Making friends as an adult can be challenging. As a child, you could make friends at school, on the playground or through extracurricular activities. The adult equivalent of a playground seems to be bars or clubs — somewhere people go to relax or play and forget about their responsibilities of the day. That doesn’t leave much room for the sober gals of the world. Here are some suggestions on how to meet like-minded individuals without cocktails.1. Offer to Volunteer
Volunteering is an excellent way to make new friends. You can join an organisation or research opportunities in your area. Start with your local food bank to see if they can use any extra hands or look up ways to volunteer near you.
Shelters and soup kitchens are always accepting volunteers. Volunteering is a great way to learn a new skill — like construction if you help Habitat for Humanity — or something similar. Even if you don’t make any friends — which is unlikely — you’ll be contributing to a good cause.
2. Attend a Community Event
Community events allow people of all ages to come together. Attend as many events as you can to put yourself out there. Events like a parade, a community flea market, or a 5K run are perfect for people to attend solo and meet new people.
If your town still needs to plan fun events, consider taking the reign's! You can use a local park, sports field or college campus as a location. You could gather volunteers to host a fundraising event like a car wash to benefit a local group, start a community garden or set up a food drive.
Working together to achieve a common goal can build trust and be a healthy way to begin a budding friendship.
3. Sign Up for Sports
You are always young enough to have a hobby. Sports are a fun way to get involved and meet new community members. They also have the added benefit of providing the physical activity your body needs. Sign up for a gym to see if you meet anyone there who might be interested in playing a game.
Additionally, do some research to see if there are any sports leagues in your area you could join. Consider using social media to set up an informal gathering at a local gym or park to start a game. There are likely others who want to play sports but don’t have anyone to play with. Reach out and start the conversation — you might be surprised at how many people show up!
4. Join a Book Club
If physical activity isn’t your thing, consider joining a book club. You can often find one at your local library or join online. Book clubs are an excellent way to make sober friends, discuss books and share tastes and opinions regarding genre and context.
If you can’t find one in your area, consider starting one yourself! Social media definitely has its advantages regarding reaching a broad audience. You can use social media to make friends, but it often isn’t the same as meeting in person. Build a support network online and then extend an invitation to meet in person once you get to know one another.
5. Take a Class
Take a class that involves a current hobby or explore finding a new one. Local courses offer exercise, painting, cooking, welding, sewing and more. Choose a class and keep showing up to learn and grow your network. Ask a classmate to grab a coffee afterward or to meet up and practice what you’re learning.
If you enjoy the class or hobby, you’ll likely find someone else who likes it, too. You can bond over common interests — hopefully, your shared activity will create an organic friendship. Themed classes and events are a fun way to start in a new community if you’ve recently relocated.
Finding Your Sober Girl Group
Making friends doesn’t have to be as complicated as you might think. Utilise these tips to put yourself out there and find your sober girl group.
Written by Mia Barnes
Mia is a freelance writer and researcher with a passion for women’s health and wellness. Mia is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the healthy living online publication, Body+Mind Magazine.