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What to do when you feel lonely


COVID-19 has significantly changed our way of life, and has increased the amount of people who feel lonely. With many people in lock-down, and schools either cancelling in-class options or lowering the amount of people who can be there at once, it can be very isolating. 


Whether you are a student, or you live alone, or maybe you just feel lonely in the place you are in, here are some ways to curb your loneliness during these unusual times:



  • Find Others to Talk To



It may seem obvious, but finding others to talk to can really help your loneliness. If you don’t like phone calls, or are unable to meet up with people in person, try an online chat, forum, or website. Bonus points if you make a connection with someone who you can talk to continuously over the course of a few weeks. Having the ability to stay in contact with someone and follow up with them about what you had already talked about can really ground you and make you feel less lonely.



  • Plan Solo Dates



It may sound awkward, but plan something special for yourself. Maybe you really just want to have a picnic. You go have that picnic! It doesn’t require you to have more people. Make it special for yourself and pack a book and some fruit and a nice blanket. It’s literally planning a special date where you are the one who is being treated and it can decrease your feelings of loneliness because you are still treating yourself. 



  • Read



Reading can be a useful tool to avoid the outside word. It could be fiction, non-fiction, graphic novel, whatever! Immersing yourself in a good book can be extremely useful in spending long periods of time NOT thinking about being lonely. Books are a perfect example of something you can do and enjoy alone, but not feel lonely doing. Plus, it gives you something to talk about the next time you see or hear from someone. 



  • Plan a Self-Care Night



Similar to planning a solo date, this is just for you. Bring out those face masks, pull out the nail polish, and pour that bubble bath. Tonight is for you and you alone. Bring a book in the bath with you and you can cross two things off this list! When you are feeling lonely, it can be very easy to stop taking care of yourself. Maybe you live alone, and you don’t feel like showering every day, or treating yourself. Put in that time for yourself and you will definitely feel better. You don’t need someone else to treat you when you know exactly what your needs are. 



  • Make Your Bed



Something so small and self-explanatory. Every morning when you wake up, make that bed of yours. Feeling lonely can make you dwell in the comfort of your bed, so you want to make sure that it is as clean as possible for the next time you escape under the covers. 



  • Stay Active



You will read it everywhere, but make sure that you are moving your body at least a little bit everyday. There is yoga, there is a park calling your name saying “come walk here”, stretch! Any little thing can help with your mental state and can curb your loneliness, especially if you are in nature and are really appreciating the world around you. Set aside at least 30 minutes to dance to your favorite pump up jam, or whatever you want to do. Just keep that heart rate up and you are golden!

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Chicago is the #1 City in the US for Friend-Seeking Online

lots-of-people-in-Chicago-are-looking-for-friends-online Chicago's friend-seekers are evolving their ways to meet new friends

FriendMatch Ranks Chicago as #1 City in the US for Friend-Searching Online

New report produced by FriendMatch.com releases top 10 cities in the US using the online service to find new friends during the pandemic.

Chicago, IL, April 20, 2022 --(PR.com)-- Chicago has been declared the top city in the United States for people actively seeking to make new friends in a new report released by FriendMatch.com.

Data was obtained from user traffic on the website FriendMatch.com to create a report on the top ten most active friend-seeking cities in the United States.

Rankings were based on a compilation of several factors, including longest average time spent on the platform searching for new friends, bounce rate score (how long visitors stay on FriendMatch after finding the site in a search), number of visits, number of visitors, and number of registered members on the friendship-based site.

FriendMatch.com has a similar service model as an online dating site, but serves people who are seeking friendship instead of romantic encounters.

“While this headline might seem to conclude that Chicago has a loneliness problem, it doesn’t need to be interpreted that way. What we see is a city with residents who are willing to be innovative, and use modern technology to expand their friendship networks - the use of FriendMatch can be an indicator that Chicago citizens are ambitious friend-seekers who can adapt to technology. We are very pleased to be able to help this city’s residents to widen their friendship circles,” says Katie Hartle, Founder of FriendMatch.

“Friends make quality of life better! It is so important to make friendship a priority, and this is exactly the action that Chicago residents are taking by using our service to make more friends,” says Hartle.

Globally, the United States it the busiest country in the world on FriendMatch.com out of over 200 countries on the site.

The top 10 busiest friend-seeking cities in the USA, according to the report based on the last 12 months of traffic are:

1 Chicago
2 New York
3 Los Angeles
4 Dallas
5 Sacramento
6 Atlanta
7 Houston
8 Philaldelphia
9 Las Vegas
10 Columbus

About FriendMatch
FriendMatch is an international social networking service that helps people meet and make new friends, both locally and worldwide. It is a place to make real connections, whether online, to talk to and connect from afar, or in person, for coffees, walks, or to hang out.

Launched in 2011 on Dragons’ Den, FriendMatch has answered the question, “How to make friends?” for more than 6 million people and counting.

For more information about FriendMatch, visit www.friendmatch.com.

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Finding New Friends Takes Over Traditional Social Apps

New data shows people spend more time per session searching for new friends online than browsing Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Miami, FL, January 13, 2022 --(PR.com)-- New research shows that people are now spending more time on FriendMatch looking for new friends per session than on the top social networks.

Average length per visit to FriendMatch.com is more than twice as high as the leading social networks, as follows:

Average session length on FriendMatch: 7 minutes, 13 seconds
Facebook: 4 minutes, 82 seconds
Instagram: 2 minutes, 95 seconds
Pinterest: 5 minutes, 6 seconds
Twitter: 3 minutes, 53 seconds

"Covid-19 has brought a spotlight to the crisis of loneliness and isolation, and while it is becoming well-known that traditional social apps can actually increase feelings of loneliness, what we are seeing here is people seeking new ways to use the Internet as a tool to help instead of harm their social lives," says Katie Hartle, founder of FriendMatch.

Source of data:
statista.com, google analytics

About FriendMatch
FriendMatch is an international social networking service that helps people meet and make new friends, both locally and worldwide. It is a place to make real connections, whether online, to talk to and connect from afar, or in person, for coffees, walks, or to hang out.

Launched in 2011 on Dragons’ Den, FriendMatch has answered the question, “How to make friends?” for more than 6 million people and counting.

For more information about FriendMatch, visit our website at www.friendmatch.com
FriendMatch logo

FriendMatch logo

Logo for FriendMatch.com

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How I made my first friend online

running-friends At a mud-run - I'm the one with the mud-unibrow on the left!
My first online friend story started with a very common reason why people are on FriendMatch - I had moved so my friends all lived further away from me now. 
I wanted a running partner to keep me motivated and for safety, but all my new neighbours were an average of 80 years old.
I needed to find someone who lived nearby so that it would be convenient to meet regularly for a run.  So I went online..
These were the early days, when I was just starting to build and create FriendMatch. I was getting inspiration from everywhere, and this was an exercise of finding more inspiration while also finding a good local workout partner!
At the time, I used a local online classifieds site - I noticed that lots of people were posting on these sites looking for friends.
This was part of why I wanted to make FriendMatch - because I knew my search could be easier even with a few simple improvements, like knowing I was searching within a community of friend-seekers not classifieds readers, and refining my search for an exercise friend by age, gender, location, and of course, an interest in running!
Despite the shortcomings, the classifieds site worked out! I met a woman who was very close to me in age, lived close by, and was also looking for a running buddy.
We met for the first time at a public park that was in between where we both lived. We started power-walking to warmup as we made our first introductions.
We talked about how funny it was that we met online. We talked about our running goals. And we started running!
From the moment we met, our conversation flowed easily - it's actually easy to talk when you're in motion, because pauses in the conversation when you're running are natural and expected!
We had no expectations from each other except to meet two to three times a week to run, so it was an easy and convenient friendship.
We gave ourselves "homework" to run in between our meetups - my running game was never better!
While I did eventually move again, ending any future convenient running meetups with this friend, I learned so much from my first experience meeting a new friend online.
Overall it was a successful experience for me and led to many pleasant workouts  - and I proved to myself that there is something important that we can do by creating a space to meet new friends online. It helped to drive my motivation to keep building FriendMatch.
That's my story - now I want to hear yours!
Did you make a new friend that you met online? 
How did it go?  I would love to hear your story and share it to inspire others to get out there and make friends too!
If you made a friend online, please share your story with me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Subject: My Friend Story
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How to Make (and KEEP) New Friends as an Adult



