Establishing new connections in life can be intimidating at times. You may be feeling as though you’re ready for new adventures, but you’re unsure where to start. Or, perhaps you’ve started to make firm plans about what you’re doing next. If you’re looking for a few suggestions, consider some of the top ways to find companionship.

Dating

The way people date has changed quite a bit in recent decades. With the pandemic keeping people at home, it’s easy to feel even more disconnected. Now, with a simple click, you have a plethora of dating applications at your fingertips. From apps that require the woman to start the conversation to others that cater to specific beliefs and lifestyles, there’s something for everyone.

Using the internet to meet new prospective mates is an excellent way to dip your feet into the pool without plunging in. If you feel uncomfortable at any time, simply unmatch the person, try a different app, or delete the app entirely and take a break. At least now you know what your options look like before entering the dating scene. You get to control where the potential relationship goes, and, through conversation you can get to know someone from the comfort and safety of your home. It may seem a little foreign and impersonal at first, but you’ll be a pro in no time.

Friendship

Ordinarily there are many avenues through which to meet like-minded people in your demographic. This past year, meeting people in person has been a little up and down. However, some apps are for finding and making friends! Social media platforms offer endless amounts of groups specific to personal interests, age, gender, and experience.

You name it, and there’s a group of people getting to know each other based on it. Many town communities offer classes or group meetings for people to engage based on hobbies, physical activities, or religious practices. If you’re comfortable, they take great strides to ensure socially distant opportunities to connect with others.

Pets

Interactions with potential mates or friends can be exciting, but sometimes it can also feel a bit draining—especially during isolation, and even more so if you’re feeling the winter blues. A great way to connect with someone and get companionship is to foster a dog (or other animal, such as a cat). There are many dogs currently living in shelters with physical or emotional disabilities just waiting for the right, understanding person to come along.

Not only can bringing a dog into your life and home do wonders for you both, but you can also exercise together. Getting out and taking walks will connect the two of you as well as release endorphins to boost your mood and strengthen your body. Many dogs are looking for a second chance and you may be just the person for the job.

This year has been tough on a lot of people. We’re all working to find new and creative ways to foster connections. Creating a social life for yourself that’s centered around you may be a new concept. Consider the top ways to find companionship as you embark on the journey into this next stage in your life. Remember to only do what you’re ready for—the world can wait.