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When you’re young, making friends is easy. There’s nothing to it; you sat beside someone at school, notice that you have the same pencil case, asked them if they wanted to be your best friend and that was that. But when you’re an adult, pulling that move doesn’t always have the desired effect.
Making and maintaining friendships as a grown up is not always straightforward. Whilst many of us are able to keep the same friends from school, childhood or college, for others; jobs, relationships, having children, relocating and generally growing apart can cause distance between us and the mates that we once held close.
In many cases, Ireland can seem like a particularly difficult place to make friends, as it’s a relatively small place and in rural locations people seem especially close knit and seem to have known each other forever.
So how do you make friends as an adult in Ireland?
Whilst it can seem daunting and sometimes impossible to find new friends or initiate yourself into new groups, there are ways to get yourself out of a lonely or friendless rut.
The key is to be brave and open to new opportunities. Understand that making connections and hitting it off isn’t always an instant thing. Much like a romantic relationship, it can take time to establish common ground and build something meaningful.
As cliché as it sounds, you also have to be ready to be a good friend to others. Take time to think about what you have to offer others and what you expect and want from them, in order to form a bond that really improves your quality of life.
If you feel ready to put yourself out there and expand your social circles, here are our top tips for meeting new people in Ireland.
Tips For Meeting New People In Ireland
Reconnecting with old friends is often much easier than going out and trying to make new ones. Have a look through your social media contacts and reach out to people you were once close to, or maybe old school mates or colleagues who you haven’t seen in a while.
Many of us have ‘dormant friendships’, that can be easily reignited with an invite to grab a cup of coffee or go for a drink. It can definitely be overwhelming to initially contact someone you haven’t seen in a while, but when you fight the fear of making the first move you’ll soon wonder why you ever felt so nervous.
Get a hobby
Most friendships in childhood often evolved out of having similar shared interests and being part of clubs or groups. When we grow up, we tend to lose a lot of our hobbies and interests as work and family life takes priority.
But there is a lot to be said for having a hobby. Not only does it benefit your personal development but it can open you up to new communities and groups of people you may never have known about.
Look up classes and groups in your local area. Whether it’s an art class, a walking group or a book club – find your interest and pursue it with a view to meet likeminded people who are often in a similar situation.
Websites and apps
Whilst dating apps have become part of our everyday lives and culture, it seems like there isn’t much technology out there to help you establish platonic friendships – how great would it be if there were a Tinder for making friends?
That said, there are a variety of websites and online groups geared towards connecting people.
Meetup – Meetup is an online social networking portal that facilitates offline group meetings in your area. You simply list your location and your interests and you can find an array of offline groups that you can register to attend.
GirlCrew – For women, there’s GirlCrew which is an online platform for women to make friends. There are GirlCrew groups not only all over Ireland, but across the globe – each with their own social media accounts to follow and groups to join.
It’s a warm and welcoming online space, filled with women who want to connect with and meet others in the real world. Whether you want to grab a coffee or organise a night out, you can simply post in the Facebook group and find others who want to hang out too.
Go to events
In the larger cities throughout Ireland, such as Dublin, Limerick and Galway, there are events on every night of the week and while going alone might not seem entirely appealing, it can be a great way of meeting new people and uncovering new communities.
Keep up to date with events websites for your area or use Facebook’s events tab. It not only shows you events that you have signed up to, but will also highlight events that your connections have shown an interest in, as well as upcoming events in your local area.
Connect with colleagues
Whilst everyone’s workplace will have a different culture, engaging in social activities with your workmates is a great way to get to know them better outside of the office.
Many of us spend more time with our colleagues than any other people in our lives, yet know little about them personally. Going for drinks after work or arranging team building opportunities can help you get to know your colleagues on a different level and allow you to discover shared interests beyond what you do for a living.
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