Good friendships are important to a happy and fulfilling life. According to the Mayo Clinic, friendships can increase your sense of belonging and purpose, boost happiness and reduce stress, improve your self-confidence, and more.
Trying to make new friendships as an adult can be difficult though (and sometimes weird). And if you’re shy or you just moved to a new city where you don’t know anyone, you can experience major FOMO seeing other people having fun with their friends.
But don’t worry. You can easily make meaningful friendships with a little help from the internet.
Here’s how to build real friendships online.
Use friend-making platforms
The easiest way to make friends online is to use friend-making platforms and apps. Sure, you could reach out to someone on Facebook or Twitter. But that can be a little nerve-wracking because you never know if the person you reach out to is interested in making new friends online. On the other hand, when you use online platforms specifically for making friends, you know that everyone on the platform has the same intentions as you.
So, what are friend-making apps anyways? Well, most of them are just like dating apps but instead of searching for a romantic partner, they’re meant for making friend connections.
Check out these popular friend-making platforms and apps you can try:
- Bumble BFF – A friend-version of the dating app Bumble.
- Hey! VINA – For women seeking friendships with other women.
- Peanut – A friend-making app for moms seeking other mom friends.
- ATLETO – For people looking for friends they can play sports with.
- Nextdoor – To make friends with people in your neighborhood.
Find people with similar interests
Finding people that have similar interests as you is the fastest and easiest way to build real friendships online; talking about a shared interest is a great icebreaker. With some searching you can discover people that have lots in common with you on the friend-making apps mentioned above. But, if you want to make connections and have conversations with people that have the same interests as you in an instant, you can join niche forums and online communities.
Niche forums or online communities are created specifically for people to bond over a certain topic. For instance, you can join an online forum for fans of the Toronto Raptors basketball team or join a group created for listeners of your favorite true crime podcast. There’s a niche forum or online community for just about every interest you can imagine.
You can look for forums by doing a quick Google search for “your interest + forum” and you can find niche online groups on platforms like Facebook, Reddit, Meetup.com, and more.
Once you find some people you want to be friends with, it’s time to start interacting with them. In many friend-making apps and niche online communities, you don’t have to direct message someone right away and ask them to be friends. Instead, you can comment on their posts and participate in group discussions to get to know them better first.
You can start by complimenting your potential new friend. For example, if they post a photo of a painting they did, tell them you like their art style. Or, you can ask a question to join in on a conversation. If you see a conversation a few people are having about the latest episode of a hit TV show, you can ask your new potential friends what they thought about the big plot twist. Interacting with each other in a casual way will let you lay down the foundation for a potential friendship.
Send a direct message
After you get to know someone by interacting with them a bit, then you can send a direct message to keep the conversation going and grow your friendship. Send something simple like “Hey, you seem cool and we have a lot in common, let me know if you want to chat more!”
And don’t worry about rejection. If the first person you meet online doesn’t want to be friends, there are a ton of other awesome people who are looking for a friend just like you.
Online friendships can lead to meaningful connections
Your new online friendships can turn into some of the closest and most meaningful friendships of your life. So, what are you waiting for? Get online and start making friend connections!