An Easy Way to Make New Friends

Have you made any new friends recently? (And why is it so difficult?!!!!) Here’s a cool idea…

Jacklyn Meyer, a food enthusiast from St. Louis, had a clever approach for meeting new people: “I started a cookbook club,” she told me. “It’s like a book club, but when you meet, everyone brings a dish from the same cookbook.”

The guest list began with people Jacklyn knew, but her guests are encouraged to bring friends, too. So far, the group has made their way through 10 books, including Alison Roman’s Dining In (“We made the cookies that broke Instagram,” she said), Pizza Camp (“Somehow, our group is not of the pepperoni fan base, so we replaced everything with bacon,”) and Over Easy (“French toast breakfast burritos!”)

“We haven’t hit a cookbook that was bad… yet,” said Jacklyn. “If a certain recipe ends up being a flop, that person can just bring a bottle of wine.” Usually, the gatherings are pretty low-key, ranging from 8 to 12 guests. “Everyone comes to just hang out — at the last one we actually ended up watching Parks and Recreation for a couple of hours. It is not a rager,” she laughed.

The group meets every other month, alternating hosts, and votes on the next the cookbook when they’re together.

An Easy Way to Make New Friends

The cookbook club’s spread from Dining In.

Fun, right? In my experience moving to a bigger city, I’ve found it challenging to make friends because I so rarely bump into the same people twice. A reoccurring club helps create a community and makes it easier to get to know others with something in common.

Other easy club ideas could include:

  • Articles Club
  • Documentary Club
  • Walking Club
  • Soup Group
  • Wine Tasting Club
  • Podcast Club (where you listen to the episode beforehand, then discuss)
  • Timothée Chalamet Fan Club???
  • A reader named Maggie had another great idea: “Start a club with a very systematic rule: you invite one friend, who is instructed to invite a friend who doesn’t know you,” she wrote. “It guarantees that everyone there only knows one other person.”

    How have you made new friends as an adult? What has worked for you?

    P.S. On making friends as an adult, and 12 great comments on friendship.

    (Top photo by Nina Leen. Second photo from Jacklyn Meyer.)