Whether you’re recently divorced or you’ve just been too busy with life to keep up with the friendships you had in the past, it can be difficult to meet new people as an adult.  Work, children, and household maintenance take up a lot of time, and making new friends just isn’t quite as easy as an adult as it is for children.  But there are many things you can do for a couple of hours once or twice a week that could enhance your social circle.

Join a Club – Find a club based around something you enjoy, and you’ll instantly have common interests with its members.  Consider clubs for walking, running, biking, books, or games.  Don’t be shy about joining; everyone was new at some point.

Take a Class – Do you need to boost your cooking skills?  Or do you get motivated to exercise when you have others to do it with you?  Classes are often offered at community centers, gyms and specialized facilities, so check their calendars and see what you can find. Even if you don’t make a lifelong friend, you’ll have learned a new skill.

Volunteering – Offering your time to special causes gives you a sense of purpose and satisfaction, and you’ll likely meet other people with the same passions while you’re doing it.  Local animal shelters often need people to clean cages, walk dogs, or socialize with cats.  Food banks need volunteers to pick up and organize donations as well as distribute goods.  Children’s charities, soup kitchens and hospitals are also great places to volunteer.  Working toward a common goal is a wonderful way to bond.

Travel – You probably have a list of places you’ve always wanted to go, and there’s no better time than now.  Along the way, you’ll meet people from all sorts of places and from various backgrounds.  Friends that you make this way will expand your horizons, teach you new things, and maybe even inspire future vacations.

Be Yourself – No matter how you decide to get out and meet new people, remember to just be yourself.  Nothing is more attractive in a person (either as a friend or a potential mate) than someone who is confident and genuine.  Join an activity that you truly care about, and you’ll find that others are there for similar reasons.

Fortunately, there are many places to meet new people besides bars and nightclubs.  You can be in a safe, friendly environment while you interact with others and maybe learn a few things along the way.  Search your town’s website or check your social media connections to find new pursuits.  Relax, have fun, and enjoy!