Make friends easily but just can’t keep them? Adult friendships can be as slippery as a wet bar of soap. Everyone has a job, possibly a family and kids, it can be downright stressful and can feel hopeless. Keeping friendships can be easy, though, if you take into account these useful strategies. 

Here are some tips and tricks, taken from Psychology Today about how to make (and keep) friends as adults. As you branch out and attempt to start a new friendship, give this one a try. 



Having a solid friendship isn’t just good for your mental health, it’s also good for your physical health. Genuine friendships boost your immune system and lower your blood pressure. Emotionally, they help you lower your risk of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. 

While friendship can be very important for your health, make sure that you are also taking the time to be by yourself and reflect. Friendships can be exhausting at times, especially in the digital age where you can contact someone with a voice command from Siri. If you find that you are overwhelmed or that you need to take a break, not from the friendship, but just from excessive communication, let your friend know. They will understand and want what is best for you. 


Friendship isn’t necessarily just a one-on-one relationship. Try expanding your friendships into your neighbourhood, your workplace, places of worship or anywhere that you frequent or take interest in.

Having trouble finding a sense of community during the current pandemic? Try finding an online community that meets to discuss something you have in common! This could be an interest, a religion, or a career. Depending on what you are looking for, there are lots of websites with group chats or profiles where you can talk about the things you have in common. This may fulfill that sense of community you are looking for. 


Follow Up

Meeting people isn’t the hardest part about making friends, it’s continuing to grow a relationship. By continuing to speak to your friend, you are showing them that you care about them and that you want to develop your friendship. A good icebreaker that has been around for decades is the 21 questions game. You each go back and forth, asking a question, and you can either both answer the question or just the person you are asking. This leads to a mutual understanding that you want to learn about the other person, and it helps them to feel like you care and that they matter to you. 

Try starting conversations that may be more personal or continuous. 

This may be the most important thing to do during this current pandemic. Many friends lose touch due to the fact that there may be little to no face-to-face interaction. Make sure to check in on friends you haven’t spoken to in a while to let them know you are there for them and that you would love to have a phone call or a zoom call. It can really brighten someone’s day.


Little Things

It’s easy to sabotage a friendship before it even really begins. Wanting everything to be perfect maybe what is holding you back from something great. Instead of some impressive gesture, try something simple. This could be a joke of the day or sending a cute picture of your pet or something you found funny that day. These little things make people feel noticed and let them know you listen. 


Check out this link for another great article with more information on this topic: 

10 Ways to Make (and Keep) Friendships as an Adult


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5 Tips for an Online Shower Party

virtual baby shower plans

All around the world, we are facing lockdowns and restrictions, but if you have a wedding or baby on the way, you still deserve to celebrate!

If you can't have a traditional "in person" party, we have put together a template so you can have an online virtual shower or party, whether it is on Zoom, Facebook, or whichever your preferred video conference method that all your guests can enjoy.


1 -  Send out invitations with an RSVP

You can send them online or in the mail, whatever makes you happy!

People will be so curious about what is in that mystery box you call a party kit, they'll just HAVE to RSVP 'yes'!



2 - Send a follow up to everyone who RSVPs Yes

Send your guests a follow up email so they know how to participate in your shower.

Details to include:

- The Shower Agenda

- A link to the party!  

Will it be on Microsoft Teams, Zoom, HouseParty? Make sure to have this setup when you plan your party, then send the invitation link to your guests in the email so they can join in. (Wondering which to choose? See our Blog Post: Which Video Platform is Best for Socializing)

- A delivery address for the gifts (sent before the party)




3 - Add Special Touches


Send a Party Kit to everyone who RSVPs YES

You can ship it or round up some friends to help deliver to your guests doorsteps just before your party date. Getting a little box of fun is sure to delight your guests and help to set up a festive, party atmosphere.

Here are some ideas for things you can include in your shower party kit:

- Gift Bingo Card and Dabber or pencil (more on that below)

- Ingredients for a signature shower cocktail, or for a punch, or a small bottle of wine or sparkling wine

- Snacks! This could be anything from cookies and nuts, little sandwiches, depending on delivery methods

- Balloons or streamers so your guests can make their background extra festive and party ready


4 - Have a Gift Opening Bingo

For a simple and fun way to help keep guests engaged and interactive with your online party, include gift bingo sheets in your party box to play while you open gifts in front of a camera. The first one to shout BINGO! gets a prize!


5 - Start with an Icebreaker

So everyone has a chance to "meet" each other.

You can add a bit of fun to this with an icebreaker game here, e.g. Ask each guest to introduce themselves and to answer this question, "If I could be anybody else besides myself, I would be..."


Keep the Agenda Short and Simple

We suggest simply doing an icebreaker game followed by opening presents while your guests play "Gift Bingo", followed by a virtual tour of the nursery or, if it's a bridal shower, something else. 

Not everyone is an expert at online meetings yet, and group meetings can still be a bit...chaotic! So keeping a simple agenda like this will help things to go smoothly.

Keeping your event 2 hours or less makes it more manageable for everyone to attend for the whole event.



That's it! We hope you have a fun lockdown shower with your friends and loved ones!

- The FriendMatch Team

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5 Ways to Stay Social in a Lockdown

groceryshoppingwithfriends 5 Ideas to be safely social during the pandemic


Social Distancing. Staying Home. Cancelled gatherings.

If you live in a country that is affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic, then you might also be living in a country that is facing restrictions or lockdowns that have completely changed your social life.

If you have been feeling negative mental health effects from these changes, we are here to help!

Here are 5 creative ways to stay safely social in pandemic-affected parts of the world.


1. Coordinate Groceries 

Getting groceries has been considered essential in most places around the world during Covid 19.  As long as you follow your local regulations for going shopping, (wear a mask? Stay six feet apart?), instead of picking up your peas and carrots amongst strangers, make it a friend-date!

This gives you time to talk, to catch up, and to learn more about each other's shopping habits too. 

In fact, we love groceries with friends so much that we actually recommended doing it way before this pandemic hit!

Getting groceries together is a chance to learn more about your friend. What kinds of meals does your friend plan? What new shopping ideas can you learn about? You might pick up ingredients for your classic steak marinade, and your friend might try it too. Maybe he has a favorite brand of yogurt you didn’t know about it. Maybe she has a healthy go-to snack you could try. 


2. Working From Home Now? Pick Your Own Coworkers

For many employees and students, working from a home office has become the new thing during this pandemic. 

What if you could surround yourself with your favourite "coworkers" ever - your very own friends?

