Friends come and go from your life in unexpected ways, and no matter what age you are, there are times when you find yourself wanting to stock up on a few more pals. Friends to go to the movies with, friends to go to restaurants with, friends to gossip with. Different and delightful people for all purposes and all seasons. But after the social whirl of college is over, how do you go finding a friend as an adult? Sofary.com surveyed over 1,000 people for their perspective on how difficult they believe it is to find friends as an adult, and how many friends most people actually have.
Women are more likely to see making platonic friendships as an adult as more difficult (64%) than men do (52%). But the high percentages suggest that both sexes see it as a tall order.
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“Making friends as an adult can be difficult, especially since a lot of the time, people already have their own friend groups established and aren’t open to making new friends,” said one 27-year-old respondent, a single woman.
Boomers find it easy and have more friends
Surprisingly, Baby Boomers are the generation that thinks that making new friends is the easiest (40%) – more so than Gen X and Millennials (both 30%.) While Millennials and Gen X may be tuned into social media, it’s not the same thing as getting out there and making face-to-face chitchat with a potential new pal.
Baby Boomers were also more active than the younger generations when it came to making new friends. On average, it had been about a year or more since the average Gen X or Millennial had made a new friend, but it had only been 10 months since a Baby Boomer had made a new buddy.
And while Baby Boomers had an average number of 14 friends (with 3.8 close friends), Millennials only had about 11.7 friends (with 3.8 close friends). The numbers for Gen X were about the same as Millennials. (To be fair, Baby Boomers have had many more years to build their friend network).
Oh, the places you’ll go!
As you can see below, there are many places to go to seek out a new acquaintance – parties or gatherings can’t be beat. Millennials were most likely to go to a bar to seek out someone new. And 29% said they had volunteered to look for a chum.
Being friends means showing up – and having enough time to make friends in the first place.
“The hardest part of making new friends is finding time to spend with them while still giving my children time with me as a parent,” said one respondent, a 38-year-old man.
The death of many friendships is the entrance of a child, or a boyfriend or girlfriend, into your life. Thus, the importance of the guy’s night, or girl’s night, out.
For couples, however, that time didn’t happen often: 53% of men and 61% of women held group events with their friends just once a year.
And of course, fun can’t be had without a little stress at home: 27% of men and 32% of women were jealous of their partner’s night out with friends.
It can be done
So cue up a buddy movie on Netflix, RSVP to the next gathering you’re invited to, and rehearse your witty opener. You may have a new restaurant pal (or walking partner, or drinking buddy) in no time.
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