As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block has ceased publication. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. 

TODAY

Monday, November 20

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


Fuel

Andrew Huff / November 7, 2010 11:17 PM

Question suggested by Saya, who explains, "I throw events out of my home as a way to help people make new connections, and one of the topics that continually arises amongst the guests is, "What's the best way to make friends post-college?" Curious as to what avenues have proved most successful for GB readers for meeting people and making friends. Work? Activities? (what are some specific ones?) Parties? Gym? Networking events?"

holden / November 8, 2010 7:23 AM

i haven't found the gym to be a great place to make friends, probably mainly because I like to stick to my workout and not socialize a lot. but what i have found that is good is classes at the gym (spin, yoga, etc.). it is a quieter, more focused setting and people are more interested in getting to know you, you see the same folks at the same times, etc.
i also think rec leagues are a fun way to expand your circle a bit. get on a team where you know a couple people and you'll get to know a few more.
work, obviously is an option.
church groups? volunteering in a group setting?

Dennis Fritz / November 8, 2010 8:44 AM

Just hang around your local tavern.

E / November 8, 2010 10:44 AM

I've met some great people on Twitter. Follow people who share some of your interests and go out to tweet ups.

kels / November 8, 2010 11:04 AM

grad school!

Mucky Fingers / November 8, 2010 1:41 PM

It sounds corny, but theme bars work.

annie / November 8, 2010 2:15 PM

Bars! At least you know you both like to drink...and what else do you need in a friend? Drinking buddies are key. Or in the fair weather, sit on your front steps and make friends with the neighbors.

mary / November 8, 2010 2:37 PM

this is a great question! i have been fortunate to meet friends of friends of friends (and so on and so forth) but i have also met some cool people volunteering (for instance at the MCA) and i know my friends have done rec leagues (volleyball, etc) and have met people that way.

getupmom / November 8, 2010 3:53 PM

My office coworkers are great and we have a large group that get together, but I had a part time retail job in a field that I love , which led to a lot of friends with very similar interests.

I left that job but still maintain ties to several coworkers.

R / November 8, 2010 5:26 PM

Take improv classes at Second City, IO Chicago, etc. You'll meet a real range of people--fresh out of college folk looking for a fun way to spend a Saturday, actors, retirees, office workers, etc.--and it's a great way to get to know people. I met several good friends from those days who I still keep in touch with.

Mike / November 9, 2010 10:12 AM

Take Guitar 1 at the Old Town School. That's how I met many of my friends.

Kevin / November 9, 2010 10:19 AM

Get a dog. I never knew any of my neighbors until I had a dog, and now I know the whole block. It's led to good friendships, business, etc.

vanessa / November 9, 2010 10:43 AM

I'm a huge proponent of getting involved by yourself. With another person along, it gets difficult to just jump in as you are more tempted to stay by who/what you know. Getting yourself out there is the key.

Yelp is actually a really popular tool when meeting new people. Most people are quite welcoming and there are events every week posted on the home page.

Also, join a sports league or take a class in something. Not only will you pick up a new hobby, but you'll get to meet new people.

bobbie / November 9, 2010 10:54 AM

Volunteer!! Why don't more people do this? I've met many a friend this way. And here's a tip - if you're a guy looking for, well, a girlfriend, volunteer at an animal shelter. Not so great for girls looking for a guy, but for guys it's fantastic. And the women who volunteer are generally smart, compassionate and pretty darn cool.

Allan / November 9, 2010 1:54 PM

Try taking a bath once in a while. Hard to meet a new pal if you got bad smell. Also dress good. Most folks find tight clothing very appealing. Try it, you'll be surprised how many new friends you make. One thing that works for me is hanging around in the hallway of my building. It doesn't matter what floor. Just wait until you see someone coming in or heading out and walk up and introduce yourself. It's a good idea to mention you also live somewhere in the building. If your clean and dressed in good, tight clothing you'll have no problem making friends.

sarah / November 9, 2010 11:23 PM

yeah! what allan said.

Marc / November 10, 2010 12:47 AM

Steamworks, and for the ladies, Thousand Waves

Amanda / November 10, 2010 1:31 PM

I think these are great suggestions. A common interest is a good way to meet people, but for those of us who are introverts, who prefer few but deep connections (rather than lots of acquaintances) it's often hard to make the leap to "see you next week in class" to "Let's have coffee". I think it also needs to be acknowledged that friendships are work, like any relationship, and need to be nurtured.

Saya / November 10, 2010 1:52 PM

Some great suggestions, many of which I've never considered [Yelp, Twitter]. Will share them at my next event, I'm sure the guests will be most appreciative. I don't want a dog but am envious of people at the dog park so will perhaps buy a fish and bring him.

Here are a bunch of specific ways that've worked for me [many of which seem to have worked for you too].

Thanks!

Spook / November 10, 2010 10:09 PM

Prison.

GB store

Recently on Fuel

Urban Ethos [26]
What is Chicago's "urban ethos"?

Cool Glass of... [16]
What're you drinking?

Supreme Decision [22]
What's your reaction to the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act?

Taking it to the Streets [20]
Chicago Street Fairs: Revolting or Awesome?

I Can Be Cruel [9]
Be real: what is the meanest thing you've ever done?

View the complete archive

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15