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6 Best ways to make new friends

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

How to make new gal pals

As you get older, making new friends isn't always easy. Meeting job demands, dealing with relationship issues and squeezing in time for the gym and downtime make it hard to meet new people, but we're here to help. Take a look at our tips for meeting new people, having fun and creating lasting BFF bonds.

Women friends at basketball court

1

Get sporty.

Making new friends can be as easy as getting involved in a team sport. Even if you haven't picked up a baseball bat in years or think you've lost your knack for the three-pointer you perfected in college, don't fear. Check out a site like Sports Monster to look for pick-up leagues in your city. Chances are, you'll meet someone interesting -- and you'll always have something to talk about, like the cute mid-fielder or how awful the other team's uniforms look.

2Learn something new.

Like joining a team, taking a class will put you in contact with potential new pals. Try a new language, take a pottery or photography class or improve your cooking skills with a culinary class in a cuisine you've always wanted to try. You'll meet like-minded people who have similar interests.

3Take a group vacation.

We don't mean getting a group of current pals together to hit the road (thought that's fun, too); we mean taking to the skies solo but through a travel company that specializes in small group excursions. GAP Adventures, Contiki and the Adventure Travel Company all offer trips to most corners of the world ad involve groups of 12 to 15 depending on the trip. This is a great way to meet new people and get in some excitement while you do it.

4Volunteer.

Another great way to meet new people is to volunteer. You'll be using your time to help others, while potentially meeting some great people who also want to give back. Look into programs such as Habitat for Humanity, or use a site such as VolunteerMatch to find an opportunity to help out in your area.

5Just say "yes."

When you let life get the better of you (think deadlines, financial woes, office politics, etc.), it's often much easier to stay in and watch TV on the couch than accept invitations that come your way. The more you say "yes" to the friends you do have, though, the more likely you'll be to meet more great people through your current circle. So next time you're debating between reruns of the Golden Girls and a night out with some lovely ladies, choose the night out.

6Start a club.

Gather a small group to start with (friends, people from the office, your sister) and start a club. Maybe it's a book club, wine-tasting club or a cooking club; chances are, if it's fun, other people will get interested and want to join, too. Have your friends put the word out about it, post the details on Facebook and let your office mates know about it, and watch your club (and group of friends) grow.

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