Even if you don't work at the same company or go to the same school (especially if you don't!), you can still work together in a home office if you are both working from home. 

Set up an office in your dining room, brew some coffee and invite your friend to be home-office-coworkers.

(Sticking to the recommendations in your region on how many people you can invite to your house or socialize with.)

To maintain efficiency, stick to work hours, then schedule coffee breaks for chances to talk and catchup.

You can even switch it up - take turns hosting. Bring snacks!


3. Become Part-Time Coworkers Outside the Home

Many businesses are shut down in countries that are under severe pandemic restrictions, but there are still others that remain open - restaurants with takeout options, grocery stores and other types of businesses are still open - and often hiring.

If you have been feeling majorly isolated, a part-time job can be a place to see friends. 

Apply with a friend and enjoy being coworkers while making some extra money at the same time.


4. Meet for a Walk, a Hike, or Another Outdoor Activity

Sunday walking meetups, anyone?

Fresh air, exercise, sunshine and socializing are all immunity-boosters.  Multi-task and enjoy time with friends by starting a new healthy habit together.

Most countries have deemed outdoor socializing to be safe during the pandemic, so a walk, a hike, or just an outdoor hangout is a great way to keep up with your friends during lockdowns.

There is something so invigorating about being an explorer - weekly walks with friends could be a way to check out new areas of your city every week.

The chance to socialize and the mood-boosting power of exercise and the outdoors will have you smiling and ready to face whatever comes your way.


5. Video Friend-Dates

If you have no other way to see your friends during Covid 19, it's a good idea to start exploring video friend-dates as an alternative.

Online services are quickly evolving to adapt to the needs of bringing your social life online with video, so it's the ideal time to try it out.

Whether it's a weekly, "Happy Hour Video Catchup" with your group of friends, an online wine-tasting, cookie baking or crafting, or online games night, try exploring and experimenting with new ways to see your friends.

For extra fun, why not get a little dressed up for the occasion?*

*At least from the waist up.

 What creative and safe ways have you come up with to keep up with your friends?

Did we miss any good ideas? 

Please share in the comments below - 

And, as always, if you are looking to meet new friends, from nearby or from around the world, head on over to the "signup" section of our site - membership to FriendMatch is free and our community is full of friend-seekers from around the world ready to share their own experiences with you.


Stay Safe - and stay social!

- The FriendMatch Team




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Spend Valentine's Day with Friends! Some Ideas..

Spend Valentine's Day with Friends! Some Ideas..

Ways to Spend Valentine's Day with Friends

Valentine's Day might make you think of chocolate, flowers, cards and dinners, but this holiday can also be a really wonderful excuse to have fun and get together with your friends!

Here are some things you can do with your friends this Valentine's Day.  What did we miss? Chime in below!

Get Crafty!

Get together and make some of those beautiful diy Valentine's decorations you always see on Pinterest.
It's fun to get creative with friends, and you can pull out your creations year after year and remember your lovely time with your friends.

Bake up a Storm

Join forces and make a giant batch of gorgeous sugar cookies with a friend - give extra cookies to your sweetie or surprise a neighbor or friend in need with a batch.

Coffee + Desserts

We can be so busy during the day.  But it's easy to make time to get together for coffee and dessert after dinner. Go out to a restaurant with your gals or do coffee and homemade dessert in the living room.
So simple, there's lots of time to chat and catch up.

Spa Time

Treat yourself without the sweets! White bathrobes. Face masks. Steam. A Turkish hammam is ideal, but a diy day with homemade concoctions is also fun. Gather your pals and unwind with spa time.

Go Dancing

You don't have a date night planned, but you still want to wear something red and dress up? Go dancing! Lots of clubs have Valentine's Day specials, it's a great way to have fun and hit the town with your friends on Valentine's Day.

Take a Group Class at the Gym

Zumba or yoga, whatever new class you might want to try - drag a friend and have twice the fun! Perfect before that tasty discount chocolate!   


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5 Relatable Reasons Meghan Markle may have been lonely in London

meghan-markle-no-close-friends Loneliness might have been one of Meghan Markle's leading reasons for leaving the UK

Is the real reason Meghan Markle left the UK actually due to loneliness?

There were not too many reports of friends of Meghan's at her wedding to Prince Harry. Not school friends, childhood friends, or new UK friends - we explore this more below.


Instead, as is well known now, we saw A-list celebrities not previously linked to Meghan.

 So why does Meghan not have more real friends in her life?

We speculate that some of these reasons are surprisingly common, things that our own members on FriendMatch - and maybe you or someone you know - have gone through too.

If you have ever experienced loneliness, you know that every challenge is harder without friends to build your confidence, listen to you vent, and openly share your troubles, thoughts, and ideas with.

Right from the start when Meghan moved to the UK, reports from sources cited that she appeared to be lonely.

According to the Daily Beast, sources were quoted shortly after Meghan moved to the UK saying, "Meghan is often spotted walking about the estate.. - and is usually spotted alone." The same source goes on to say that the only companion seen with Meghan is "usually a cop" and that Meghan seemed "very solitary." (View the article on Marie Claire here)

So why doesn't Meghan Markle have real, close friends? We explore how this issue may have led her into extreme stress  - to the point of leaving everything she thought she wanted behind in the UK.

1. No Childhood friends because - No Longer Has Much in Common with them

When Meghan Markle moved to the UK to become a duchess, her new life became completely different, unrecognizable from her childhood experiences. Suddenly, the only thing she likely still has in common with her childhood friends is her past.

This might be an extreme example of something that is very common for a lot of people. 

You don't always lose touch with old friends because they have changed - it is because you have.

Some people want to distance themselves from their past because they are looking to change their self image, because you evolved, experienced personal growth, or even gave up old bad habits, such as drugs or a partying lifestyle that you want to leave behind.

If you want to distance yourself from your past, why stay connected to it?

If you have changed an no longer have much in common with your childhood friends, what is left to talk about except old times?

And if you are trying to distance yourself from these old times, why stay connected to it?

There are exceptions. If you had strong friendships, or friends that you had exceptional emotional connections to, friends you just "clicked" with, your friendship might last the test of time and changes, and then you might be more inclined to stay in touch.

In Markle's case, as she tries to fit in with her new, very different social circles, it's possible that she feels she needs to let go of parts of her past which she feels no longer fits with her new image.


2. Markle lost a lot of friends when she divorced her first husband

There is some speculation that Markle actually lost a lot of her friends when she divorced her former husband, Trevor Engleson.

Some friends have spoken out about taking sides after Markle left her husband. 

This is very common too, and again something we see on FriendMatch a lot.

When couples are together long-term, or married, they start to share friends, as Meghan and her husband did.  There were a lot more friends, family, and a more laid-back vibe from what we know of her wedding in Jamaica.

These mutual friends can sometimes take sides, causing one party from the divorce to lose friends after the separation.

There is a second reason for losing friends after a divorce - even when mutual friends don't take sides, sometimes, when we leave an ex, we want to distance ourselves from all ties to this person. This can mean leaving mutual friends behind too, as they can become tied up in our identity we had as a person in a relationship.  

With the media focusing a lot on the fact that Meghan did have a divorce, something which many traditional royal wives do not bring to the table, Meghan may have had an even stronger motive to completely distance herself from the life she had as a married women with another man.

The effect of this led to increased feelings of loneliness and isolation in her new role as a duchess.


