Adult friend making
August 29, 2017 6:13 PM   Subscribe

We are in New York City. We need to add some friends to our circle- where do adults hang out- specifically? Is there a trick to this?

Ideas would be welcome- please don't suggest being more accessible to our friends with children- we spend as much time with them as they would like. Aditionally we are openly struggling with infertility and new parents are as uncomfortable around us as we are around them.

My husband and I are in our mid 30s and have found our social circle has shrunk down to a nubbin. We want to make proactive steps in meeting people our age, who haves some amount of free time.

Most of our friends are neck deep in parenting now- and we appreciate that it just is what it is, and we like everyone's kids. We are looking for people to chill with have a little more free time. Maybe people with older kids? Or child free people?

We've been looking at continuing ed classes, and I'll be taking some workshops coming up. Bars don't work like they used to.

What else in Brooklyn or manhattan can I look at? Is meet up still a thing? Is there another similar thing for nerds IRL? we're involved in some politics but those groups are really focused on getting shit done rather than making friends for dinner parties ( probably for the best). Maybe a sport? We are not sport people but that would be more social than a book club right?

Anyone have any success here?
posted by Blisterlips to Human Relations (14 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Go to some of the MetaFilter meetups, or call one of your own. I met some awesome MeFites doing that there the past few months! And yes, other meetups on Meetup are definitely still a thing. I went to some great ones in my industry this summer as well.
posted by limeonaire at 6:19 PM on August 29, 2017 [3 favorites]

Meetup is definitely still a thing. I found the only book club I've ever liked that way; and incidentally, it is damn social. I've even hung out with a couple of the members post-club and between-meetings.

Also, this actually can be what Facebook is for, is building friendships. If you have work or other connections to people, and someone seems like they could be a potential good person to hang with, try friending them on Facebook and then see how commenting on each others' pages goes. I've fostered a friendship with a couple that way; he was an actor I worked with in 1998 and we somehow stayed in contact, and his wife was always volunteering at the theater. But after we all each saw each other saying cool things on Facebook, somoene finally just said "oh, what the hell, you wanna come to the New Year's Eve thing at our place too" and that was that. (I've honestly been trying to get them to join in here, because they're REALLY witty.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:49 PM on August 29, 2017

Do you only want to make other couple-friends, or friends as individuals?
posted by greta simone at 7:07 PM on August 29, 2017

Singular or as a couple. It would be just as beneficial for us to grow Individual friendships.
posted by Blisterlips at 7:26 PM on August 29, 2017

Sports are definitely a thing. Soccer seems particularly effective, based on my observations. Crossfit seems to be more of a cult, but you definitely meet people. If you ski, the trips organized by Paragon Sports seem to work well.

I've also noticed that NYC has a strong happy hour culture; people socialize more with colleagues than I remember seeing in the Midwest.

I have kids, so one way I've met more people is by shamelessly inviting people over post kid bedtime and encouraging them to bring friends. I've made a couple great friends that way.
posted by snickerdoodle at 7:36 PM on August 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thirding meetup, lots of interesting groups, making friends from people there requires some persistence though
posted by TheAdamist at 7:41 PM on August 29, 2017

Volunteering, but you've got to be regular and consistent (and pick something that requires group interaction; walking dogs is awesome but by itself it has you off with the dog).
posted by praemunire at 7:54 PM on August 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Have you tried social dancing? Most scenes have a core of regulars who come week after week; become one of those regulars and you'll get to know everyone else within a few months to years. Memail me if you want specific suggestions.

Also, I used to volunteer at a church soup kitchen, and nobody ever tried to talk religion to me. So don't think that church stuff is only for the devout. I would recommend working back of house, though, unless you really like interacting with the clientele. I was only front of house for an hour or two before I got my first unwelcome sexual advance.
posted by d. z. wang at 8:33 PM on August 29, 2017

I've made most of my friends by getting involved in activities that interest me. In my case that's been music and theater, but whatever you think you'd enjoy doing will be where the like-minded adults with free time will be.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:46 PM on August 29, 2017

Regularly-scheduled exercise classes -- you'll see the same people over and over again, which leads to potential friends.
posted by Fig at 3:10 AM on August 30, 2017

Do you enjoy pub quizzes? If so feel free to get in touch about joining my Mefitey team!
posted by ferret branca at 8:22 AM on August 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

Do you have a dog or want one? Assuming the answer is yes, I highly recommend finding a nice park not too far from your place and getting into a regular dog walking routine there. I've made two actual good friends from the people I've met while walking my dog (both women who are a little older than me who don't have kids -- I'm in a similar boat of being in prime parenthood age without kids and losing time with old friends as a result) and am now friendly with a ton of other people in my neighborhood. The theory is the same as classes or whatever--routine exposure to the same people--but you have to walk the dog anyway, so why not increase your chances of making friends while you do it by walking in a popular spot and chatting with the other dog owners you find?

Also book club is basically wine and snacks club 99% of the time (in my experience), so that's a great way to meet people too.
posted by snaw at 9:07 AM on August 31, 2017 [1 favorite]

There's a fun Pinball/Speakeasy in Greenpoint that has league nights. Also, a shuffleboard club in Gowanus with league nights. Subscribe to lists like The Skint , find a book club, find a food interest club that does events, volunteer at soup kitchen, help on an urban farm.
posted by crunchy_cereals at 9:48 AM on August 31, 2017

If i still lived in NYC I'd be up for hanging out. I think a lot of people in the city are in the same exact boat.. cities can be lonely places, especially when everyone who isn't busy and important is busy trying to appear busy and important.. which i think expensive cities in the US somehow necessitate. Add in the parenting element and (as a childless friend of many friends with kids) you're lucky to see people three or four times a year. Though perhaps on the plus side in a big city I found older childless people with time to get together to be much more common than in the small college town i'd lived in previously, which i enjoyed because i like to have friends of all ages.

If either of you like drawing/sketching/painting there is a terrific Urban Sketchers group in NYC that meets *bi-weekly* now, all over nyc and sometimes NJ, westchester, and CT too. A lot of talented friendly people. after sketches everyone goes out for snack/drinks/etc. Best of all, it pleases my old-school sensibilities that it is organized by listserv rather than meetup or facebook. there's a link to sign up to the google group based listserv on their page here -

I also could recommend terrific painting / drawing classes in brooklyn but that may be traveling too far down the artsy rabbit hole , since i'm not sure that's your thing.. feel free to PM tho if it tis and i'll tell you the details.

oh .. i do have one last thought - are you near park slope or can you bear to travel there? because you might look into joining the food coop. yes, of broad city and probably several SNL sketches fame. But it is a pretty neat places -- you really do get good deals (because all members also provide labor everything is sold at cost!) and you meet people on your shift. There's a bulletin board also that has a small town endearing feel that's rare in NYC. At first you have to commit to shifts on a reg schedule but after a while you can become "F Top" (if memory serves - no recall what it stands for, lol) which means you get to hoard work-hours and then not work for long stretches of time. All in the name of community, nice produce, and cheap hard to resist bulk chocolate croissants : ) If you work as a "walker" you get to chatting with customers that live nearby (you walk them home, and then bring back the cart, or, if you're shopping, you can have someone walk you home or to the train, and take the cart back for you.)

sure wish you both the best of luck..
posted by elgee at 2:42 PM on September 5, 2017

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