As an adult, I used to make my friends at work. The last decade of economic instability in my area has made this difficult, and I'm now trying to make friends without having "The Office" be my social petri dish.
It's not working all that well. A recent article by The Atlantic (links to cover story, "How Friendships Change in Adulthood") observed that friend-making is essential to emotional health, and yet friends are the relationship most likely to be dropped in adult life: the obligations for the "priority relationships" of job, spouse, children, and parents come first, and the threefold criteria for friends: “Somebody to talk to, someone to depend on, and someone to enjoy."
I write. A lot. I need somebody to talk to, because they'll read me, as I will them; someone to depend on, providing some degree of consistency and expecting that back from me; and someone to enjoy--sparring thoughts and agreeable silences in appropriate degrees."
I have a friend: I overwhelm him, because I write so much. I have a friend: she does better on the phone, and so we talk. I am a letter-writer, and I have struggled to define what should be written in paper, with my beloved fountain pen, and what calls for the speed of e-mail, and what needs to be spoken. I'm finding that I often need all three to maintain the level of proximity that friendship requires: the thoughtfulness and permanence of paper as a way to set an anchor, the fleeting speed of email as connective tissue and immediacy, and the emotional communication of voice.
How are the rest of you making friends in adulthood?