Last Updated on June 20, 2024 by Angela Vaz

If you’re reading this post, please know I’ve been in your shoes.

Don’t feel you’re alone.

2 years ago, I was googling this same query because I was frustrated and miserable.

I kept finding myself struggling to make friends.

And every time I made a friend, life would happen.

They’d either:

  • Move away
  • Start a family and be too busy to catch up
  • Start a new career and be insanely busy to meet up
  • Having a completely different life from mine would make it very hard to connect or talk.

Has this happened to you?

Don’t worry, it’s normal.

I thought I was being singled out, and with time, I realized it was my paranoia.

People entering their 30s change.

They start working on the things they’ve been putting off for years. Some start a business, some start a family, and some go completely off the grid.

In general, from my years of experience and meeting so many women through meet-up groups, I have realized that women find it harder to maintain long friendships.

Men find it easy to connect; men find it easy to make plans and catch up.

Women don’t; they generally overthink or have way more anxiety or want to do so many things at once that they usually bail on friends.

Please note that I’m not generalizing, but after meeting many women in my 30s, I’ve noticed this in my circles.

Friends come and go.

It’s normal.

There is nothing to feel betrayed, angry, or hurt about. That’s just how it is.

And you need to move on.

Maybe friends you considered dear friends don’t hang out as much as they used to.

Or maybe they’ve started new lives, and your lives have drifted apart.

That’s okay.

But the fact that you are reading this article means you need to make an extra effort to make friends.

If you sit inside your comfort zone and expect friendships to happen, I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but they won’t.

Social anxiety is one of the biggest hurdles in making friends as an adult.

Putting yourself out there and trying to connect with new people can feel incredibly daunting, especially if you’re naturally shy or introverted. But you must remember that everyone sometimes feels nervous or uncertain, and it’s okay to take things slowly.

Remember, baby steps.

That’s how I did it, and I am really, really happy with where I am now.

In this post, I’ll discuss how to make friends in your 30s and include photos to show you that it’s possible to start going out in your 30s, even with social anxiety.

Now, if you are alone and have anxiety, please read this post to learn how to go out alone with anxiety.

But before that, get my free guide on how to really reset your life.

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may make a commission at no extra cost to you if you decide to click on a link and purchase something. Click here to read the full disclaimer.

1. Let go of the past

let go of the past

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been part of a huge flock or you’ve never stepped out of your comfort zone.

Let the past be in the past.

Make peace with your past and permit yourself to be free now.

You owe yourself this much happiness.

This is the first step to self-love. Remember that.

Before anything else, this is what you need to do first.

Take this first tiny step of letting go of the past.

2. Be open-minded

I felt like I was betraying my older friends by going out and making more friends.

When I reminded myself that every best friend I had lived in another country or was just not around, I realized I was putting my life on hold for nothing.

Be open-minded.

You need to be open to new experiences and people, even if it’s something you’ve struggled with all of your life.

Don’t limit yourself to people who look, think, and act like you.

This will not help you grow. You need to broaden your circles a bit.

Every time you want to change your mind, remember why you’re doing this.

making friends

Why do you want to make friends?

  • You want to put yourself out there
  • You want to socialize more
  • You have realized that being around people does make you happy
  • You want to get over something personal

Whatever your reasons, keep those in mind. This will help you commit to making new friends.

You must step out of your comfort zone and embrace different people, perspectives, and cultures.

3. Join a club

Take some time to think about what you’re passionate about.

It needn’t be something you’re good at – nobody expects you to be an expert.

Let’s say you have a keen interest in cooking or are just curious and want to try it.

You could go the old-fashioned route and use recipe books and YouTube to make recipes. Or, you can hit 2 birds with 1 stone and take a physical cooking class.

You’ll learn from a professional and meet people with the same passion as you.

You may even grab coffee afterward with someone from the class or a whole group!

Give it a shot.

As for me, I like to read. So, I joined a book club.

I was so nervous until I got there, and I remember my heart racing until I had to speak. But once I started talking about my book, I couldn’t stop.

I was so excited, and yes, I stammered, but I had fun.

I made friends.

We ended up having a cup of chai, and it was fun!

joining a bookclub

If you join a class or a club like a photography class, a pottery class, or a book club, you’ll have so much fun:

  • You’ll meet new people who share similar interests.
  • You will build friendships. Clubs and classes like these meet regularly so you can develop ongoing relationships with them and feel like you truly belong.
  • You’ll learn a new skill: Joining a club or a class focused on a particular area of interest can help you expand your knowledge and become well-versed in a specific skill!
  • You’ll have fun: I never know where the hours go. Joining a club or class can be such a fun way to spend your free time. It is satisfying.
  • You’ll increase your confidence: You invariably express yourself by joining a class where you voluntarily meet people and try new things.
  • Your stress will decrease: You can relax and cool down since it’s a break from your routine.

So, don’t hesitate! Join a class right now.

4. Reach out to old friends

reach out to old friends

Reconnecting with old friends can be an excellent way to rebuild connections and strengthen existing relationships.

Every time I visit Hyderabad (a city close to Bangalore), I call my friend (I’ve known her for 12 years), and we catch a cup of coffee.

We’re not often in the same place, so whenever we are close by – we make it a point to catch up!

connecting with an old friend

Don’t hesitate to reach out and catch up over coffee or lunch. People appreciate it when you take the initiative to stay in touch.

You can even ask them to introduce you to more friends so that you can expand your circle and meet new people.

Even if the person says no, you can pat yourself on the back and know you’ve tried.

That’s okay.

So, what’s the worst that could happen? The person says no. That’s fine. Move on and call somebody else!

Just because a person says no doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.

5. Never let an age gap come in the way

never let an age gap come in the way

If you’re in your 30s, don’t feel shy about making friends with 40-year-olds, 50-year-olds, or even 60-year-olds.