3. A New Love Interest = No time for friends

Under normal circumstances, who hasn't been swept up in a new relationship?  New romantic relationships can be all-consuming for anyone. We have probably all experienced distance from a friend who is caught up in a new love interest and suddenly spends all their time with their new beau.

When your new love interest is a real-life prince and lives acrosss the sea, this can be a very extreme case of a new relationship taking up all time and energy. Perhaps Meghan did not have time or thoughts for much more than her new romance when she started seeing Prince Harry, especially considering the hyperspeed timeline of it - dating, marriage, and baby all in about two years - while also adjusting to an entire new royal lifestyle at the same time.

Our theory? Meghan did not even have time to connect with what was left of her old friendships, nevermind find and making new friends.


4. New Baby - Exciting! Fun! ... But also isolating.

 Life events alert! A new baby can bring massive changes to any parent's life, and even when we do have friends, we might feel lonely if these friends don't also have babies or kids, as we may feel like the things we want to relate about are not so relatable anymore with our usual crew.

This doesn't mean it's time to drop our childless friends - but what it does mean is that this is an ideal time in life to add new friends to your circle. For mothers like Meghan, this is a good time to connect with other moms or new moms where you will find kindred spirits with lots in common who are open and eager to talk about diapers, breastfeeding and burping with, among other things.

Meghan in her new role, in the spotlight, could not so easily join the local mommy group. While her sister in law Duchess Kate Middleton, with her three young children and interest in the early years, would seem the perfect candidate as a new confidante, it's clear the sister in-laws simply don't connect -whether it's packed schedules on both ends or a difference in personalities - leaving Meghan with very few options beyond Harry for companionship after giving birth to Archie.

This is especially unfortunate, as many new moms can be especially vulnerable to loneliness.


5. Moving to a new Country - How Do We Make New Friends When We Move?

This is one of the largest-cited reasons why people use FriendMatch - moving to a new location. 

As with every other example listed, Meghan brings this to the extreme, as she moved across the ocean to a culture that is in many ways very different from her American upbringing.

A lot of people don't know how to find and make new friends when they move. (Check out our other blog post - "5 Ways to Make New Friends When You Move").

Meghan Markle herself as said in a famous interview from her documentary, "Harry and Meghan, an African Journey" that she felt very lonely and isolated - while in the circumstances of the interview this statement might have seemed out of touch, at FriendMatch we feel it is easy to see why she felt that way.


Meghan's extreme sadness in this famous interview is a bit more understandable when we think about how awful we have felt in our loneliest times


Bonus Reason: No Family Friends

For some people, the social and health benefits of friendship can be in part fulfilled by family, including siblings or cousins. 

In Meghan's case, it has been made clear that this is not an option for her. Her half-sister has publicly stated negative statements about Meghan's character, and there were not any cousins or other siblings at her wedding, or reported in her social circle since her move to the UK.

With no family friendships to fall back on, when Meghan felt her worst, saw a bad article in the media, or felt low self-esteem, having no real, close, genuine friendships to fall back on might very well be one of the driving reasons behind her unhappiness in the UK.


Meghan might be lonely, but she is not alone in feeling that way - the problem is, loneliness is linked to unhappiness and even a shorter lifespan! Loneliness is also becoming an alarming epidemic.  Check out our other blog post, "Is Loneliness a Rising Epidemic in Young People?"

And if you are looking to make new friends yourself, check out our Search page to find new friends, or our FAQs page to learn more about how FriendMatch works.


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Ideas to add Flair to Your Friendsgiving


Thanksgiving season means Friendsgiving season! 

Check out this fun Friendsgiving dinner party plan that we put together, with a little help from our Pinterest board. 


Send Cute Invitations

Like these ones that can be ordered online from the website, "Paperless Post."




Set the Stage

How about setting up your table outside? Throw some extra blankets on your chairs and light a fire outdoors for a cozy and fun time.


Or have fun with decorating and put together your own fall spin on a snowman.




Set the Table

We love conversation starters as part of the table setting! These ones from blogger, "The Turquoise Home" are so cute for Thanksgiving




Pumpkins, candles, flowers, greens.  So elegant, so easy.

This photo is from a blog post from Pottery Barn!



Put on a playlist.

Spotify has lots of "Friendsgiving" and Thanksgiving playlists to choose from, we noticed.

Check out some of their playlists here.


Start with a signature cocktail

This apple sangria looks seasonally appropriate and tasty!  We found it in a post from "Sally's Baking Addiction" cooking blog.


Or, for extra warming power try this Bourbon, Apple Ginger Sour from Acocktaillife.com.




Send leftovers home!

How cute are these little takeout containers? Once again, the Pottery Barn blog has gathered the cutest ideas with their post about takeaway containers for your guests. 

You can easily create your own cute takeout containers for your guests by visiting a craft store for paper boxes and stickers.
















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Halloween 2020 with Friends

bigstock-Halloween-Pumpkin-Pie-313734781 A Halloween dinner party with themed-food is a different way to celebrate Halloween as a grownup

Can’t figure out what to do with your friends for Halloween? Or maybe you can’t celebrate together but you still want to have a fun night? Here are some ideas of what you can do!


Have a Horror or Thriller movie marathon! 

There are so many options for spooky movies to watch for halloween, and thanks to the internet you can have your marathon in your living room or across multiple living rooms.

If you can’t have the marathon in one spot, try out Netflix Party and host across multiple households. Or watch all those Simpsons Treehouse of Horrors episodes - a Halloween classic for some!


Corn Maze - Haunted Forest

Does your area have a corn maze or a haunted forest? If it does, grab a small group of friends and go check it out! It can be super fun and you can even end the evening with some hot cocoa. There’s something about being outside on Halloween that just makes hallows eve magical.


Make some Spooky Treats

Have you ever tried to make supper look spooky?  If you are having people over, or even if you are home with family, it’s always fun to try something new in the kitchen. Pinterest is a beautiful place with recipes and fun ideas, why not try some out and make eyeball cake pops for your friends, or have a Halloween-themed potluck with your friends or family.


Take a Halloween-themed Exercise Class

A lot of gyms like to have fun with Halloween, whether it's some kind of "burn off the candy" themed workout, a Halloween yoga class, or a spin class in costumes, this is a fun time to try a drop-in class at a gym. 


Get dressed up

Whether you are getting together to watch movies, make a spooky dinner party, or just create some great photo ops, there is no age limit to Halloween costumes!

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Beyond Friendship bracelets - gifts for bffs


Is your friend’s birthday coming up? Have they moved or left for school without you? Here are some gift ideas for your friends whether or not they are near or far.


"Why You're My Bestie" Book by Knock Knock - 

This little book contains fill-in-the-blank lines to describe why your friend is so great - fill them in them gift this little book to your friend.



Brookstone Friendship Lamps, Set of 2

"Let your long-distance bestie or boo know they’re on your mind with this set of two friendship lamps by Brookstone."

No matter where you are in the world, tap the lamp and its the other lamp will be activated. 




Bond Touch Long Distance Bracelet - Set Of 2


Basically you can touch the watch to send out a vibration or colour-light display to your bestie, wherever you both are in the world. 

Definitely a modern twist on the classic friendship bracelet!  We found this one at Urban Outfitters.

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Things you and your friends can do from the comfort of your own couch



Got the travel bug but can’t leave home? Itching to go to your favourite museums or learn about wildlife? Here are 4 tips for things to do without leaving the couch. 

Just because you can’t leave, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn and experience the world. Put together a list of things you’d like to see and share them with friends!


