The question of how many friends I should have in my 30s is tricky because we don’t have the same concept of what a friend means.
In this article, we will talk about how many friends you should have, the difference between friends and acquaintances, and if there is a problem if you have fewer or more friends than the average. We will not talk about how to make new friends in your 30 since that one is a long topic on its own, and I don’t want to go that far away from the main subject.
I will not touch too much on the personality you have. Of course, it matters a lot, but this would be another long topic. I will try to be more general and give you a few benchmarks that can work for everybody rather than the extremes.
How many friends should I have at 30?
Having around 3-5 really close friends should be enough for most of us in our 30’s. If you are in a stable relationship, having two other couples you meet once a week or every other week can be enough.
If you are in a healthy relationship usually reduces the need to hang out with other friends that much since you spend more time with your spouse. It is not necessarily a bad thing, even if, for most people, it seems like it, the fact that you don’t feel the need to go out with your friends as much as before can mean two things.
- You are in a healthy relationship and a big part of what you would talk about with your friends you talk now with your spouse.
- You are in a toxic relationship, and your spouse is possessive and will not allow you to go out as often, which of course, is not so good as the first one.
Having kids will influence the number of friends you need in your 30s, probably more than the relationship status. This is because, most likely, you have small kids that need more care, making it harder to find time for your friends.
So the number of friends you need in your 30s is not so straightforward since many things can influence it.
That being said, it would be healthy to have casual friends that you meet from time to time for a few reasons. The first reason is to diversify a bit the discussion you usually have.
The second is to make sure you are not in a closed bubble with your friends, and you have to check if you are up to date with what other people do and think.
The third reason is not to suffocate your close friends, even if they are close friends, that doesn’t mean they will always have time for you. Of course, this depends on your personality and other factors, but it can be a valid point.
What is a friend, and what is an acquaintance?
The difference between what we consider friends and acquaintances is not always clear.
That’s why you hear people that think they have tons of friends when in reality, most of them are an acquaintance.
An acquaintance is someone you know from a specific place or activity, and you have no problem having small talk with them if you meet them accidentally or at a group activity like church, gym, etc.
A person is an acquaintance and not a friend if you think about them only when you see them online or in real life but not more than that, while when it comes to friends, you care about what they are doing and you are actively thinking of them more often.
There are also differences between close, casual, and intimate friends with the last ones. You feel like you can be as open as it gets without thinking twice.
The differences between those three(close, casual, and intimate) friends are more nuanced, and we can see them differently, so I will not touch on that too much here. The important thing is to make a distinction between friends and acquaintances when you think about how many friends you need.
Is it normal not to have friends in your 30s?
It is not normal to have no friends in your 30s, but the truth is that it is easier to have no intimate or very close friends like before.
You will probably lose a few friends when you start your career since you will have less time to spend with your friends, and you will have to prioritize hanging out with the ones you enjoy spending time with the most.
You will lose some extra friends when you are in a relationship for the reasons mentioned above in the article and again when you have kids. So, it is ok to have fewer friends in your 30s compared to your 20s. It is also a big difference between your early 20s and late 20s for the same reasons.
Also, having a stable job where you have coworkers might reduce the need to hang out with friends because you might socialize enough at work, this varies from job to job and from coworker to coworker, but it might be a thing for you.
Also, in your 30s, keeping friends close is a real struggle since you have to make time for them, and it always seems that you have other important things to do.
We take friends for granted, and we believe that it should not be an effort to keep them close and have a healthy relationship with them when in reality, if you don’t put effort into it, it will go away.
If you don’t call them from time to time to schedule a hangout time, if you don’t care about them, if you don’t pay attention to what they say and do, you will lose them, and it is tough to make new friends in your 30s.
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Should you make new friends in your 30s?
As I said before, you can lose friends in your 30s, implying that you will need to make new ones.
It always seems that everybody has his close circle of friends and there is no room for someone new, and that’s why most people consider that you can’t make new friends in your 30s.
While that is true in most cases, that doesn’t mean you can’t integrate into someone’s friend circle. It is possible, you must know at least one person from the group, and with every occasion you have you must try to get to know better the rest of them, so you start to be part of the group, not only a friend of a friend.
My wife and I changed the city we lived in in our late 20s, we had two friends in the city we moved in, but through them, we met way more people. Now after a few years, we are close friends with totally different people than we knew when we moved here, but every time we had a chance to meet new people, we did our best to listen to them to make us enjoyable so they will invite us to their birthdays, hangouts and so on.
We even organized the new year party at our home last year, and we were like 23 people, yes, in our late 20’s early 30s, all of us.
So it is possible, but you have to want it and put in some effort to make it happen. Get to know new people, get their phone numbers and social media profiles, be the person who calls people first, don’t wait for them to contact you, organize fun activities at your house, be helpful, etc.
Read Also: How Often Should You Call Your Parents?
We found out that the question of how many friends you should have in your 30s it’s a bit tricky since there are intimate friends, close friends, casual friends, and acquaintances, which some people consider friends.
So the number is not a benchmark, but 3-5 close to intimate friends should be a good number, or 2-3 couples. And when it comes to casual friends, the number can be much higher, like 10-20, since you will not spend as much time with them.