No one said making new friends was easy, but apparently, the phenomenon of “not making new friends” is something of an epidemic. A study by OnePoll and Evite, which polled 2,000 American adults, found that no one had made a new friend in the past five years. The study concluded that age 23 was the peak of the average American’s social life, and afterwards, loneliness is on the rise, and we begin to lose connections. A combination of no longer being in school, shyness, cross-country moves, and lack of hobbies have been major contributing factors.

Alex Williamson, Chief Brand Officer at Bumble, told Mic, “This trend might not be the worst thing. It’s natural and normal,” she says, “to evolve and become distant from friends with the natural transitions and phases of life.” This includes moving on from old friendships and losing touch with friends from college.

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To remedy this trend, however, Williamson advises making a conscious effort to spend more time with friends to keep the friendship fresh. “As we get older,” she says, “it can become more difficult to carve out quality time with our friends, but making time to cultivate our friendships is incredibly important. Sneak in small ways to keep up the momentum in our friendships, whether that’s running errands together, grabbing coffee before work, or going to an exercise class together.”

While some people may thrive in large social circles, others may actually prefer to only have one or two close friends. Sometimes, having just a few, intimate connections is far more valuable. Regardless of your own social goals, however, it’s always a good idea to be open-minded to meeting new people and never draw a hard line in the sand when it comes to making connections.

H/T: Mic

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