Virtual museums

Thanks to Google Arts & Culture, you can view artworks from over 2000 museums worldwide, including The Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. 



Music & Theatre

Missing out on going to the theatre or seeing live music? Look for live streams from your favourite musicians, check out BroadwayHD, or tune into nightly streams from the Metropolitan Opera House

Theme Parks

Missed out on your trip to Disney World this year? Well, you are in luck! You can virtually plan your next trip on the Walt Disney Resort Virtual Tour, or check out some YouTube channels for a chance to check out their rides, shows, and more! Like SoCal Attractions 360

Nature & Outdoors

Want to see some adorable animals, or check out some of the most beautiful national parks in the world? There are numerous Parks, Zoo, and Aquariums around the world that have live cams and virtual tours showing some gorgeous outdoor scenery and cute animals in their enclosures. 

Here are just a few:

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10 Ways to Be a Positive Light in these Troubled Times

bigstock-Beautiful-Woman-Smiling-In-Nat-354469721 Be the Change!

2020 has felt like one big game of Jumanji that just keeps going. The fires that raged in Australia, the Coronavirus sweeping across the world, floods, riots, it is a lot to handle. 

“2020 will be my year” was the mantra for lots of people on January 1st, and although it seems like a lost cause now, maybe this year can still be your year. The best way to feel happiness is to spread happiness to others - check out these 10 ways to be a positive light during 2020.



1. Smile


“But no one can see me smile behind my mask.” Yes. Yes we can. 

Have you noticed people scurrying past each other, keeping their "phsyical distance" to the point of avoiding eye contact in public places?  

The Covid Culture and words like, "asymptomatic carrier" has created a culture of fear of other people which we need to stop! 

Be the change, lead the revolution - and just smile at a stranger!

Why not be that person who makes someone’s day just by exercising those beautiful face muscles. This could be done when walking past someone, it could be when you are going through a till at the grocery store, or it could even be to the car who stopped beside you at a red light.

If you are worried that smiling is pointless behind a mask, remember that the muscles required to help you smile also move your skin around your nose and eyes, so you can totally see a smile, even with your mouth safely hidden behind your mask. 



2. Avoid online disputes


The wise Ice Cube once said, “check yourself before you wreck yourself.” Continuously remember that the words you are spreading online don’t just sit there in cyberspace. There is someone else, somewhere else, on the other side of the screen reading what you are writing and, depending on what you are posting, it can be extremely harmful. We have also seen a large increase in the amount of people taking part in cancel culture, which can tear another person’s life apart. 

Everyone is allowed and encouraged to have their own opinion, but just remember when you are writing something online, you aren’t writing in a diary. You are writing to billions of people worldwide, and they can be affected by what you are writing. 



3. Social interaction is important 


Humans are social beings, so we need our ‘people time’. This could be through a Skype or Facetime call, going out with friends if your area allows, and even striking up conversations with people when you are out and about. Gaining social interaction is important to your mental health, but it is also important for other’s mental health. 

For example, why not strike up a conversation with the person at the cash register when you get groceries? A lot of people whose jobs are deemed essential get interaction from their coworkers, but it’s always nice to have a pleasant interaction with a customer.

Make pleasant small talk. Or, take a moment to thank them for working during the pandemic. You will make their day 100% percent of the time. 



4. Support your favorite local businesses


During the pandemic a lot of local businesses have been fighting to stay afloat. If they survived the beginning, when everything was closed down, they need your help more than ever. 

If you are a fan of a Food delivery service and your favorite local restaurants are on there, check to see if they have a contribution button. You can also help them get more money by seeing if they offer delivery or takeout without a delivery servcie, that way all the proceeds help them to stay open. 

If you have a membership at a gym, consider keeping your membership active and subscribing to their online offerings, if that's all they can offer, just to be supportive. Got a favorite local store? See what you can do to help them out. Even buying something small could help them reach their daily quota to stay afloat. 



5. Practice random acts of kindness


Random acts of kindness is such a broad idea, but that’s a good thing. There are millions of things that you can do every day to help others and spread kindness. Here are just a few things you can try implementing into your day to cheer others up:

  • Open a door for someone
  • Pay for the person behind you in line when you get coffee
  • Send a cute picture or motivational text to a friend, family member, or coworker
  • If you live with your family, do something for someone else you don’t normally do
  • Donate to charity
  • Your pets deserve some love and kindness too so spend some extra time with them
  • Donate food to food banks or supplies to homeless and women’s shelters



6. Tune out of the News


Have you ever heard the phrase, "if it bleeds, it leads?"

Journalism insiders know this to be a cynical outlook on the way the news media often chooses to highlight tragedies and disasters in the news because it tends to be attention-grabbing.

Covid-19, protests, Antifa, a tense political climate - these are all being broadcast on the news everywhere you turn - the radio, your Facebook feed, television. And for many people, hearing these negative themes over and over again is affecting mental health.

So change your own vibration and tune out - turn off the news and listen to a favourite podcast instead.

Read a book instead of your phone's newsfeed.

Take a social media detox break.

And feel better. Then spread your new, more positive feelings out to the rest of the world!



7. Change the Subject


Building on the above point - just because the media is talking about pandemics and divisive movements all day long, doesn't mean you need to.  

Bring a positive and welcome change to your social and family circles and change the subject. 

Talk about something else!  What are you working on in your personal life right now? What stories from your own life experiences can you share or relive? What are you cooking at home these days?

Your friends and family will have less to debate and more to relate if you introduce some pleasant, positive topics into your conversations, give it a try and enjoy an escape from all the negative energy pushed on us these days!



8. Practice empathy


Just like practicing random acts of kindness, try practicing empathy once a day to help those around you. Here are some examples:

  • If you are stable financially, try supporting others who may not be
  • Don’t overbuy things
  • Take only what you need and allow others to have a share
  • Just like number four says, support your local businesses and encourage others to as well
  • Engaging in helpful acts can increase your empathy and help you to feel socially connected when you are lonely



9. Be a source of encouragement


This goes hand in hand with practicing empathy. Reach out to friends and family and if any of them are lonely, anxious, or depressed, encourage them however possible. Perhaps someone lost their job or they are frustrated with something happening in their life, being there to listen and encourage them can go a long way. 



10. Help where you can


Helping can mean a lot of different things. You can help out at home by cleaning, organizing, making meals, or helping others with work. Maybe your friends need your help, or your coworker. Asking others how you can help can increase your relationship with them and can let them know you care. Maybe your coworker is having a rough day or someone you know received some bad news. See if there is something that you can do to make their day better. 

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Try a New Hobby with Your Friends - some ideas



Some of us are out of work or at least working from the comfort of our own homes during the Coronavirus pandemic. Without physical interaction and face-to-face contact with our friends, it can be tough to continue to have things in common. 

Many people prefer to see their friends in person – they like to go out for coffee, for brunch, maybe grab a drink and go out on the town. Right now, it’s time to do some improvisation.

To make sure that you are keeping contact with your friends, and not losing touch, why not try to learn something new together – while still staying socially distant and abiding by guidelines given to you by your specific area. 

Here are some hobbies that you can pick up by buying some supplies and either watching DIY YouTube videos or Facetiming your friends and figuring it out together:


Knitting or Crocheting – 

If you look up Knitting or Crocheting on Pinterest, there is a world of free patterns with levels from ‘Beginner’ to ‘This is crazy how will I ever be able to make that.’ Feel free to check out our Pinterest board here for some easy beginner patterns. 

