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26
Oct

A Guide For Making Friends As An Adult In Denver

As an adult, you may feel like you have less opportunities to make friends. Adulthood can bring on many feelings, responsibilities, and changes. Having a community of one or more supportive friends has been shown to help with managing life stress, anxiety, and depression; overall benefiting your mental health.

Friendships can feel more difficult to seek out because formal schooling has likely ended. There may not be scheduled activities on the calendar, and you may have noticed a difference in your sense of belonging.

Relationships with friends who you met up with occasionally may have fizzled out during the pandemic. If you feel like your social calendar should have more on it and doesn’t, you are not alone.

Living in a city like Denver can be beneficial when it comes to friendship because of its size, but it can be overwhelming too. There are choices to make and more people to know.

If small talk isn’t an ideal situation for you, it can be difficult to make friends initially.

You are still worth getting to know, and there are people who are worth it too.

Whether Denver is a new city or familiar place for you finding common ground like the city where you live is a starting point and can be helpful as you navigate a new friendship.

Here is our guide to help you make friends as an adult in Denver:

1. Get To Know Yourself As A Friend:

As you start to make friendships with other people, become clear on what you like, dislike, and how you want to spend your time. You can think about boundaries that you want to have in your friendships and how you want to be treated.

If you have several friends and never feel good about yourself when you are done spending time with them, it is time to find new friends.

Once you become your own friend, and treat yourself how you’d like to be treated, you can understand what you are willing to accept. 

Often, being alone is less lonely than spending time with people who don’t cherish you. Missing someone doesn’t mean a goodbye wasn’t necessary.

If you identify as an introvert, there is still room for socialization and the opportunity to meet a new friend. Isolation and introversion are discernible. Ask yourself whether you are recharging alone or recoiling at the thought of an activity with a group of people. This may help you to decide if you are isolating or re-charging.

Making friends and meeting a new person as an adult can be a risk, but connection is a social and emotional need that helps you become a healthy adult. Your mental health can improve when you become part of a community of close friends.

2. Identify How You Want to Spend Your Time:

As you become your own friend, think about how you want to spend your time. Denver has a variety of experiences in nature that you can enjoy. When you are doing an activity you like, you are more apt to find friends who are equally excited.

If you want to try growing flowers, plants, or gardening; there are beautiful shops throughout Denver that have supportive communities already.

SheGrows is a flower community in Arvada that offers online classes and invites community members to the European-style grounds. You can explore lavender fields right here in Colorado. For more information, go to: https://shegrows.com/

If you like reading books, there are book clubs throughout the Greater Denver area. The Denver Public Library has many book clubs available to the public that meet each week or month. Whether you prefer online or in-person, you can find a book club that fits you: https://www.denverlibrary.org/dpl-book-clubs

If you identify as a foodie, there are ways to become involved in the restaurant scene through underground clubs, food groups, and community dinners. The Inventing Room offers a monthly pop-up dinner event that has a theme complete with desserts that pop, fizz, and whipped cream that explodes. You can learn more about getting tickets here: https://www.tirdenver.com/gobblefunk

If you have a dog, you can make going to the dog park or taking a walk at a Denver park part of your routine. Similar interests often bring people together, and there are plenty of dog lovers in the Denver metro area. While your pups are practicing social skills, you can make conversation with fellow owners.

Read More: “Taking Risks Can Come With Rewards You Are Worthy Of: 5 Truths To Taking Risks”

If you are into yoga and other wellness events, Urban Sanctuary is a favorite yoga community in Denver because of the welcoming atmosphere and peaceful community that already exists. To try a class or one of their unique workshops, go here: https://usdenver.com/

No matter what interests you, there is a way to become part of the community. If you haven’t found the right match, think about how you can start a community through Meetup (see below). Even if you are the only member initially, you may find that other people are eventually interested too.

Explore local publications for ideas. Westword, 5280, and 303 Magazine all have extensive lists of things to do in Denver and throughout Colorado that might peak your interest and broaden your community. Seniors Resource Guide has resources available specific to the senior population in the Denver Metro Area and is also worth checking out. 

