adulthood and you end up having more and more responsibilities to juggle.

Make sure you deliberately find time to check in with your friends from time to time. Otherwise, someday you’ll find yourself stumbling on your former friends’ Facebook pictures and wondering to yourself “Didn’t we use to be so close? What happened?

Making new friends is a deeply rewarding activity—and oftentimes, your new friends can help you meet dateable women! Check out some interesting places like the ones I’ve mentioned above, use the script I’ve provided to introduce yourself, and continue to add value to the lives of any interesting people you meet. And above all, have fun!

For even more scripts on talking to women specifically, enter your email below and I’ll send you over 20 of my best scripts on how to approach her, how to keep the conversation going, and how to get her number or ask her out on a date.

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