Only adults don't snicker at the term "adult friends."
When you were in school, it was easier. Here's your selection, find your kind, and deal with them. Either you all played the same sport, listened to the same shitty music, or did the same drugs. They were fun or they annoyed the shit out of you, but you let it go because that's all you had. Now that you are an adult, you might have less patience for flakes or those buddies you had that never grew up. You might have kids and a job and shit to do that doesn't facilitate youngster activities like drinking all night and playing video games all day. Everyone else seems busy too, so most nights it might be Netflix and ...fuck it, I'm going to bed at 8.
As cozy as it is to be a homebody, I think it's healthy to have a social life as well. You always feel better after you go out once in awhile and it's nice to have other people to bounce off of (in the metaphorical sense) instead of only having the same old conversations with your spouse, like who has to get up and turn off the bedroom light.
Here are a few things that helped me to find some quality adult friends, after moving across the country and starting my life over from scratch:
Join a gym/sport or club
One of the best things you can do for your social life, is surround yourself with people on the same path as you. Whether it's physical fitness or artistic or intellectual pursuits, It's good to have people who understand you and motivate you to do better. I have met some great friends through Jiu Jitsu and at my gym. Something about sweating it out together for a common goal brings people closer together, I guess.
Get a hobby
Much like the gym, getting a hobby puts you in the path of people with common interests, or at least one common interest. You might find friends from around town, across the country or across the ocean. I've had some great conversations and even met some people through internet groups. My husband has taken up rebuilding a project car and has learned and shared a lot with guys all over the country who are also rebuilding cars.
Have a game night
Something really low key you can do is invite a few other couples over for drinks and a game. It's more organized than a party which can cause anxiety with some people, but not so organized that it feels like a task. Today, there are so many games geared towards adults that you can chose a few. Our friends have a CLR dice game night every once in awhile and it ends up being a lot of fun. Option B, is to go out to one of those mystery room places, where everyone has to work together to solve the puzzle and get out of the room.
Join a challenge
Another thing you can do is get a group of friends together to do a 5k or silly obstacle course. Chose something fun, like an underwear run, color run, or glowstick run instead of a Ragnar or Tough Mudder, unless you have a bunch of fit freak friends. Make the goal to finish, not to win. The group that trains together, parties together afterward. This, I haven't attempted yet - anyone game?
We have nothing in common except an interest in a very specific and obscure collectible... and cocaine!
Friends are great to have when you are an adult. Talking to kids all day can be maddening, sometimes you need to have a real conversation. Having more friends means people to talk to, go places with, babysitting exchange, and help around the house or with projects. Plus, getting the hell out once in a while is just plain good for you.
We're all a little nervous in new social situations, but it's definitely worth it. If anything, the experience will give you something to talk shit and laugh about after midnight, as you chug your preemptive Gatorade and swallow a few Advil. A little variety and fun in your life keeps you young.