Making friends as an adult can seem like continually going on bad first dates, but it doesn’t have to be that way. One of the easiest ways to make friends is to find other people with similar interests.
A couple of years into my Charlotte residency and desperate for better friendships, I joined a Meetup.com group for young professionals and met some awesome people. And now I have an awesome ugly Christmas sweater party to look forward to every year.
Whether you’re looking for new friends or just want some like-minded people to hang out with, here are some Charlotte area groups to check out — based on interests and/or personality type.
Try it if: New to Charlotte and still looking to make more friends? Try this group, which meets around popular locales.
Try it if: You enjoy networking with other women while talking about in-depth topics. It’s not a large group, but sometimes that makes it easier to make connections.
Try it if: This probably doesn’t need an explanation. Members meet at restaurants around the area to nosh and try new vino. Sign me up.
Members: 220+ members
Try it if: This is one of my favorite group names I’ve come across in a long time. It’s aimed at women in their 20s or 30s who would describe themselves as “reserved, shy or quiet.” Events run the gamut from volunteering to a game afternoon.
Try it if: This group is aimed at the strivers in this freelance economy who are the owner-operators of their own business (distinct from owning a small business that employs multiple people). Working for yourself can be lonely, so get busy networking and connecting.
Try it if: This is one of the most active Meetup groups in Charlotte, so try it out if you want a bunch of options for events to attend. Recent outings have included the U.S. National Whitewater Center, sand volleyball and a Pokemon Go hunt in Freedom Park.
Try it if: You want to network and learn from other women in information technology. All disciplines are welcome.
Try it if: You like to be outside and get in touch with nature, this is the group for you. Hikes have included locations such as Jetton Park in Cornelius and Lake Norman State Park.
Try it if: Does this group need an explanation? Want to have a drink and bring your dog? Join this group to meet your people.
Try it if: You’re handy with a cropping tool and Cricut machine, this group is for you. RSVP for their all-day scrapping events, which run about $35 and include lunch, dinner, drinks and snacks.
Try it if: You love board games and strategy games. Local board game designers also are encouraged to join.
Try it if: You like all things “geeky” — think books, sci-fi conventions, gaming, etc. You can also learn more about the group at www.charlottegeeks.com.
Try it if: You’re an artist — painter, photographer, sculptors, filmmakers, graphic designers and more.
Try it if: You want to stay active and play a team sport but don’t want to take yourself seriously. Kickball takes place in the spring, summer and fall. Dodgeball is for the winter.
Try it if: You’re looking for cycling buddies. This group lists meetups several times a week, with a variety of mileage and locations.
Try it if: You love to write and want a group that will give you critique and feedback. The Meetup group also helps arrange bookstore events for published authors.