A Catholic Single’s Guide to Finding Friends as an Adult
I’ve been hearing the joke a lot lately that Jesus’s greatest miracle was having twelve close friends as an adult.
It can be hard for Catholic singles to even find community sometimes. Feeling that absence in every part of your life can get pretty draining. While you’re looking for a partner, you can also be seeking community in other ways.
Finding friends in adulthood is . . . not easy, to put it charitably. To be honest, I am still lacking the tight-knit group of confidants I leaned on in my early twenties.
However, I have focused a lot of energy on trying to surround myself with the kind of people I hope could be good friends. Casting your nets wide in friendship, as in dating, can lead to all sorts of opportunities.
Here are some ways I’ve found to meet people, develop friendship, and also get a more active social life in general.
1. Seek out social clubs
Social clubs aren’t just for high school and college. There are tons of ways to find the things you love doing with other people who love it too. I knew some people who spend time with a local running club—and some others met in a local walking club!
Whether you’re into art, sports, books, or cooking, there’s probably a place for you to meet others just like you.
Plus since you’ll be doing something you love, you’ll have a home court advantage. Because you’ll be at ease with the activity or subject, you’ll be more comfortable meeting new people (which can otherwise be a little awkward).
Community or your local city center websites are a great place to start.
2. Join a parish group
Friendships don’t need to be reserved for only people your age or in your season of life. I have found that getting involved in the parish life opens a lot of doors to get to know people you may not ordinarily find anything in common with.
The great thing about your local parish is that it’s full of people who want to get to know others—and full of stuff that needs to be done. Check your bulletin for events or groups you could get involved in.
While there may be a Catholic singles group at your parish, you don’t have to join a specific singles group. There are many different ways to form Catholic community.
I eased into parish groups myself. I started with an Adoration hour and making casseroles for the church pantry. These were what I like to call low-impact social situations. There wasn’t a lot of pressure, which was great. But slowly, faces and smiles started to look familiar. Over time, it got easier to introduce myself. I’m shy, so that was a big deal for me.
If you’re more classically a “joiner,” find a Bible study, prayer group, or service committee to join. I’m willing to bet you won’t be turned away!
3. Take a class
There are so many classes at local community centers and even community colleges.
My favorite thing about this method of meeting new people is that you can either opt to learn something totally new plus make new friends, or you can just enjoy a favorite past time and meet other people who like it, too.
I took an American Sign Language course at the local community college. It was something I’ve always been interested in. I feel really comfortable in a classroom, so it was a natural habitat for me to make friends.
Maybe a fitness class at your gym or a painting class at a local boutique could be right for you. Keep your eyes peeled for opportunities. Check community websites and social media sites and you might be surprised just how many options present themselves.
4. Ask a coworker to lunch
One of the easiest places to start when it comes to making friends is your workplace. The benefits are twofold. You could start an outside-work friendship, but you may also make an inside-work ally.
Since not all people are totally comfortable bridging the gap between personal and professional lives, a lunch date is a great place to start. Ask if a coworker you click with would like to grab lunch one day out of the office. See how the conversation goes away from the biggest common denominator in your life.
You may actually find that this person could introduce you to more people, too
5. Try finding friends with an app
Look, when you want to find friends, you may feel like you’re the only one without any. After all, what we have to compare our lives to comes mostly from the internet—and let’s be honest, most people (myself included) aren’t posting pictures of themselves alone reading a book or doing a jigsaw puzzle. This means we’re seeing men and women we know online out being social and assuming no one is where we are.
I’m here to tell you that’s not true.
Just like there are many dating sites and online dating options out there, you may have also noticed that there have been a handful of friend-finding apps as well. Other members are nearby you who also just want someone to chill and spend time with. Download an app, set your settings to “seeking friends” and see who you find!
The one I’ve had a membership on is Meetup.
If you’ve read any of the other blogs I’ve written on this site, you may know that I’m a big fan of calling on the saints for help. In this case, Saint John is the patron of friendships. I think in this case of trying to find friends when it seems tough, we can remember how John behaved at the tomb on Easter.
He ran ahead and beat Peter (bonus points to him for humbly calling himself “the other disciple”).
In this way, we can pray that, like John, we aren’t without friends . . . maybe we’re just a little bit ahead of them and they’ll show up really soon.
Erin is a Catholic writer living on the windy plains of Kansas. She loves reading, dark chocolate, sunflowers, and learning to cook.