Making Friends As An Adult Is Not For The Faint Of Heart

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Many ask how do adults make new friends. But making new friends as an adult is absolutely possible. Here's one thing you can do today to make new friends.

On VProud there is an amazing video and conversation titled, "Want friends? Take Tig Notaro's advice: Owning who you are will help you attract the friends you deserve." In it, actress and comedian Tig Notaro gives the best advice possible—you do you—to one of the hardest questions to both ask and answer: How do adults make new friends? Mother and writer Melissa Nielsen reflects on this oh so very relatable topic from the lens of someone who has been in the mom friend trenches and knows exactly how hard it is to make friends as an adult, and exactly how beautiful it is when those friendships are formed. Take a look at Tig's and Melissa's advice, we think that they are both so perfectly on point, and we love the way that they step into the fact that the topic of making new friends as an adult is relatable for a reason: it's not easy, but it is worth it.

—The VProud Team

Mom's Club 

By Melissa Nielsen for VProud

When I brought home my first baby, I was vaguely aware of the new club initiation I had experienced; I joined the moms club. I didn’t realize at the time that the moms club is almost as broad as the club that is made up of the entire human race. The smaller and smaller sub clubs, branching off of each other quickly becomes a bubble diagram that would fill entire walls. There are the gym moms, the public school moms, the breastfeeding moms, the rear facing moms, the religious moms, the liberal moms, the bottle feeding moms, the home school moms, the organic moms, the Cheetos moms and really, take any noun (or two or three all at the same time) and add mom to it and you’ll find a group for it.  It soon hit me: I fit in as an adult about as well as I fit in as a middle schooler; which is to say, not at all.

This is one reason why it was such a huge step for me to sign up for a parenting class through our local school district that first year. Here in Minnesota, we have a wonderful program called ECFE- Early Childhood and Family Education. It brings parents together and teaches skills that should be handed to you along with the bundle of joy at the hospital. Sitting in a room of women—all strangers—brought back horrors of group projects in high school. But then it wasn’t horrible.

There was something different about this group; the dynamics provided the perfect atmosphere for friendship. It was in that group that something happened that I had never allowed to happen before- I cried in front of people. Those short few months that the class spanned were some of the most difficult months of my life. We had an apartment fire, lived in a hotel for 6 weeks and dealt with the worst strep of my life. My daughter was diagnosed with autism and we were thrown into another new club. Then that same daughter picked up a very serious infection that led to ambulance rides and a week in a children’s hospital. Then, I found out I was pregnant with third after complications with an IUD. It was rough. And I cried a lot. And they listened a lot.

We formed a book club after the class ended. I was afraid to go for the first few months. After all, I don’t fit into groups very well. They called me; they sent me Facebook messages. They wanted me. So I came back. This club was unlike any other I had ever seen. The only specific characteristic that tied us together was the ECFE class—and that qualification dissolved as we welcomed more friends in. There were never any votes or meetings about whether or not to let a new person in. We just did.

Over the years, the book club has stopped reading the same book and meeting together monthly. We see each other every couple of months. But when I was on bed rest, these women were the first to show up with a week’s worth of meals. When members have had dear ones pass away, other members reach out and buoy them. When two of us were involved with the Listen To Your Mother program, they showed up and cheered us on. The group has been very fluid- some have moved out of state, some have moved on to other things, but for me at least, there is a sense of that kind of friendship that endures all. It is so unlike the other moms clubs that I’ve encountered and for me, a person who is awkward at best, they’ve reminded me of the best in people.

My wish for my membership in the universal moms club was to simply not be noticed. It was to slide through it, with the least amount of friction possible, thereby, being noticed the least amount possible. But since meeting these women, I have new wishes for the universal moms’ club.

Lets make it universal. 
May we each do away with boundaries.
And if we must draw them, let them be drawn in erasable marker. 
May we forget to draw the sub groups on a bubble diagram. 
May we cheer when another cheers.
And may we cry when another cries. 
May we refuse to allow our differences become our definitions. 
May we want ourselves and may we want each other.

melissa nielsen vproud
About the author: Melissa Nielsen is an awesome wife, a passionate music teacher and some days, an amazing mom. When she isn’t teaching, mothering or wife-ing, she tries to promote autism awareness and advocacy for parents of special needs children. She believes that the french horn is the instrument of angels and chocolate is the food of the Gods. Join Melissa's honest conversations on VProud.

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how do adults make new friends
Want friends? Take Tig Notaro's advice: Owning who you are will help you attract the friends you deserve.

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