Knitting or crocheting can be a fun little hobby, and you can swap patterns or gifts with your friends with whatever you make. Some of the easiest things you can make are cup cozies, slippers, coasters, blankets and scarves. 

Have a young one? Or does your best friend have a child? There are thousands of free tutorials on how to make crocheted stuffed animals! It’s a perfect gift. It also allows for interpretation, or it shows the person you are giving it to that you made something specifically for them, which can be very special. 


Yoga – 

Some of the downsides to the Coronavirus Pandemic are not being able to workout, sitting around all day, and not getting enough physical activity to keep your body in tip-top shape. You don’t need to be in excellent physical shape or need to know every pose ever done to be able to start a regular yoga routine. Yoga stretches have been known to help with various illnesses, chronic pains, and mental health. 

A post made on thegoodbody.com shows some great statistics about those who incorporate yoga into their lives and different health benefits like it is proven to improve back pain. Regularly, those who participate in yoga see an increase in flexibility, stress relief, general fitness, physical fitness, and an improvement in their general health. 

If you currently have a gym membership to somewhere that already offers yoga classes, ask if they are offering online live streams. If not, check out a variety of yoga videos on YouTube, or our Pinterest board here


Painting or Calligraphy – 

A great way to let your inner Picasso is to try painting! Sync up your Youtube Playlist with your friends and throw on some Bob Ross painting tutorials. Make some happy little accidents and get crazy with it! You don’t need to be good at painting to have fun. You can easily buy or order a starter set of paints and use some leftover printer paper unless you want to go full out and create a masterpiece you would feel happy to decorate your home with. It is as easy as putting a brush to paint and then brush to canvas. 

Tip: Get a group of friends together and choose your favourite Bob Ross video. In your own homes, try to follow the video, and then use your choice of video chat service to unveil each of your paintings. It is a great way to have fun together while abiding by social distancing rules. 

Calligraphy is a whole different idea. Calligraphy, by definition, is “decorative handwriting or handwritten lettering,” according to dictionary.com. Why not try it out? Maybe you or your friends need signage made, or need letters addressed. It’s a fun little party trick that really impresses people! You can even find free worksheets online to help you get started and show you all the types of fonts you can create before you go off.


Gardening – 

There is just something really inspiring and satisfying about starting a little garden. If you live in a home with a yard, you can create a nice garden with flowers, herbs, or vegetables. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to grow your own food? It definitely feels good to knock a few dollars off your visit to the grocery store. 

Maybe you live in a condo or an apartment with no access to your own soil. You can always grow them inside with proper care and maintenance. 

Are you someone who seems to kill every plant you ever touch? 

Try a cactus, an aloe vera plant, or succulent. Easy to maintain and care for, these plants are perfect for those who forget to water their plants, but still want the gratification that comes from having another living thing in or outside of your home. While cacti and succulents are pretty to the eye and make your space look fresh, an aloe vera plant is really nice to keep on hand. Aloe Vera can help with sunburns, dry skin, acne, and even help with the itchiness of bug bites. Before trying to treat any of these things with the gel inside the plant, make sure you leave it for a bit after cutting a piece off and then putting a spot on your skin to make sure there is no reaction. 

Word of warning, if you happen to have pets in or around your home, make sure to research the plants you are purchasing or have around the house to ensure that if your furry friend gets a hold of them, they are not poisonous. 


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Loneliness: A Worldwide Epidemic

bigstock-Young-Handsome-Lonely-Man-Sits-361989871 Men are more vulnerable than women, and young people are reporting more loneliness in the newest large-scale study on loneliness

A new study has been published in the scientific journal Personality and Individual Differences (Barreto et al., 2020), suggesting that for industrialized countries, loneliness is one of the fastest-growing social and health concerns.

Study participants took part in the BBC Loneliness Experiment, an online survey launched on BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service. Overall, more than 46,000 volunteers between 16 and 99 years old from 237 countries contributed to the study.

Some of the findings in this worldwide study on loneliness:


1. Younger People are Loneliner than Older People

Surprised? While some might think of lonely in a stereotype of a senior citizen, the reality exposed by the study is that middle aged people are lonelier than seniors, and young people are even lonelier than middle aged people!

This might suggest that the problem of loneliness is getting worse over time. 

As our culture changes and with traditional social media networks making loneliness worse (see our image at the bottom of this blog post) - it seems like an intervention is needed more now than ever.


2. Men are Lonelier than Women

While all genders experience loneliness, men across all ages report a slight increase in loneliness over women. This is interesting to us at FriendMatch, as we are the only friendship service that caters to all genders - many of the other popular friendship apps cater only to women. FriendMatch has also done our own study demonstrating that our own members are just as interested in making friends with someone from another gender as from their own gender - it is clear from the BBC study that we need to bring this kind of service to more people across more categories.


3. Your Country Affects Your Loneliness Levels

Do you live in an individualistic society, where your individual success is a more important life goal than the needs of a larger group such as your extended family?  In these types of societies, which included countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, more frequent loneliness was reported in the study than people living in more collectivistic societies (such as Guatemala).

Interestingly, a couple years back, the U.S. Surgeon General declared loneliness a health epidemic in the country, and in the U.K., a Minister of Loneliness has been appointed.

For more information and statistics about loneliness, check out our fact sheets below:



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The Newest Ways to Meet Friends Online

The Newest Ways to Meet Friends Online

Our society has changed and evolved from how it used to be, and the Internet has played a major role in this.

When it comes to how we socialize, maintain friendships, and meet new people, our online world has transformed friendships. (More on how maintaining friendships has been affected in another blog post to come!)

Nowadays, especially thanks to the efforts of online dating, meeting someone online has become completely normalized.

From this, we have evolved to accepting a new type of relationship from the online world - making platonic friends online.

Here's our roundup of some of the latest ways to meet new friends online.


1. Online Friendship Sites

How it works: Take the concept of online dating, make a few tweaks, and adjust the model for platonic friendship instead. 

Online friendship sites, (like FriendMatch!) take a proven model for meeting new people, and apply it to friends instead of romance. 

Similar to dating sites and apps, you fill out a profile online first.

Then you can browse profiles of other members, but instead of filtering by physical attributes, you will be filtering your search by other options such as location, age, hobbies, and interests.

To start a new friendship, just like with dating you must start by sending a message to those members you are interested in.

Besides FriendMatch, other friendship sites include BumbleBFF, Girlfriend Circles (women only), and Peanut.


  • Meet new people with confidence. Unlike any other methods in this article, you can confidently message members on these sites and apps, knowing that every member registered is looking to meet new friends.
  • Easy, familiar setup: Simply browse profiles and send messages to those who you think you might click with.
  • Low cost. Unlike dating sites, many friendship sites are much less expensive to use, if not free. (FriendMatch is free to use, with an upgraded option that lets you send more messages daily.)
  • With a dating site, once you have successfully met a match, you're done! But with friendship sites, there is no limit to how many friends you can make.
  • You can make new friends nearby, locally that you can meet in person, or you can make online-only friendships if you are just looking for someone to talk to.


  • Just like with online dating, you might not meet your bff instantly. It takes time and sometimes patience, sometimes many messages and meetups to find the person you will click with. But hang in there, because the right friend is worth the effort!
  • Just like any social network or dating network, you might be approached by people you are not interested in getting to know. You have the option to ignore these requests, respond with your non-interest, or block the members on most sites and apps.


