Hey friends! Today’s discussion really excites me because the inspiration came from the Women of Wonder community I lead! Stay tuned at the end for more details about this community.

The question we explore today is relevant for women of all ages. The tricky part of preparing this episode was coming up with advice that would resonate with women at different stages of life. The question is: How do I make friends as a grown-up? Let me tell you, traversing the intricate landscape of adult friendships is a universal challenge! It is a question that hits close to home for me, and I look forward to diving into this topic alongside all of you!

Navigating Friendships in a Changing Landscape

During our school years, making friends was mandatory, with daily interactions providing ample opportunities for connections. Transitioning to a career happened naturally for me, and working at a school, I formed bonds with colleagues who shared similar experiences and goals.

Recent events, however, have altered that landscape. The pandemic forced us into isolation, and returning to the same office dynamics was not guaranteed. Our lives have shifted, whether through remote work, career changes, or the arrival of children. The common thread among those transitions is a sense of loneliness and disconnection, leading many to ask how to make friends as adults.

Revisiting Old Friendships

The Ben Rector song, Old Friend, is about people who share our memories and understand our inside jokes. Unfortunately, recreating things from the past might be unattainable in our grown-up lives. I have also been there- longing for feelings of connection and wondering if it is possible to rekindle or replicate my old relationships.

Self-Reflection and Four Key Questions

In my experience, it all begins with introspection and four fundamental questions:

  1. What am I looking for? For this question, identifying your specific needs and desires is crucial. Are you seeking deep connections or simply companionship? The answer will shape your approach.
  2. What do I have? Take stock of your current social resources. They could be existing friendships, colleagues, neighbors, or online communities.
  3. What can I give? Friendships require mutual effort, so consider what you are willing to invest. It could be your time, your vulnerability, or your support.
  4. Am I willing to do what it takes? Making friends often entails stepping out of your comfort zone, initiating conversations, and taking risks.

Adapting to a Changing Life

Your stage in life will influence your approach to making friends. For instance, if you have young children, you might naturally connect with other parents or neighbors. As your kids grow and become more independent, you may wonder how to fill the void left by their increasing self-sufficiency. I have been in this position, and found it essential to adjust my expectations and adapt to the changing landscape.

Finding New Friendships

How we forge friendships as adults tends to echo how we did it in our youth. Making friends involves seeking out people who share your interests and passions. You may find them in clubs, classes, volunteering opportunities, or possibly at work. Online platforms and apps can also be valuable tools, especially in larger cities where finding like-minded individuals can be more challenging. It is ultimately about understanding what you are searching for and being open to the journey.

Creating Women of Wonder

I noticed the need for support and connection during life transitions, so I created the Women of Wonder group for women to come together and connect with others who share their interests and passions. Whether we discuss stand-up comedy, books, or television, our goal is to form connections based on commonalities beyond our roles and responsibilities.

Women of Wonder

I want to introduce everyone out there feeling lonely, sick of being tired, overwhelmed, unsupported, or not sure where to turn to our Women of Wonder community, abbreviated as WoW. It is a judgment-free, safe space to ask questions and connect with real people for support and answers. Loneliness is a common human experience, and it is crucial to understand that it is okay to seek connection. 

Where Friendship Starts

I remind you that whether you want to expand your social circle or reconnect with old friends, it is all part of the human experience, and it starts with understanding what you need and have to offer in a friendship.

What Am I Noticing?

First up is The Bear. It is a Chicago-based series about a Michelin-starred chef who takes over his brother’s restaurant. The family dynamics and kitchen conflicts make it a compelling watch, and the visuals and sound design are top-notch. If you enjoy intense storytelling and family drama, give it a shot.

Next is Heartstopper, a delightful love story based on a YA graphic novel. It follows two young men falling in love, surrounded by LGBTQ relationships. It is well-written, funny, and cute, making it a perfect choice for rom-com and high school drama enthusiasts.

Lastly, I recommend the book Charm City Rocks by Matthew Norman. Set in Baltimore, it explores co-parenting, aging, and the complexities of relationships. The way that the author portrayed inner thoughts and struggles resonated with me. It is a relatable read for anyone navigating adult life and relationships.

So, if you have some spare time and are not too busy making new friends, consider these TV shows and the book for enjoyable entertainment!

Links and resources:

Women of Wonder (W.o.W) Founding Members

Information for Women of Wonder (W.o.W) Community 

W.o.W Landing Page

The Bear on Hulu

Heartstopper on Netflix

Charm City Rocks by Matthew Norman