Making friends as an adult – how technology can help

by | Nov 11, 2016

Finding new friends as an adult can be tricky

friends as an adult
Perhaps you’ve moved to a new city, or broken up with a boyfriend and lost all your mutual buddies.  Maybe you work eighty hours a week and have no time left to socialise.  [Tweet "Whatever your situation, it’s tough making friends as an adult."] Even if you’re lucky enough to have a best friend already, it’s always good to meet new people.

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From Plenty of Fish to Fetlife, technology has been quick to adapt to people looking for love.  But it’s only recently that developers have started to help people make platonic connections too.

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Early friend-making sites were usually location-specific (such as Couchsurfing), or centred around specific activities (such as Meetup).  Like every form of technology in history, what started as a great idea was quickly dominated by men hunting for sex.  There were like-minded women out there - but for every potential BFF you found on one of these sites, you’d have to delete-and-block a dozen pushy guys.
In the last couple of years, a few apps have come out which are specifically marketed at women interested in making friends as an adult.Paragraph

Read: Beware these 7 female friendship dealbreakers

New ways to make friends as an adult

Social media is opening new ways to make friends

Social media is opening new ways to make friends

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Bumble BFF is one of the best-known.  It’s a subsection of the female-friendly Bumble dating app (good luck explaining to your husband that you’re downloading Bumble “just to make friends”!)  It auto-fills your profile based on your Facebook page, then gives you the option to edit your bio and select photos.  Like the parent dating app, it has a “swipe left/swipe right” method of matching people; even if you’re ruthless about selecting dates from of a profile pic and 50-word bio, it can feel pretty mean rejecting potential friends on that basis.

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Hey! VINA is another swipe-based friendship app, but this one is women-only.  Founded by two women in tech who struggled to make friends in the macho environment of Silicon Valley, it uses a series of simple personality questions (Wine or coffee?  Day or evening?), combined with a proximity filter, to suggest potential pals for you to sort through.  Once you have a match, the algorithm will even suggest a place to meet – for example, a nearby hiking trail for fitness fanatics, or a conveniently placed café.

Don't let yourself get lonely - friends help success

Don't let yourself get lonely - friends help success

Read: Is a network of girlfriends the key to career success?

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Patook suggests matches based on a points system, rather than a behind-the-scenes algorithm.  For example, if you’re looking for female friends with a similar taste in music, you can award 10 points to any woman, 20 points to anyone who says they’re into electronic music, 40 points to anyone who shares your love of late-90s Dutch techno, and so on.  Brilliantly, they have a special flirt-detecting system which uses word-recognition software to zap potentially inappropriate messages before they hit your inbox.  No more “Heyyyy ;)” cluttering up your inbox.

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[Tweet "There are so many new approaches for making friends as an adult."] While it’s always nerve-wracking to put yourself out there and meet new people, expanding your network can make you more successful as well as happier.

Would you like to turn your relationships around at work or in your personal life? Contact 3Plus for a coaching session.

Alice Bell Contributor
"Alice writes online about business, popular science, and women's lifestyle. After a few years working her way around the world, she has settled in the north of England and taken a day job as a maths teacher. Her life's ambition is to earn enough money to start repaying her student debt."

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