2. Blogging

Nowadays, another way that some people are making new friendships online is through blogging!

How it works: Whether you are a blogger yourself, or a fan of someone else's blog, real friendships are made through blogging platforms. 

There are thousands of blogs and bloggers out there to choose from, one for every interest. Many bloggers share information about their interests, or even their daily life. You might follow a blog because the blogger has many things in common with yourself, and you enjoy following their story.

Friendships can happen through blogs when you start connecting with each other, often through the comments section first. 

In some cases, one blogger will comment frequently on a blog post, and sometimes through this, commonalities are found, and sometimes connections are formed. This leads to direct messaging, which leads to a deeper connection.

Some bloggers have different meet and greet events, where these friendships can move from online to offline, or sometimes some comments lead to other forms of messaging if a connection is made, which leads to friendship, either online only or offline. 


  • When bloggers connect with each other, through their posts it can feel like you have already gotten to know each other, and already know which things you have in common.
  • Blogging can be deceptively lonely - while bloggers share highlights from their lives, being a blogger is still a unique position to hold that local friends and family will not always completley understand, so it can be really refreshing to meet with fellow bloggers who understand this way of life.


  • Unlike with friendship sites and apps, you can't always be certain that the blogger you love to follow is actually interested in meeting new friends, so it's best to build a friendship more slowly via this route.
  • If you don't have a blog yourself, it might be harder to connect with a blogger you feel would make a great friend for you, because even if you share details about yourself in supportive comments on their blog posts, the blogger might categorize you as a fan and not a friend.


3. Discussion Forums and Facebook Groups

Zero waste groups and forums, vegan groups, keto groups, professional groups, pregnancy and new mom groups - there is a niche online discussion forum or Facebook group for just about every hobby or interest out there!

How it works: Start by joining a group that matches up with your interests. Here, in this group, you will find and connect with other people who share the same interests as you. You don't need to jump into narrowing down a new friend right away, but start by just participating in the discussions. Eventually, you might find that you connect with some members really well, or have more things in common with them, or perhaps live nearby them.

There are two ways to find new friends from these groups:

1) Occasionally these groups will host offline meetups and events, when you attend you might just meet some new, like-minded friends. 

2) You can also send a direct message to someone you feel you have a connection with, starting with a deeper conversation, and from there perhaps moving on to a platonic online friendship, or even meeting up for an offline, traditional friendship.


  • No need for searching profiles - you already have things in common with the people in these groups.
  • Hosted group events offline give you the chance to meet new friends.


  • Similar to the other methods in this article, you can't be certain that the people you would like to become friends with are actively seeking new friendships.
  • Group events and meetups can be intimidating to go to alone.


4. Instagram

Similar to blogging, friendships are now being formed right off Instagram!  Through Instagram, people often share lots of information about themselves, their lifestyle, their goals.  From this, you might start to feel like you know which people you have lots in common with, or which people you might like to get to know.

How it works: If you think someone you follow on Instagram would also make a nice addition to your social circle, start by getting to know them through Instagram. Leave comments on their posts, or reply to their Instagram stories. 

You can take it step further by sending a direct message and introducing yourself. Slowly, over time and many messages, comments back and forth, you might start getting to know each other better. From here, you have the option to suggest meeting up sometime to hang out, or just keep it as an online friendship.


  • You can go slow with meeting new friends on Instagram - if you feel like the friend-chemistry isn't working, it's easy to back out.


  • No certainty that the person you know on Instagram is actually looking to make new friends.


5. Online Classifieds Sites 

Remember, way before the Internet days, when people used to place romance ads in the newspaper classifieds? This is still happening!

How it works: Now people are usingCraigslist, Kijiji, Angie's List, even newspaper online classifieds in their search not just for romantic relationships, but for friendships!  People are now posting ads that introduce themselves, and describe what kind of friends they are seeking, in a creative way to find new friends locally.


  • You can approach with confidence - those who are posting these ads are looking for new friendships.


  • Lots of scrolling - since online classifieds sites are not designed for friendship seeking, it's not easy to filter by things like age, gender, location, and interests, as you can with friendship websites and apps.


6. Meetup

Meetup has been around for awhile, and the concept is that groups of people host offline group encounters as a chance to go out, socialize, and meet new people.


  • No planning required, just show up!


  • Going out in a group style by yourself can be intimidating.
  • Not really designed for 1 on 1 friendships.


There you have it! Our list of some of the modern ways to find new friendship online. 

Did we miss any ideas? Please share in the comments below!



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Australia to NYC: Making new friends as an adult

Australia to NYC: Making new friends as an adult

Recently, I moved from Australia to New York City. It was, and still is, incredibly scary and challenging. While I knew a handful of people, they were scattered between Manhattan and New Jersey, and most were friends of a friend- not my own connections. I didn’t want to pity-invited along to any event. In a city  of 8 million people, it doesn’t seem like it would be difficult to find, and make, friends but it was, and it wasn’t long before I started to feel a little bit isolated and consider a life where my only friends in the city would be the raccoons in Central Park.

Raccoons, and possible rabies, aside, I knew I had to do something about this feeling of disconnect from society, or I’d end up a lonely spinster in arguably one of the greatest cities in the world, known for its vivid social scene.


So I got to work. Thinking about how I’d made friends in my previous, Australian life, it dawned on me that not all of my best and closest friendships had been formed at school or work places- the two places I assumed were the time-honoured friend-making scenes. So, I put together a list of ways  to meet great friends in my new city.  Here are some things that worked for me:



I discovered that going along to meet ups for something you’re interested in or passionate about is a great way to meet people. Not only are you mingling with other living, breathing hominids, but you’re also meeting people with similar interests to you, and because you have an inbuilt convo starter, you don’t need to make small talk about the local sports team or the unseasonable weather we’ve been having lately.


Book or Movie Review Clubs

Similar to meet ups, a book club or movie review club is a great way to meet people because you’re forced to not be a wallflower and to participate in the conversation. Maybe you’ll find your next bestie after you both give 50 Shades of Grey withering reviews, and bond over your shared highlighting of all the naughty parts in the book- (the only parts worth reading). The other benefit to making friends at things like this is that you’re still keeping up with your passions and hobbies. You get to keep your interests and make friends.


Helping people

Take a look around you, is someone struggling with a map or a Metrocard? Give them a hand. It won’t take much time and maybe you’re catching the same train, so you’ll have some time to chat.

This is exactly how I made a friend from Boston, after witnessing him struggle with the ticketing machine and offering my assistance.

Even if you don’t make a lifelong friend, you’ll feel good for helping someone and you’ll become well-practiced at approaching people, and with this comes confidence- good practice for more new friends!


Co-working spaces

I use a co-working space and I witnessed the blossoming of a new friendship right before my eyes recently.

Dan was casually working away at a desk in an open spaced area shared with others when Al, the eagle eye, spots some kind of gaming-card deck, the name of which is unknown to me, and asks Dan if he can “check out his deck”. Dan responds in the positive and the next twenty minutes they were dedicated to talking about the game, the styles they played and where. At the end of this brief encounter, the pair were Facebook friends and making plans to hook up to play said game in the future. While I wouldn’t advocate laying out a token of all the things you’re interested in like a weird, religious shrine for others to see and remark upon, open planned spaces encourage and foster these kinds of interactions and I have found them to be a good way to meet people.


