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Online dating is a challenge for everyone. A lot of pressure comes with keeping up a conversation with someone you don't know anything about other than the fact that they are hot — if you even had the patience to swipe or scroll enough to find someone worth chatting with, that is. One aspect of online dating dynamics poses a challenge for both men and women, but from different angles: If it's a lady you're pursuing, chances are she's received more than a few unsolicited messages already.
Things were so much easier when we were kids, including making friends. Back when saving for retirement and anti-aging creams were in the very distant future, maybe you didn't give much thought to chatting up your peers at the playground.
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But, now that socializing is probably at the bottom of your long list of priorities, you might be wondering how you'd even make friends as an adult in the first place, or why you should bother. Beyond having a close-knit group of people to vent about your problems with, or to accompany you on your next girls' tripmaintaining human, interpersonal relationships can ificantly impact your physical and mental health.
According to a report in the Journal of Health and Social Behaviorhaving strong social ties can boost your immune system and help you to live a longer, more fulfilling life. Not only that, researchers found that cultivating friendships can decrease the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, as well as reduce the impact of stress and chronic pain.
A meet-up group.
With those benefits in mind, the most important thing to remember is that when it comes to your overall well-being, it's never too late to let go of toxic relationships and meet new people. Whether you're a recent transplant to a new town, or you're interested in adding a few fresh faces to your inner circle, there are some practical things you can do to make and keep friends as an adult.
First step, put yourself out there. If you just moved to a new city, Hey! VINA is the perfect app to use to find friends nearby. Think of it as Tinder for female friends, where you view someone's profile to determine whether you need to swipe left to pass on connecting, or swipe right to send a virtual "hello" to a potential match.
Olivia June launched the app in after relocating to San Francisco to pursue a career in tech.
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It would show me profiles of women who were similar to me. But it was awkward to reach out to other girls for friendship because the intentionality of the platform was for dating. So, Olivia June built Hey! VINA as an empowering community for women. And for East Coast transplants like me, it's taken the anxiety out of meeting and talking to new people.
In my personal experience, having a user-friendly and dynamic app, with fun quizzes and the ability to chat with other women, has led to a fun coffee date with a fellow Southernerkaraoke night with a Brooklyn-based newbie, and, of course, some fascinating book recommendations. Playdates don't have to be reserved for children, thanks to Meetup. Launched in Junethe service was created for people to connect with like-minded individuals in different online groups, and to host in-person events for users with similar interests. Meetup is accessible on a personal computer, tablet, or through its phone-based app.
If you enjoy reading booksknitting, watching moviestravelingor indulging in spa treatments in your spare time, there are specific groups tailored to your hobbies, ethnicity, and even your job or college major. In addition, if you're the outgoing type or your passion isn't currently represented on the platform, feel free to start your own group for members to. Remember those days when you could strike up a new friendship just by trading notes or sitting next to someone in class?
Tap into that whim as an adult by participating in adult classes or workshops that center around something you've always wanted to learn how to do. Need to brush up on your skills in the kitchen? Take a cooking or baking class, and spark a conversation with the person at your workstation.
From crafting and dancing to writing and cycling, you can search for available classes that are available near you online, or check out community colleges or local institutions offering self-improvement or recreational courses. If, in fact, you can read your way to happiness, you might as well do it with someone by your side.
According to The New Yorkerwhich reported on a study featured in the Annual Review of Psychologypeople who read mostly fiction are better at empathizing with others. So instead of snuggling up at home with one of the buzziest books oftake a trip to the library and see if there's anyone in your favorite section who piques your interest or who's eyeing an anticipated read you can't wait to bury your nose in.
Better yet, form a book club with your neighbors or your new friends from Hey! VINA or Meetup.
The next time you take your furry companion out for a walk, make the rounds at a dog park. This takes the pressure off meeting complete strangers, since you already have something in common: a love for four-legged animals. Observe which pets your dog takes a liking to, and start a conversation with their owners. Although it may not lead to you finding your future BFF, you'll be able to trade funny stories and frustrations about your pup's habits.
And, at the very least, you'll have someone to look forward to talking to while your dog is also making friends. Social media can be helpful when seeking out new or old friends, as well networking for business opportunities.
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Though limiting your interaction with strangers to characters or a double-tap may seem intimidating at first, just know that you could be one comment or "like" away from a budding friendship. If you're following someone who posts great photos or shares funny tweets, reply and engage with that person by asking questions. After all, who doesn't like reading positive compliments? Tweets and responses may eventually lead to direct messages, which, in turn, could lead to future outings in person. Another tip is to start searching hashtags around your interests and location.
If adult coloringmakeupcookingor binge-watching Netflix is your thing, you can find others by typing in those keywords, preceded by the. Likewise, when you post your own thoughts and photos on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, make sure you use a hashtag so others can find you.
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