Do your married friends never have time for you? Single parents experience this often and if this is you, it’s time to make new friends with these 5 tips!
by Troop Atomic Mommy
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More often than not, single parents’ friends are not so single, and that can make it hard to have a night out. Married friends are usually too busy binging whatever new show is on Netflix, to be bothered to go out for some casual drinks. And while that may be how they like to let off steam after a long week with the kids, that’s not how you like to have fun. You’d rather grab your pals, head out to a local pub, and chill with a few beers and watch a game. But no one wants to go out alone.
Even if you are lucky enough to get your married friends to a host a night-in at their house, it’s not the same as heading off on a new adventure together. The reality is that your married friends are happy and content relaxing at home, but that’s not you. So, how does a single parent find new friends to hang out with?
If this sounds like a question you’ve asked yourself at one time or another, then you’re in the right place. Here are 5 simple ways to make new friends as a single parent.
#1 Know What Type Of Friendship You Want
It makes sense to think about the type of friends you’d like to have before you start building new friendships.
How you figure this out is by asking yourself a few important questions. Do you want friends you seldom see in person, but always keep in contact with? Would you rather have friends with whom you can have coffee mornings each week? Do you want friends that enjoy late nights every weekend? Are you looking for non-judgmental friendships? Or friendships that require you to spend a great deal of time on them? Do you want in-person friendships or virtual friendships?
Asking yourself the above questions will help you determine a few things: (1) the type of commitment you’ll need to make to your new friends, (2) the amount of time you’ll need to take away from your kids, and (3) whether you’re going to need a dedicated babysitter.
The last thing you want to do is cultivate friendships with expectations of meeting them several times per week when you’re really only going to see them once a month. Be realistic with your needs and wants so when you meet new potential friends, you can be upfront about what you want out of your new friendships.
#2 Join A Local Club Or Group
One of the best ways of making new friends is by joining some local clubs or groups. Try searching in your town hall, for clubs or groups looking for new members. Ask friends and family if they know of any groups that are worth joining.
You can try becoming a member of the local PTA. It is not a requirement to be a parent to volunteer your time. You can also become an active member of a country club, a YMCA, or even join an adult sports team like swim, fitness, and softball.
If the above examples are not your kind of thing, you can also try using websites like Meetups as they are prime examples of how you can find local friendship groups to connect with other like-minded people in your area.
There are also groups tailored to specific hobbies or interests. For example, there are vintage collection groups, knitting groups, model building, puzzle completing, and so many other types of groups to join so you’ll immediately have one thing in common with other people.
#3 Chat With People Online
There’s no denying that the internet is an excellent way to find and chat with people. It’s also a practical option for individuals that might find it challenging to form new friendships offline due to low self-esteem or demanding lifestyle commitments.
Social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Reddit are are excellent places to find online groups worth joining. While this method does not guarantee anything, you may be surprised at the types of friendships you will form and how satisfying they can be. And in case you decide to meet one another offline, be sure to take safety precautions. You never know if or when you are being catfished!
#4 Become A Volunteer
Another way to meet new people that gives you unlimited potential for forging new friendships is through volunteering. You can choose a cause which is close to your heart and then look for charitable or non-profit organizations that offer volunteering opportunities in your area.
Think of volunteering in a soup kitchen, at a church, a local hospital, a senior citizen center, and even the Red Cross. If you do decide to volunteer, you’ll get to meet and work with people from all walks of life. And this can be extremely beneficial to expanding your cultural point of view.
#5 Take Your Child To The Park Regularly
Having a child automatically turns you into an avid park-goer. As a single parent, this kind of activity can be advantageous when trying to make new friends. Consider spending your weekends or any parts of your spare time at a local park or outdoor recreation ground with your kids.
Kids make it super easy to start conversations out of the blue with other parents. You can open with a funny thing your kid just did and ask the other parents if their kids make them giggle, too. You can offer snacks to fellow parents with little ones, if you happen to see they don’t have any. And of course, you can chat each other up about how fun free time used to be. Either way, the park is a great place to start if you’re looking to add some fellow parental friends to your list.
Being a single parent is tough, and without friends to go out with once in a while, you will find yourself turning into a worn-out version of yourself. So instead of begging your busy married friends to come out for a night of casual drinks, try making some new friends using these great tips!
Happy friend hunting!