Making friends as a twenty-something

I’ve been thinking for a while about whether I actually wanted to write this post, but when I tweeted something earlier this week I noticed that a lot of people seemed to relate to my issue and decided it would therefore be worth writing.

It’s really bloody hard to make friends (and socialise) as a twenty-something non drinker.

Bit embarrassing to write really.

But it seems like most people my age want to go to pubs, clubbing, boozy parties. Sometimes I think that, if I was able to just enjoy these things, to drink, to dance, to party, I would have a lot more friends. Finding someone in their early twenties who doesn’t drink, lives locally, that I can relate to, is quite a job. I’ve noticed it a lot at work – why do I relate to thirty, forty year olds?

Am I old before my time? Am I going to look back on myself in ten years time and think bloody hell Han you should have lived a little babe

The thing is, I think people tend to assume that I’m quite a boring person – maybe that’s why I struggle to make friends – or that I’m not living life how a twenty-two year old life should be lived. That I’m not living or enjoying my twenties. Well I am.

I enjoy my life and I’ve worked hard to make it that way. I enjoy blogging, I enjoy recovery – for the most part, I love that I’m writing a book, I love my job, my boyfriend. To be honest, at the moment, I really can’t complain about how things are going. It’s not about living a little or just having one drink, it’s about making the choices that are right for me.

I love nothing more than getting in from work and enjoying a quiet cup of tea. I love having my weekends to write blog posts, work on my manuscript, head out for a walk, or take some photos. I don’t want to spend the evening drinking, I want to spend it watching movies, drinking tea and eating everything in sight over a good old natter. I remember the sticky-floored clubs and the creepy men that drank in them, waking up with jäger in my hair and a stinking headache and throwing up in taxis. I just feel like I’m over it.

The beauty of blogging is that you come across people from all walks of life and, particularly within the mental health arena, there are also people who don’t drink – for the sake of their mental health or otherwise. But they all live miles away. I have friends online but I have to travel miles to see them. I can’t meet them for brunch, for a cup of tea, or pop round for a chat when one of us is having a hard time. I love the friends I have made through blogging, but why can’t I do the same in ‘real life‘?




  1. Caroline Barnes
    February 28, 2018 / 11:44 am

    whereabouts are you based? I’m in Swansea south Wales. I’m not supposed to drink with my Meds so could do with non drinking friends though I’m 32. sounds like we have a lot in common especially loving blogging and writing . I’m sure there are more people struggling with this than you think thanks for the post

  2. February 28, 2018 / 4:25 pm

    Hannah, for a young woman, you’ve made some seriously excellent life choices. Do what makes you feel good and happy, you won’t go far wrong xxx

  3. maria jones
    February 28, 2018 / 5:23 pm

    Honey,i have learnt it is better to have a few special friends than lots of shallow friends,its the people who except you for who you are,that don’t judge and listen xx you are a lovely person with very special values,never change that,not for anyone else any way xx

  4. Bexa
    February 28, 2018 / 6:09 pm

    Thank you for sharing this Hannah . I’m exactly the same, my drinking days are no more and I have found it very hard to replace those friends who I had during my party days. Your post is so relatable, why is it so hard to find real friends when you are sober ‍♀️ xx

    Bexa |

  5. March 1, 2018 / 8:44 am

    Oh I’m so glad you wrote this. I’m 22 and can’t drink alcohol due to my IBS and this has really changed my social life. I feel healthier and better for it and I don’t miss the drinking, but sadly some friendships have fizzled out. Why is it that all social plans revolve around alcohol? I’m very glad you wrote this.
    If you’re ever in Edinburgh, please get in touch!
    Lisa x

  6. March 1, 2018 / 12:37 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this post because I relate to this so much. I’m not even twenty-something, I’m 19 (nearly 20). I do drink sometimes, but not that often, I get the worse hangovers and love getting in bed early, so going out and drinking all the time doesn’t sound that fun. I’m in my second year at uni so finding people that feel the same is pretty difficult! I feel like such an old woman when I just want to drink tea, blog and get on with work, but I think you need to find friends that know that this doesn’t make you unhappy or any less fun. I have loads of fun and love my life, and not drinking doesn’t change that. Lovely post xx

    Jasmine |

  7. March 3, 2018 / 9:27 am

    I’m 23, I don’t drink either (I never have done) and I can relate to so much of what you’ve written here! I think about this all the time, particularly because I didn’t go to uni and was never a part of the ‘club culture’ either. I spent three years watching my ‘school friends’ go out every week and do you know what? There actually wasn’t one time that I wished I was there.

    Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I went on a night and I’m 100% okay with that, but it really does annoy me how people do just assume that if that’s the case, you’re boring and don’t do anything!

    When actually, it’s just a case of me choosing to fill my time with other things that feel more ‘me’ and are more fulfilling to me, just like the ones you mentioned – blogging and going for walks and taking photos are the things that make me the happiest!

    I’m based in London, which I know is probably still a little far, but if you ever fancy a chat over a non-alcoholic beverage, let me know! 🙂

    Soph x |

  8. March 5, 2018 / 11:09 am

    Amen! I’m 23 and I’ve never had a drink, nor is it something that attracts me at all. I don’t like going to parties, clubs or bars just for the sake of drinking and not actually spending time with the people I’m with.
    Until recently, I felt quite bad about it and thought I should make an effort, but actually, why should I? I’m happy with my life, I like how I spend my free time, I have an amazing boyfriend and I love blogging so I’m more confident in just doing what works for me.

    That’s also why I love the blogging community, it’s so nice to come across people like you and other people commenting and not feel like I’m the only one!


  9. sarahaurorax
    March 7, 2018 / 4:08 pm

    I am experiencing the exact same problem as you. I don’t like drinking or going out and I feel like I’ve missed out on friendships just because of that and it’s a shame but what can you do! I love how the blogging community enables us to meet like minded people but like you said, they are often so far away. But I bet there are people nearby for both of us that don’t like drinking either and that we can become friends with!


  10. March 21, 2018 / 6:24 pm

    I get this feeling a lot too, funny really considering when I was at school I had loads of friends!. But as we get older everyone seems to drift and adulthood takes over. We become busy and have less time for each other, but then there comes a day (now) when we wonder what happened and wish making friends was as easy as back then! I love the blogging community and the friendships it can create! Im 29, recently broke up with my partner who took up 90% of my spare time but am loving my independence. Id love nothing more now than for a movie night in with loads of girl pals, pizzas, wine and chocolate!


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