As my kids have gotten older, I’ve noticed my circle of friends has gotten smaller.
It’s not that I’m antisocial now. It’s just that having kids tends to create quick and plentiful connections.
You’re thrown in the path of other adults through your children’s’ school, sports activities, and social events and can make some easy friendships. Once my kids could drive, I didn’t need to attend most of their activities. And once they moved out of the house, these child-related social events dried up completely.
Also, since I work from home, I’m not in an office environment that has other people with whom I could establish friendships. I figured out pretty quickly, if I wanted to broaden my circle, I needed to get out there and make new friends. It’s not as easy as it was in second grade when you just found a kid who looked approachable and said, “Hey you wanna be friends?”
Adults are busy and preoccupied, and most of us are past the time of wanting to foster casual friendships. One of the best ways to determine if someone has friend potential is by having a conversation with them. Not just a casual conversation — but a more intimate, open conversation in which you both reveal elements of your true selves.
This can take some finessing when you first meet someone. You don’t want to scare them away with a probing question like, “So how’s your sex life?” Nor do you want to waste time with too many “What do you think of this weather?” type of questions. Some of the best questions to create closeness and interest are open-ended questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer — and that invite deeper conversation between the two of you.