Lane Moore

Relationships Writer

By Lane Moore

Relationships Writer

Lane Moore is an award-winning comedian, actor, writer, and musician, creator of the hit comedy show Tinder Live and author of two critically acclaimed books.

Group of Friends Sharing a Dinner

Image by BONNINSTUDIO / Stocksy

June 8, 2023

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Friendships require so much timing, luck, communication, and puzzle-piece compatibility that any two people who make it to the promised land of true friendship are almost heroic. 

I’m sure some friendships coast and get there, drifting like a bottle thrown into the ocean and finally reaching land. But I think, more often, friendships are little ships set out to sea, with two people on board who’ve never been in a boat like this and have only passive knowledge of sailing, trying to steer it and keep it afloat and have fun along the way.

But we don’t teach people how to do this, how to create friendships, how to nurture them, how to choose better, and then when and how to end them if they’re not working. And because of that, so many of us are just fumbling around, hoping one day we’ll stumble into the friendships of our dreams because we want them because we deserve them. How do you find a healthy friendship when it’s something you’ve never experienced? 

It can still feel like it’s impossible to make friends with anyone after you’re out of high school or college. Without the built-in system of “a bunch of people in a building who you have to talk to sometimes,” the entire world can feel like an awkward bar you just want to leave.

And even if you ask someone how to do it, most people just tell you, “Join a club!” or “Join a gym!” But if you’re like me and you have no idea what kind of club you would join (a club for people obsessed with watching the same TV show over and over again? Those people are at home watching the same TV show over and over again) and either you already belong to a gym and you go there to exercise quietly and then leave, or you just really, really don’t want to join a gym, here are some places to start:


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1. Message someone you constantly interact with online.

If you’re on social media or in any groups online, odds are you have someone who always replies to you, sends you messages, or likes all your posts. These are a lot of subtle interactions that could easily turn into “Dude, we should be friends maybe?” messages. So why not try?

2. Write to a mutual friend who you’ve always felt like you’d get along with.

You already have your friend in common, so it’s worth it to see if you’d get along when it’s just the two of you. I once knew a guy who had really cool friends, but honestly I was not that into the guy himself. One day, I ran into some of his friends on the subway, and it turns out they all thought I was really awesome and also didn’t like that other guy. It was a beautiful moment. 


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3. Go to cool shows or restaurants alone.

I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard people tell me they came to my comedy shows by themselves and met really cool people they became friends with. And if the idea of this terrifies you, it’s so helpful to see this less as “Oh no, I’m gonna look like a loser who is alone” and more like “What if I meet another cool person who is also there alone and we bond, and because I went alone, I created space for that to happen?” 

4. Make plans outside of work with co-workers.

I once worked with a woman who was basically my best friend in the office and then, one day, it dawned on me: Who says she couldn’t be my best friend in general? And lucky for me, she was just as hilarious and fun outside of work, if not more so.


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5. Reach out to someone you only see in drinking situations.

Cool Drunk Sara is also probably Cool Sober Sara Who Loves Getting Tapas After Work. You won’t know until you try.

6. Invite your friends’ significant others to stuff.

This can be touchy depending on the situation, so obviously don’t do this if you know it could pose a problem, but if you think your friend’s girlfriend is really cool and there’s a possible friendship there, go for it and see if you’re right.


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7. Go to a dog park.

Dog or not, dog parks are such great ways to meet other really friendly people (well, mostly; sometimes there is someone there who is such a dick and you’re like, “Why are you bringing this energy to such a holy place? Why?”) and worst case, you get to play with dogs.

But in general, dogs are such a great icebreaker. When I’m with my dog, I meet multiple people every day who are extremely kind and cool to chat with. We might not become best friends just because our dogs played together for 10 minutes, but it can satisfy that need for connection in a really beautiful way. 

8. Put more effort into the friendships you have.

It can be easy to think your current friends aren’t good enough for you or not giving you the things you want in the relationship and you should find new people, and sometimes that’s true. But before you go off thinking it’s not you, it’s them (which it might be!), try reaching out and communicating and putting some more effort in and see if that helps things.

9. Keep plans with your friends.

Sometimes you genuinely need to recharge and reschedule, which I fully encourage, but other times I need to remind myself to actually keep plans and take a chance that this might be exactly what I needed, even if solitude seems safer. And then I come home feeling so happy that I took the risk and left my cocoon for a bit.

The takeaway

Does all of this take more effort than sitting there waiting for your dream friends to show up like UPS packages? Yes. Is that scary because there might be rejection or disappointment? Yes.

But often the only way for things to be different is for us to start doing things differently and putting all that we’re learning into practice. So many of us are working so hard on ourselves; we’re going to therapy, we’re reading books on attachment and trauma and connection (I mean, hi, you’re right here, good job). 

Since I was a kid I have wanted to untangle all of these knots, wound up like shitty headphones, so I can just lie in the grass and listen to a song I really love. And yes, it is frustrating to get those knots out, and yes, you can want to give up, and you do give up sometimes.

But once we untangle them, bit by bit, that’s when we get to move on to joy. And maybe we’ll remember how hard it was to untangle the knots, but I think, more than anything, we will be more preoccupied with how happy we are with what we have now that we did the work. 

Excerpt from the new book YOU WILL FIND YOUR PEOPLE: HOW TO MAKE MEANINGFUL FRIENDSHIPS AS AN ADULT by Lane Moore published by Abrams Image.