Internet dating

I once met a group of guys out one night on the roller derby scene and as the night progressed, my best friend and I hung out with them more and more and we bonded quite quickly. Drunkenly insisting one of our new found pals couldn’t possibly make the late night commute to his home- in another town an hour away, we forced the poor guy to spend the night on our too-small couch. Waking in the morning to see he’d since left but had neatly folded his sheets and blankets, placing them on said couch, and hadn’t made off with our TV, made us think he was an ok guy. Later on in the day, I’m flicking through potential suitors online and see someone who looks awfully familiar to our new found friend- we were a match! We thought this pretty funny and laughed ourselves silly and then we forced him to move in with us and we’ve been great friends ever since. While we were never romantic, as the site had intended in pairing us up, that person is now one of my best friends, and I’ve met other friends through him. So while internet dating can be , it’s not entirely unreasonable to use it to make friends.

A tip - while you may be tempted to invent romantic scenarios with this new person, or people, in your head- don’t. It isn’t that actively dating someone is a bad way of meeting friends, but you want your own friends and not temporary friends you’ll have to give up if the relationship doesn’t last. So you may have to sacrifice one hottie, and the relationship potential they have, in order to make, and remain, friends. .


So while it may seem daunting and an impossible task, it isn’t always doom and gloom when it comes to making friends as an adult. I hope this list has inspired you to look outside the box when it comes to making new friends. What did you think of this list? Have you tried any of these things? 


About Jamie-lee Owen

Jamie-lee Owen is a writer and raccoon lover. More of her work can be found at jleeowen.com


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Making New Friends at Alcoholics Anonymous

I stopped hanging out with my main group of friends because the guitarist of the rock band I carried equipment for was extremely condescending towards me and always wanted me to contribute money towards him buying drugs. These were toxic friends, and they saw nothing wrong with putting me down either. They also drank and smoked cigarettes and used drugs, when I was trying to quit all of these things. So I stopped hanging out with them. But almost all my friends were in this rock band and the people who worked for it.

Suddenly I had nobody to hang out with.  But it got worse.

After leaving this group, I got drunk at another friend’s house, and by the end of the night my insatiable thirst for beer resulted in me grabbing the last beer his grandfather ever brewed, while he wasn’t looking, and drinking it. My  friend found out and punched me in the face and I was banned from his house. It was at this point I realized that I needed to go to AA. I needed to become a better person and surround myself with people who could bring out the best in me.
I had gone before when I was younger, but it was because I had to for probation, and I would just wait for the meetings to be over so that I could get my sheet signed.  This time I wanted to do it right.

I was prejudiced against members of the military when I began AA, but the nicest person I met there was a Gulf War veteran with PTSD named Jeremy. He was very empathetic with everyone at the tables. I thought, “Wow, this guy actually cares when bad things happen to people he doesn’t know!” At AA I have started to care more about the joys and problems of both my new AA friends and even strangers, and to feel their emotions with them. I am also learning that a 22-year-old like myself can be friends with much older people. There are people of all ages at AA groups.

In one meeting, I was sitting with some guys my age and one older guy.  I found myself  opening up about how my dad had a seizure from getting a cerebral edema after hitting his head too many times when he was drunk. I told them, “It was not long after he got the surgery to drain it before he started drinking again and I never want to be that stupid.”

They agreed that it was pretty stupid and reassured me that I didn’t have to be like that. After the meeting a young man named Colin said, “We’re all about the same age. If you ever need anyone to hang out with, you can chill with us.” He gave me his number and the older guy told me about the three-quarters house they lived at (a place with strict rules where recovering drug addicts live) and said I should check it out. These people that I had just met suggested I come live with them! I am fortunate enough that I am sober to the point where I don’t need to live in a place like that, but it was touching to be invited.

The club where I go to most of my meetings is located in a strip mall; ironically it is right next to a liquor store. Inside there are tables topped with hard white plastic surrounded by folding chairs. In the back there is free coffee and tea set out along with tall stacks of Styrofoam cups. On the walls there are there picture frames on the wall with the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions in them and sayings such as, “Let Go and Let God”, “Willingness is the Key”, and “One Day at a Time”. There is also a print of the classic AA painting of two members of AA talking to an alcoholic on a wall.  To me this highlights the key success behind the organization – understanding people helping each other to become better.

The atmosphere at the club was so friendly and supportive. The 12th step is to help other alcoholics achieve sobriety, so a major goal of members of AA is to help you. There is something called “The Fellowship” at AA, which means a friendly and supportive community of people with the common goal of staying sober. It is very easy to make new friends at AA because when you first get there a card is handed around and everyone puts their name and number on it so you can call people if you need help or even a friend. I realized that people often lose friends when they stop drinking and doing drugs, because they can’t afford to be around people doing things like that, or because their friends were shallow and won’t want to spend time with them unless they’re getting high or drunk. Members of AA are very willing to spend time with you outside of the club because they understand that newly sober people need sober friends.

Before and after meetings everyone hangs out in the court to talk or smoke cigarettes. I don’t smoke anymore but this is where I really got to know a lot of people. One of my best friends at AA is John, a tall skinny 27 -year-old with brown hair and ears that stick out really far.

I think one reason why it was easier to make friends in AA is that the 4th step in AA is taking moral inventory, assessing when you were good or evil. During meetings people often confess to doing bad things in the past, and judging others is called “taking someone else’s inventory” and is considered useless and self-defeating. Anyone can be themselves in AA and will be shown compassion, in fact honesty is strongly encouraged as opposed to hiding faults like one would need to elsewhere.

I don’t have a car because for several years I had terrible priorities. At AA people often have lost the privilege to drive because of DUIs, so people often give each other rides. I have made many friends by being driven home by people. One of them, Joe, became my sponsor. Joe drives John and me home after the 10:00 P.M. meetings sometimes, which are my favorite meetings because that’s the one most of my friends go to.  Joe is really funny and cool and I count on him for advice on important issues.

I got a job because of AA and I also made two new friends, my bosses Bill and Charlie. I mentioned that I didn’t have a job at one point when we were standing around in the court where people smoke. A 50-year-old named Charlie told me that he was a roofer. He offered to train me to be a roofer and the first day he came and picked me up he talked for a while and I learned a lot about him. He used to be a millionaire because he ran a huge roofing company. Then he lost everything because of the 2008 Wall Street crash and the Great Recession. It turns out the road I live on is named after his family! While I was working with him I met one of his business partners who also goes to AA, a 69-year-old named Bill. Bill and I have become very good friends and he says that one of his favorite times of day is when he is driving around with me to go to various jobs and pick things up from Home Depot. We talk a lot and can relate to each other very well even though there is a 47-year age gap.

I am extremely glad that I started going to AA on regular basis. I have made about ten new friends in just four months and I am making more all the time. Every day I can go hang out with people, there are several meetings a day so that I never have to be alone. In these past four months I’ve gotten a job and a girlfriend, two things I haven’t had in a long time. Ditching my toxic friends and lifestyle and deciding to make new friends and a healthier lifestyle by going to Alcoholics Anonymous was one of the best choices I’ve ever made.*



 -Submitted by Michael Ericson

*NB. All names have been changed in this story.

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Friends: The Prescription for a Long, Healthy Life

More and more statistics are showing that spending more time with friends will not only make you happier, but healthier as well. 

As more research is emerging, it is becoming apparent that friendship can be one of the best things for your health. 

Here are some interesting stats:

Spending time with friends was shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by 29 %.

Spending time with friends has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke by 32 %. 


More stats to come!


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