Because I’ve been through a divorce and lost my mom to cancer, I’m able to connect with a lot of older people.

This is part of broadening your circles.

Just because you’re in your 30s doesn’t necessarily mean you have to make friends with people your age.

Color outside the lines.

My partner’s mum is a wonderful woman, and I love hanging out with her and her sisters when she’s in town.

connect with people older to you

We usually go to Ikea or get some grub.

6. Attend local events

attend local events in the area

You can research on Google and find out what events are happening near you.

We have apps here in India where we can see what’s happening and book tickets.

You can look up events that match your interests. Check online event calendars, social media, local newspapers, and community bulletin boards, or even shop at cafes or stores.

It can be anything that captivates your interest, such as a local stand-up, a concert, an art exhibition, a festival, an online marketplace, a jazz show, or a talk.

RSVP and register for events. It’s okay if you’re alone. Just secure your spot as soon as possible because many events have a limited number of tickets.

And most jazz shows or standups have people over 30.

When you attend, go out of your way to talk to people. Introduce yourself to people and strike up a conversation!

Be friendly, approachable, and engage in conversations. Ask questions, listen actively, and share your own experiences.

If you like someone, exchange contact information – don’t be shy. Follow them on Instagram or suggest coffee to continue the conversation.

I know how scary it can be, but I did this and am so glad I did.

attend local events

Doing something new is always scary, but you must step out of your comfort zone to make friends.

Remember, just like you, there are others who go out of their way to connect with other people because they, too, feel lonely and want to socialize.

7. Use Meet Up to meet people

use meet up to meet people

Social media can be such a powerful tool for connecting with people.

I’ve been going to Meet-up Groups for a whole year now, and I love it so much. I meet so many people, and I always have lovely and fun conversations.

Download the Meet Up app and look for meetings in your area.

You can join book clubs, coffee dates, get-togethers, and more.

I started my group to help women connect, and I enjoy the weekly get-togethers.

Here’s a photo of our first meeting!

It’s a very easy-to-use app. You can search by location, interest, or date to find groups and events that fit your schedule!

These groups are created and run by people who want to give back and encourage socialization.

I never in my wildest dreams thought that I’d start a group – a person with social anxiety. Oh well, there’s a first for everything!

start a meet up group

Meetup groups offer a variety of events ranging from casual gatherings to more structured activities.

If you do find a group you enjoy, try to go regularly so that you can build relationships with other members and potentially make lasting friendships!

Keep things light and fun.

Sometimes, people don’t like talking much – in that case, you can bond by going to arcades or over an outdoor activity.

8. Host a gathering

host a gathering

If you’ve socialized and met a few good people, invite them over.

Throw a house party or a dinner party at your house. Or host a game night.

I try to do this every 1-2 weeks, and it’s such a lovely way to get closer to the people you’ve met recently.

Keep it simple.

You can make a potluck or get a few starters and see where the night leads before ordering dinner.

If you’re comfortable cooking, do that.

There are no hard and fast rules, and everything doesn’t need to be perfect.

If you want to socialize, consider inviting a mix of acquaintances, friends of friends, colleagues, and so on.

This will create a diverse and exciting group of people.

Who knows? You might encourage others to step out of their comfort zone and make more friends.

9. Be yourself

be yourself

No matter what you do, be yourself.

It can be hard to fit in, especially when you’re 30 and you pretty much know who you are.

We become set in our ways around 30-40 – it’s normal.

We are less likely to try new things and are less flexible than we were in our 20s.

So, be yourself. But at the same time, you should be open to people and ideas.

Authenticity is vital when it comes to making friends.

Don’t try to be someone you’re not or parent to like things you don’t. Be honest and open about your interests, values, and beliefs.

When you are genuine, you’ll attract the right people who appreciate you for who you are.

In a country like India, being a divorcee is hard.

People judge you for your past, and even though it’s easier to hide it, I always come right out and say it. I don’t try to hide my past.

In doing this, I’ve helped many other women gain the confidence to talk about their failed relationships and be open and honest with themselves and others.

I’ve connected to so many women who are divorcees and single moms only because I’ve been open about who I am.

10. Be patient

be patient

No matter what you’re trying to do, it takes time to get results.

  • Want to play the piano? Practice till you get better.
  • Want to become a YouTube sensation? Be consistent with your videos, and eventually, you’ll get there.
  • Want to make friends? Be open and put yourself out there; you’ll eventually make some.

Nothing good in life comes easy. It takes hard work, persistence, and patience.

Keep showing off.

You aren’t going to hit it off with everyone you meet. It’s not practical.

Some events may be duds, but what matters is you’re trying.

Building relationships takes time, but as long as you consistently go out and try to make friends, you’ll find your tribe.

I promise.


I know it’s hard.

I’ve been where you’ve been.

I was never this social, and I’ve always been inside my comfortable home with my dogs.

But I did feel like something was missing, pushing me to step out of my comfort zone and do something different.

I make it a point to step out every week – 2 times at least.

If I’m not going for coffee with friends, I catch up with my partner’s friends to play board games all night. Sometimes, we throw house parties or go on a trek or a road trip.

My point is, do whatever you can to socialize and be around something you like.

Eventually, it will click, and you’ll make a few good friends who want to stay.

This is kinda how you make more friends in your 30s. You have to attend classes, volunteer, and put yourself out there in social gatherings.

You must be open and willing to meet new people to make meaningful connections.

I hope that helps!

Here are some posts that will help:

Angela is a 31 year old Illustrator and Blogger living with her 2 adorable labradors in Bangalore, India. She has a degree in Psychology and Human Relationships from the University of Toronto. When she's not writing her heart out or drawing, you'll find her sipping chai and reading non-fiction books.

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