If you’re out of friends with whom you can go out, or if you want to “upgrade” your social circle, or if you want to have the sorts of friends with whom you can really connect, then it’s maybe time to think about how to make friends in 2021.
In order to do just that, here are a few ideas to help you get a fresh perspective.
Now, let’s begin.
Tinder Away, it’s 2021!
There are many apps for making friends, but many people still don’t know that they can use Tinder for friends. In this day and age, Tinder seems to be the go-to app for meeting new dates. But it’s also very popular among those who just want to meet new people. Many travelers and new expats use it to get to know locals.
If you’re not in a relationship or mariage, then it’s easy, you just install it and use it. But if you are committed to someone, using Tinder can be tricky. If using Tinder won’t affect the relationship, that you have discussed it, and trust each other, then it could work.
Some couples actually state in their Tinder profile that they’re “a couple, looking to meet new fun and interesting people.”
In your Tinder profile, you can state that you’re “In a relationship! Looking to meet interesting new people. I like to do [insert your hobbies/ interests here].”
Whether or not you’re in a relationship, meeting people through Tinder can lead to new friendships. What you do is meet them for a quick drink or coffee for the first time, then meet them a second time within your existing social circle. And that, even if your social circle only has one other friend in it; you can still introduce them to your friend and do something together. After that point, and if there was no sexual tension during the first meeting, then it’s kind of confirmed that you’re in “the friend-zone”. In our case here, that’s a good thing!
With Tinder, you can get good at screening people and “detecting” those who you’re likely to find interesting in real life and who may become great friends.
If you can’t or don’t want to use Tinder, then try Patook – it has fewer users, but it’s strictly for friendship, and even blocks “flirty” messages. That nifty feature keeps the community respectful and focused on meeting new friends.
As a side note, remember that there are other dating apps that offer options for friendship, Bumble is one of them. While these might help, they certainly aren’t the best way to make new friends.
In 2021, People Need Friends More Than Ever
Today, people are need friends more than ever. They’re spending too much time behind screens and too little time IRL. And the lockdowns have made things even worse, contributing to more and more loneliness.
Geographic mobility (the rate at how much people are moving from one city/state to another) has been increasing for decades now. That contributes to people feeling like an uprooted (and lonely) stranger.
People are finding it hard to make friends, as more interactions are going online. They give this sense of false-sense of socializing. These interactions are only virtual and only give you a temporary buzz. They’re far from ever replacing real life friendships.
But most people aren’t aware of this. You should be, though. Don’t settle for exclusively-online friends. Use social media to keep in touch with your friends, and to plan for things to do together.
Remember, with fewer time spent socializing, people are losing social skills and are sometimes entirely forgetting how to make friends.
What does all of this mean? Well…
YOU Need To Take The First Step In Socializing And Making Friends
You’ll probably hate to read this, because you may have been taking the first step for a long time. Maybe you’ve been always the one taking initiative and suggesting things to do, and never have them return the gesture. If that’s the case, then realize that that depends largely in your social skills. If you have the skills to make plans and keep your social life going, that’s stops being a painful problem.
What I’m saying here is different.
I’m saying that the fact that most people are too confused and consumed by social media, means that it’s your opportunity to be a… hero!
Well, “hero” might be a stretch. But if you are the one planning things, making suggestions, and bringing people together, you’re like gold. The reason is that most people aren’t willing to do that – even less than before.
The thing is, once you commit to doing some effort in building a social circle, you become very valuable and important to people. This has always been the case, but these days, it’s even more the case than ever.
Be Aware Of Social Activities In Your City
It’s becoming way too easy to be aware on what’s going on where you live. All you have to do is subscribe to services like meetup, facebook events app (it’s called “Local” now), and Eventbrite (more for professional events). Make sure you do a google search, you’ll probably find a service, website, or newsletter specific to your area. If you’re into something (a hobbie, an interest), look for facebook groups for other enthusiasts – hopefully, they’ll be holding events and meetups as well.
By the way, we’re starting a new series of article on How To Meet New People In You Area. The articles are about places to meet new people and how to make friends in specific cities. We’re making progress, so if your city is not there, please be patient. Or better yet, send us an email with your ideas on how to meet new people where you live. Maybe we’ll transform it into an article.
In any case, you have to have a good idea of places and events where you live. That way, you’ll know what to suggest to other people when you’re inviting them to hang out.
How To Make Friends In 2021? Well, 80% Of It Is About Staying In Touch
In other words, don’t be like this…
80% of building a great fulfilling social life is to stay in touch with people.
If you find that you keep forgetting people and losing touch with potential friends, then you may want to add a recurring reminder to your calendar. You can add a weekly event in your calendar that will remind you to take some time and catch up with existing friends and new ones you want to meet.
Most people will wonder how to make friends, but will miss out on this one advice: stop losing touch with potential friends. See, when you first meet someone, have a conversation, and exchange contact info, you have a window of 7 to 10 days to follow up and set up a date for meeting. After that window, it gets more and more awkward to meet up, as both of you start to forget what made you want to meet again.
This Year, Maybe Take Yourself A Little Less Seriously
I’m not saying you are taking yourself too seriously. But maybe you are. Maybe I am.
This is a reminder to have fun. Granted, you want to be hanging out with the best, most interesting people possible. But, if we stay super-picky all the time, we don’t allow any people in our lives.
You need to be somewhat flexible. Give different kinds of people a chance; maybe you’ll like them!
If you’re lonely right now, or you’re just dissatisfied with your current social life, then best way forward is to focus on casual friendships, first. Casual friends can be people with whom you go out, but aren’t necessarily those you’re a 100% sure they’d make the best of friends. Some of them can become your best friends, but not necessarily.
Once you start having casual friends, you get your social life going. It gets you some momentum. Casual friends also give you access to things in unexpected ways. They may invite you to parties and gatherings where you could meet interesting people you wouldn’t have met otherwise.
Lockdowns Made People Realize The Value of Making Friends Even More
Meeting people and making friends can be taken for granted. With our modern lives, some even fantasize that maybe they don’t need friends after all.
You can order anything straight to your home, work from home, get your entertainment at home. So, why bother dealing with unpredictable people?
The lockdowns made pretty much everyone, throw those kind of thoughts away. Everyone realizes now that even when you have all your basic needs met, you still need the company of friends. Even more, you need the company of friends who will understand you and make you feel socially connected to them.
This is why making friends is as important as ever, and people are realizing that more than ever.
Last But Not Least, Upgrade Your Skills!
The best way to give yourself a boost in making 2021 your most “social” year, is to learn new techniques and social skills.
If you haven’t got your hand on my eBook or my Social Skills Training, it’s time to do so. Give em’ a try and get a clear plan on how to… overcome hesitation and loneliness ; master conversation and social skills ; and make friends and build your social circle. You’ll get all the techniques it took me yeas to learn, practice, and refine.
That said, I wish you a great and very social year in 2021 !
– Paul Sanders