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8 Ways to Make Friends in Your 30’s

8 Ways to Make Friends in Your 30’s

Friendships can be difficult to acquire and maintain at any age, but perhaps especially so in your 30’s. It’s such a busy time in life. Most everyone you know is chasing after young children, building their career, or focusing on growing their marriage—or all the above.

But friendships are a crucial part of our life that we can’t afford to neglect. In the moment, we might not feel the pinch of loneliness—after all, we’re potty training, checking middle school ratings, trying to remember our wedding anniversary, and debating exactly how long one can go without sweeping the floors before it’s a health hazard. Some weeks it feels like a huge accomplishment just to show up to church on time, much less actually invest in the women around us, right? But one day we’ll realize we’re in full burn-out mode, and there’s no one to call to go grab coffee or have a girl’s night featuring an obscene amount of cheesecake.

There’s so much benefit to connecting with other women that goes beyond the temporary hassle of making it happen. The best part is? We’re all in the same boat. Maybe her boat has more children in it than yours or is a little more stylish. Maybe her boat has a husband in it, maybe it doesn’t. Regardless of the details, we can all relate to each other in some way as women in our 30’s—and thrive on the shared encouragement and empathy.

Here’s 8 ways to make friends in your 30’s that you won’t regret!

Photo Credit: Getty Images

  • 1. Church

    1. Church

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    Church can be one of the best—and easiest—places to make solid friendships. Not only do you already have an automatic shared interest, there’s so many places to engage and get to know each other that cut out half the effort on your part—because you’re already there.

    Most churches today have some form of Sunday school classes, life group get-togethers, women’s ministry meetings, and children’s ministry opportunities, where you’ll easily run into other parents. Make the most of your time there and get to know the women around you. It’ll bless you, and you might just turn out to be a huge blessing for them, too.

    Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV)

  • 2. Your Kids' Friends' Moms

    2. Your Kids' Friends' Moms

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    Just because your kid is friends with another kid doesn’t mean you will automatically hit it off with their parents. But a lot of times, you might. And what’s better or easier than playdates where the parents get to play and hang out too? Play-dates can turn into family dates easily if you give it a chance. If your child is constantly talking about another child in their class at school or church, make some effort to get the parents’ phone number and plan a get-together. At the very least, try to stand near them in the concessions line at Field Day and see if small talk clicks. You never know until you try—you might discover your kid has great taste in friendships! 

    Photo Credit: Thinkstock

  • 3. Initiate Invitations

    3. Initiate Invitations

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    One of the hardest things to do as a busy woman in her 30’s is actually initiate—and follow through with—invitations to do things. I don’t mean the vague “let’s do coffee sometime” type of invite that we all frequently rattle off, but the genuine, putting-it-on-my-calendar-right-now-with-an-alert-reminder type of invite.

    That woman at church that’s been on your heart for a few weeks? Ask her to coffee—and pick a day and time. That friend you keep meaning to reconnect with, but time and distance has made it a little awkward and made you feel unsure? Send the text. Right now! Open the door again for continued friendship. Most likely, your fiend on the receiving line is meaning to text or invite you as well. So, take the first step and make it happen. They’ll probably be grateful and reciprocate next time.

    Photo Credit: Pixabay

  • 4. Hobby Classes

    4. Hobby Classes

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    Everyone has a hobby, even busy wives and moms. It might be reading, writing, crafting, sewing, crocheting, knitting, scrapbooking, music, photography, cooking, or fitness, but every woman has something that she does in her limited free time. Here’s the fun part—take a class on that interest you’re already investing in, and voila! Instant potential friendships with other women who are making time for the exact same shared interest.

    I do a work-out class every Wednesday that I really enjoy, and the same women are in the class every week. It’s impossible not to make small talk and smile and encourage each other. Book clubs are another fun way to make new friends—and some craft stores will often host classes on various methods of arts and crafts, which is another opportunity to bond. Don’t be shy, and dive in! 

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

  • 5. Online Groups or Social Media

    5. Online Groups or Social Media

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    Women today really have no excuse to be in permanent hermit-mode. There’s a ton of opportunities to connect with other women, all from the comfort of your own living room and PJ pants. Social media, online chat groups, and support forums are rampant on the Internet. It’s almost harder not to connect than to connect! Find a group and plug in. Maybe the conversation is about theology, politics, parenting hacks, or various career industries. Whatever it is, jump in and contribute.

    "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" (Proverbs 27:17 ESV)My husband and I both have dear friends whom we speak with regularly through social media and apps, and have not yet met in person. The beauty of the internet age is just that—being able to connect with like-minded Christians on a variety of topics and build friendships. If in-person friendships aren’t an option for you right now in this season of your life, you could absolutely make some solid online connections. 

    Photo Credit: Pexels

  • 6. Be Available

    6. Be Available

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    One of the hardest parts of friendships is prioritizing and protecting that time. Moms especially feel guilty over leaving their families to go and meet a friend for dinner or coffee, even for a short time. If your husband supports you in this, take advantage, shuck the guilt, and go have fun!

    If you don’t have support, find it—hire a babysitter or see if a family member can give you this time to recharge and reconnect with a gal-pal. Worst case—bring your children with you, and go somewhere kid-play-friendly. Any girl-time is better than none! Get creative, and make it happen. You need this—and so do they.

    "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ESV) 

    Photo Credit: Thinkstock

  • 7. Volunteer

    7. Volunteer

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    Volunteering is another wonderful opportunity to build friendships. Whether it’s through your church mission trip or a local community homeless shelter, getting together to love on those less fortunate or in need can secure a bond like no other. It’s hard to be the hands and feet of Christ side-by-side with someone and not connect.

    Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2 ESV)Not only will you be helping others as you volunteer, you’ll be helping each other as well. 

    Photo Credit: Pexels

  • 8. Neighbors

    8. Neighbors

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    “The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:31)

    While the Biblical meaning of “neighbor” doesn’t necessarily mean your next-door-neighbor, it certainly doesn’t exclude them. You might be living right down the street from your new best friend and don’t realize it, because all you ever do is wave when getting the mail. Invite your neighbors over for a grilled burger, or, if that feels like too big a step, why not make up a batch of cookies and hand-deliver to jumpstart a conversation?

    When I lived in my apartment during my single-mom days, my young daughter and I had so much fun bringing candy canes to the neighbors at Christmas time or leaving bags of goodies on the doorstep with a hand-drawn card. We ended up making good friends with the newlywed couple across the landing, the fellow single-mom at the top of the stairs, and the single dad downstairs. All the kids played together at the apartment pool off and on that year while the adults chatted about their struggles in life, and it was a blessing I’ll never forget. Take a step outside of your comfort zone and show some love.

    Betsy_headshotBetsy St. Amant Haddox is the author of fourteen inspirational romance novels and novellas. She resides in north Louisiana with her newlywed hubby, two story-telling young daughters, a collection of Austen novels, and an impressive stash of Pickle Pringles. Betsy has a B.A. in Communications and a deep-rooted passion for seeing women restored in Christ. When she's not composing her next book or trying to prove unicorns are real, Betsy can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white-chocolate mocha. Look for her latest novel with HarperCollins, LOVE ARRIVES IN PIECES, and POCKET PRAYERS FOR FRIENDS with Max Lucado. Visit her at http://www.betsystamant.com./

    Photo Credit: Getty Images