Unpopular opinion: It’s harder to make friends as an adult than it is to date. After all, we have countless dating apps that are specifically developed to help us find a romantic partner, but fewer to help us make friends.
The thing is, we’re taught from a young age that making friends is something we should be able to do on our own; if we partake in the activities we enjoy, we’ll be able to meet other folks with similar interests, and presto-chango, you magically have five new best friends. But after college and high school, that really isn’t the case. And if you’re a freelancer that works from home, then forget about it; you can’t even make a work friend, unless the Starbucks barista is down to hang.
Friendship apps may be less common than dating apps, but they do exist—even some that are just like Tinder! Other guys use major social media sites, like Twitter and Instagram, to grow their social circles. We spoke to 10 different men to find out how, as adults, they’ve made close friends using apps. Here’s what they said.
While most of us know Bumble as a popular dating app, you might not know they recently added a feature called BumbleBFF for people just looking to make friends. After downloading the app, you can head into your personal profile, and change the settings from BumbleDate to BumbleBFF, and boom! You’ll be able to match with other guys looking for friendship.
“We all know that Bumble is the app when girls message first, but also they have a new part of the app where you can make friends. To be honest, I’m new to it, but so far it’s cool. It’s a little weird since it’s coming from a dating app. Also, you still ask the same questions you’d ask someone you’re trying to date, like, ‘What activities are you into?’ So, actually as I write this out, I’m not sure. Hahaha! I guess I’ll keep trying it a little longer.” —Sam 28
“I first started using BumbleBFF last March. I’ve matched with about 150 since I started using the app, but I only regularly hang out with two of them. I usually try to initiate the conversation based on something I read in their profile. Then, once I’ve established common ground and we’ve conversed for a bit, I invite them to meet up with me for some coffee or a drink.” —Alex, 25
The best way to make friends on Twitter is by engaging with other folks’ tweets through likes, replies, and retweets. Once you’ve established a connection with someone on your timeline, you can send them a direct message to keep the conversation going.
“When you think of sliding into someones DM’s on Instagram, you usually think of it as being thirsty, but with Twitter it’s not like that. You can connect over your ideas and interests. Also, I’m a writer, so I share a lot of my work on Twitter, and people will tell me they like my work, and we’ll start talking, and before you know it, we’re friends.” —Cory, 27
“It’s kind of been inadvertent, I’ve made lots of incredible friends who live in the same queer culture as me, if not necessarily the same city. And over the years that’s led me to blur the definition between follower and friend. Like, I’ll follow somebody and we might be pouring our hearts to each other via DM by the of the day.” —Phillip, 32
After downloading the app, search for activities that interest you, sign up, and go meet people IRL.
“It’s hit or miss for sure, but I mean, Meetup, in theory, should be the best way to make friends IRL since you’re with a bunch of other people with similar interests who are also looking to make friends. I’ve def made some of my closest friends from it. And I mean, let’s say the group of guys isn’t great, whatever, you’re still doing something that you like to do. It’s still a good time.” —John, 38.
The best way to make friends on Instagram is by replying to someone’s stories. If they respond to you, it’s easy to strike up a conversation from there. You can also find other people with similar interests and identities by following hashtags that apply to your passions.
“You get a sense of who they are from their story and feed. You also know what they do. Their interests. It’s easy to connect that way, through a common interest.” —James, 25
“Yeah, I’ve messaged some guys on Insta thinking there’s a potential to network, but then we meet up for drinks, realized there really isn’t, and just became buds after that.” —Asher, 28
“Insta makes it easy. You can see if you have mutuals. You can see what the person likes and how they feel. It’s really easy to connect based on similarities. I feel like more of my friendships start on Instagram than anywhere else the days. It’s open. It’s straightforward and you can start a convo based on practically anything. I have friends from the States to Italy to the UK, just from Instagram convos that started mega randomly.” —Kayden, 30
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