Making New Friends In Your Late Twenties

I don’t want to jinx it, but I might have made a new friend!

It’s funny how the older I get, the more similar making new friends becomes to dating. Should I wait 3 days before calling?

In high school and college, it was easy. See, I’ve always worked best in both of those worlds (dating and friendship) when new people are forced to be around me for a period of time. It’s hard not to like me once you get to know me!

The older I get, however, the less I am in situations where I’m forced to be around people. I’m no longer in school. My mobile lifestyle doesn’t allow much room for organized team sports. And I haven’t had a ‘real job’ in years. This lifestyle creates a whole new dynamic when it comes to making new friends.

Cartman Quote about Friendship

I’m sure growing up has a lot to do with it too. The older we get, the more private time we require. It certainly was easier to make new friends when I was in my early twenties and went out 4 or 5 nights a week. Now I work all the time and enjoy an evening at home!

Being An Adult

While being an adult has its ups and downs, one of the beauties of adulthood is that you don’t really have to do anything you don’t want to. Granted there are consequences to neglecting responsibility–but still, there’s always a choice. No-one’s holding a gun to my head and forcing me to make a living, or pay my taxes, or eat healthy. If I wanted to eat potato chips and ice-cream for dinner and top it off with sex with a stranger and a cigarette, I could! There’d be consequences to these actions, like diarrhea, lung cancer, and an STD–but those choices are mine to make if I wanted.

We’ve all heard the philosophy of “There is no right and wrong. Just consequences of our actions.” In a previous blog post, I wrote a review about the book Jesus CEO by Laurie Beth Jones. I tell a story in that review that I will share again below:

A man’s horses ran away and his neighbors said “That’s bad.” Later his horses returned with a flock of sheep and his neighbors said, “That’s good.” The next day the man was riding one of his horses, fell off, broke his arms, and his neighbors said, “That’s bad.” The next week his country went to war and he was spared of the draft because his arms were broken and his neighbors said, “That’s good.” The story goes on like this for a while. I remind you of this story to also raise the question of… Is there good and bad or merely a series of events that we can judge as good or bad out of context from each other?

I LOVE that story! I have always had a similar viewpoint about life. Every time I get lost, miss a turn, or take the long route somewhere by accident, I say to the other person in the car, “Well, I just saved our lives! If I hadn’t missed that turn, a car would have spun out of control and crashed into us, killing us both.” While I don’t really know that (obviously), it’s nice to think that there’s a positive way to look at everything.

Back to the part about making new friends

As you might know from my blog, I talk to everyone everywhere I go. One of the challenges for me of doing business in Los Angeles and spending so much time here throughout the year is that I find that people in L.A. keep very much to themselves. In the South where I’m from, it’s not uncommon to talk to a stranger in a store for an hour. While that DOES happen in L.A. also, it’s not as customary. In my experience, I’ve found that it takes a little more effort to make friends in Los Angeles than it does in other parts of the country. I understand this is a big generalization, but I’m an adult, and I can generalize anything I want to.

So I just got off the phone with someone who I think could be a new friend. We have a lot in common, both own web development businesses, and enjoy talking about our businesses and looking for ways to improve them. Being an entrepreneur is my job, but it’s also my hobby. I LOVE business, marketing, and technology and greatly enjoy what I do. I love helping other people who have a desire to grow their business. I think my potential new friend and I can learn a lot from each other.

We have a playdate this Friday. What should I wear? Should we drive together or separate? Should I reach for the check? Should I mention that I’m seeing other friends?

Update 5/7/2013: I wrote this article in June 2012, and 11 months later she’s become a great friend and one of my closest confidants regarding my business practices, as we share the same profession. Go me!

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  • Shirley

    I think i’m having the opposite experience. I moved from New York to Florida, and feel like it’s harder to make friends here. Well its only been a year, perhaps I should give it a little more time. By the way, I’ve been digging your various posts, even the ones about business.

  • http://www.adventurepaul.com AdventurePaul

    Hi Shirley-thanks for reading my blog. You know what website I like? Meetup.com <–It's a great place to meet like-minded people. I've met some new friends and made some professional connections through organized Meet Ups. Ever hear of it?

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