3. Be Curious About Others and Start Conversations.

For some people, the idea of starting a conversation with a stranger provokes intense anxiety and desires to avoid social situations all together.

Avoidance only leaves you where you started. Instead, become curious about the people you are meeting doing the activities you’ve identified you want to spend your time doing.

When you have something in common – like the place you’ve met, that is a great place to begin the conversation. Be curious about why they are interested in this shared activity, what their experience is with it, do they know of other groups or access to this activity?

The benefit of being clear with how you like to spend your time is that you are spending your time with others who also have a same interests and may be a good starting point.

4. Be Open Minded.

You may have expectations around friendships as an adult. You may be set in your routine, already know what you like, and not want to fit someone else in the mix. As an adult, you get to learn from your mistakes and what doesn’t work for you. 

You don’t have to replay familial relationships within friendships. You can stop being a caretaker, therapist, or leader of your friendships.

Relationships take effort, but you don’t have to replay the roles that have always suited you if you no longer feel comfortable in them.

Allow yourself to branch out and get to know people who are different from the friends you have experienced in the past. It may feel risky, but open mindedness can lead to successful friendships.

When you are willing to accept that everyone can bring unique perspectives, you may see the benefits of having friends who are both similar and different than you. Great friends come from some of the most unexpected places.

5. Join a Group or Create Your Own.

In school settings, groups were in one place. As an adult, you may have to try harder to find experiences that are worth your time. Joining a group can help you feel connected even when your sense of belonging may feel shaky. You can tap into your current social circle, like coworkers, to find a group that feels most helpful to you. 

You can also use social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or meetup.com  to search for a group or opportunity to meet a new person. This may help you find a community that is already in place. To find groups online, search the social media platform for your interest “mountain biking”, “hiking”, “entrepreneurs”, “Chicago Bears fans in Denver”.

Spirituality, exercise, art, dance, and alumni groups etc. are all shared interests that connect directly to communities with some shared interests.

If you don’t feel comfortable with the people around you, try something else. Allow yourself time to warm up to your surroundings. Trust yourself if it doesn’t work for you.

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Making friends as an adult in Denver can be a challenge, but there are many resources available to you. No matter your age, there is hope. Take the first step by becoming your own friend and becoming clear on what you might like and not like in a friendship and activities.

It may seem like effort to make a friend, but you are worth it. Sense of belonging is a human need, and it starts with you. Whether you are feeling lonely or tired of being alone, you can reach out to people who care about you. Every tool you need is already within you.

Read More: “From The Therapy Couch: Some Tips From People Who Struggle With Anxiety”

Though making new friends is doable, sometimes anxiety, fears and old hurts can prevent us from taking steps toward creating new connections. If you struggle with social anxiety, fears of rejection, depression or other anxieties and worries around making new friends, therapy can help.

Therapy for social anxiety can help with teaching you ways to manage and possibly overcome the symptoms you experience that may help you to feel more able to take those steps towards forming new relationships. 

If you are curious about how therapy can be helpful for you, reach out to schedule a free consultation with one of our licensed clinicians. 

Schedule A Consultation

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Written by: Randi Thackeray, MA
Clinically Reviewed and Edited by: Julie Reichenberger, MA, LPC, ACS, ACC

Read More: “What To Know About Therapy and If Therapy Is Right For You”


Denver Metro Counseling is a group of clinicians who provide therapeutic support in Denver, Colorado for teens, adults, parents, and families. We provide supportive therapy online and in-person for teens and adults helping them learn to manage life obstacles and create a path toward a rich, meaningful life. 

Our clinicians specialize in anxiety, depressionHelp For Depression, substance use, marijuana abuse, codependency, trauma, EMDR, body image issues, disordered eating, ADHD, family therapy and more.
Denver Metro Counseling

Our Clinician’s Bios:
Audrey Bristol, LSW
Molly Ward, LCSW
Karan Steuart, LCSW, LAC
Julie Reichenberger, MA, LPC, ACC, ACS

Follow Denver Metro Counseling on Facebook: Denver Metro Counseling and Instagram: @denvermetrocounseling for other helpful information.