How To Make Friends As An Adult Using The 3:6 Method

Making friends as an adult is no easy task. Between work, bills to pay, household responsibilities, and spending time with family, there's probably not a whole lot of time where you get to meet new people who are your own age. Not to mention, there's no natural social environment like college or camp where people easily find each other and bond over that common experience. The reality is that forming new friendships as an adult takes a decent amount of effort — but it is possible.

Friendships are extremely important for our health and happiness, so even when it's tough to prioritize that part of our lives as adults, it's crucial. According to Healthline, people who have solid friendships feel a greater sense of belonging and are less stressed, and they have important access to emotional support throughout life's many challenges and low points. So, how do you approach making friends when they don't seem immediately available? There are a few tricks.

Here's where you can meet people

It's true: Friends won't just magically appear as they did back in our school days. Instead, you have to seek them out yourself. So, if you can, carve out at least one time during the week (the more the better) to attend some kind of social event with like-minded people who you don't know. The type of event you choose really depends on your interests — you could join a book club or a sports league, take an art class, volunteer at a nonprofit, or whatever else you've been meaning and wanting to do.

Prioritizing this kind of time is a win-win because you get to focus on your own hobbies and passions as well as meet new adults who enjoy doing the same things. Of course, attending the gathering every week, or at least on some kind of regular basis, is important if you want to make strong connections. Before you know it, you might just have a new girl group.

Use the 3:6 method to make new friends

Once you meet someone you'd like to befriend, the next step is to employ the 3:6 method to initiate a relationship with them. It's pretty simple. As PureWow explains, over a period of six weeks, you and your potential friend should have three sincere conversations. And there's a catch: they can't all be online or texting interactions. 

If you're both regularly attending the same group or activity, three significant moments in six weeks should be doable. These interactions can be as simple as chatting about something you have in common for a few minutes, grabbing a drink or coffee together after your event, or even exchanging memes on a social media platform. Looking for something a bit more elaborate? Invite your new friend to a concert or comedy show and dinner, giving you both the chance to have fun without worrying about filling any awkward silence that might come with being new friends, but also to continue those more meaningful chats.

If you've been feeling lonely or struggling to bond with new people lately, give a group activity and the 3:6 rule a try. Sure, it takes some work to create space and build the foundation for new connections in your life, but you and your new BFFs will be thanking you later.