In my experience as a high school teacher for 20 years and an active participant on sports teams, it’s PROBABLY easier for kids to make friends than adults… simply because kids go to the same classes with the same kids in the same building every day during the school year. When they are out on summer break… they're probably not able to make friends as easily simply because they are not around as many people unless they are working a job. Adults are in a different position… Although most go to a job on a daily basis… at least pre pandemic… They have different priorities that require their attention… like bills, a spouse and kids of their own… not to mention relationship problems, money problems, health problems… and other people’s problems… their friends, extended family,, kids, and coworkers.
Once a person gets to a certain age they usually don’t have many people their own age who aren’t encumbered by these issues… which in all fairness take up a HUGE amount of time! Getting groceries, and taking kids to sports programs, and running errands can consume what’s left of a person’s time. And the adults who are unencumbered sometimes have some things about them that make them undesirable to spend time with…
Kids in general just don’t have those kind of stresses, time commitments, and personal problems!
It’s maybe a bit easier for young adults in their mid 20’s to make friends than adults because a lot of their activities revolve around going out to a bar or club because that's where people are that they could meet for romantic endeavours. If a person is older than that there’s a good chance that they already have a family.
The one area where an adult can make room for making friends is shared activities like sports teams… Rec hockey is a popular shared activity in Canada during the winter and the very nature of it is such that guys sit around in the dressing room before and after getting on the ice talking shit to each other, joking around, and talking sports. They are in the same place at the same time for the same reason revolving around a shared love of the game and naturally friendships develop out of that.
I find that women have less of an ability to do the same… unless of course they are on a sports team.
Women who aren’t on sports teams could find other shared activities but I find that they don’t usually connect well… No offence ladies but you are a different sort of animal…
Although females from a very young age are focused more on relationships than are males… women in general seem to be more competitive with other women for romantic partners… especially in a location where there are available men who have financial resources and prestige… In places like this women in general are much more competitive and less open to making friends with other women because they see them as a threat which is unfortunate because they might find that they have a lot in common It’s not that women can’t make friends as an adult… They just don’t generally do it.
I also find that the older a person gets, the less they are willing to put up with poor behaviour from the people around them like they were when they were younger.
When you were in high school, you might have made friends with the people who sat around you in class… or you moved to a seat closer to your friends regardless if their behaviour was poor or not… rejection was a much bigger deal at that age than it is as an adult… A kid doesn’t have the life experience to know that they will be just fine if they get rejected by someone… It’s kind of the end of the world for them at that age… but not always.
The second part of this question would be “How to make friends as an adult”
And this is maybe the harder part of this post because it takes a real commitment to achieving your goal because not only does it take a tremendous amount of effort to change your routine, it takes a tremendous amount of time and energy… To plan to be out of the house in the evening on a regular basis takes planning and a strong desire to make changes in your life. It’s even harder if you live in a small community. It isn’t impossible… It's just harder and it takes some creativity to plan something that other people want to change their routine for and put their own time and energy into. And in the beginning it’s going to take you having thick skin to not take things personally when no one wants to show up on a cold winter night.
What could you plan? What sports teams could you get involved in? Could you volunteer your time? Could you offer a course, or start a beer and wing night with co-workers… at least the fun ones you like haha. Maybe a wine or whiskey tasting, Learning a new skill, a card game club. Whatever you do just be aware that it’s probably going to take 10-20 times as much time and effort as you think it’s going to to get it up and running, and on top of that you’re going to meet people who may not be in the same place you are at in terms of willingness to put effort into making friends and keeping them. For every 200 you meet, you might make 1 good friend and a couple of people who work out when the timing is right. You’re looking for a needle in a haystack. That being said… You should definitely do it!
One more thing… If you don’t have skills to cause people to want to hang out with you… your chances of succeeding are almost zero and maybe that is why so many people struggle to make friends… The cost is just too high.