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Getting a little too close with your computer screen? Check out our guide to making friends in Boston.

Make potential new pottery friends at one of Clay Lounge's one-time workshops.Jesse Golden

Let us set the scene. You’re holed up in your studio apartment, leaving the month’s 18,000th Zoom, wearing the same pair of fuzzy socks you’ve been sporting for the last week or so. Maybe it’s 4 on a Friday. You haven’t left your apartment in several days. Your plans for the evening include a solo rewatch of “Are You the One?” (season 8, of course) and perhaps an hour or two — or five — on social media.

We’ve all been there. (We think.) After two years of pandemic-related isolation and general global upheaval, we’re betting most of us could use a brush-up on how to, you know, leave the house and talk to people. So if you’re also looking for ways to break up your routine and make some new friends, we’ve got you covered — and don’t sweat it, you’re not the only one.

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Have you ever wished there was an app like Uber, but for nature lovers? Then check out Ridj-it, a Boston-based online platform that’ll help you find adventure buddies and a ride to explore nearby lakes, mountains, and more. Ridj-it drivers must submit a valid driver’s license before they can lead a trip, and they’re also evaluated via user feedback afterward for riders’ safety. If you don’t feel like joining a carpooling group, you can still tag along by signing up for a trip on their website or in their over 15,000-person Meetup.com group, Boston Outdoor Adventures. The founders claim users who do carpool in a group have become lifelong friends — and even gotten married — after meeting through a Ridj-it ride. So, if you’re feeling bold, give it a shot. ridj-it.com

Every Friday night, Boston Swing Central hosts all-are-welcome dances where you’ll learn how to swing dance, meet a slew of new friends, and (on many nights) enjoy a live jazz band, all for one $18-$20 ticket. Weekly dances are run by a team of volunteers who welcome newcomers, and unlike many dance socials in Boston, this one’s not geared toward singles ready to mingle. bostonswingcentral.org

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If you live in Boston, you know that we don’t have a single lesbian bar — which means it’s not just challenging to find your sapphic soul mate, but it’s hard to meet queer friends, too. Thankfully, LGBTQ Nightlife Events is working to fill that void. They not only throw legendary Sapphic Yacht Parties in Boston Harbor (yes, like the ones in “The L Word”) and QTBIPOC Mixers at Union Tavern, but also commit proceeds from their events toward opening their own bar specifically for queer women and non-binary people. Coming to an event by yourself? Just message the organizers, and they’ll make sure to find you and connect you with a group of other friendly newbies. lgbtqnightlifeevents.com

From left, Jacob Baker of Hudson and Christina Blakely of Boston during a Skip the Small Talk, socializing event held at Trident Booksellers & Cafe. Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

Skip the Small Talk helps strangers have actually interesting conversations with each other. They hold events across the country, including at some of Somerville and Boston’s best bars and bookstores (like Aeronaut Brewing Company and Trident Booksellers & Cafe.) The conversation kicks off with questions from the organizers about your childhood dreams and your deepest hopes and fears — you know, super fun, casual stuff. skipthesmalltalk.com

Outdoor Afro is a national network that hosts year-round activities and adventures aiming to connect Black adventurers to safe, accessible nature trips. Their Boston chapter posts upcoming trips on Meetup.com, and all trips are led by pre-approved and pre-trained group members. Upcoming adventures include a walk through Blue Hills, a beginner-kayaking trip, and an opportunity to try beach paddling in Rhode Island. meetup.com/outdoor-afro-boston

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All right, hear us out — running for fun. We know, running isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but Boston Fun Run sounds like a genuinely good time. Their main event is Run & Chug: a group meets every Wednesday at a different bar in Boston, and once you finish a run (all paces welcome, even mine, apparently) you hang out with your equally-thirsty soul mates and enjoy some well-earned refreshments. meetup.com/boston-fun-run

No, it’s not just you — making friends post-graduation is hard! Thankfully, the 12,000+ member Facebook group Make Friends After College was created for just that purpose: connecting people in their 20s and 30s in Boston, Somerville, and Cambridge. Recent meetups include a hiking trip to Appleton Farms in Ipswich, a speed friend-ing night on Zoom, and a picnic at Boston Common. facebook.com/groups/makefriendsaftercollege

Libraries across Greater Boston like Somerville, Beverly, and Springfield host monthly Books & Brews events, which are basically book clubs to meet cool, new people. E-mail each library’s organizer to confirm event details and register for free. (Beers are on you, though.) Somerville Public Library. 617-623-5000, somervillepubliclibrary.org/adults/book-social-groups; Beverly Public Library. 978-921-6062, beverlypubliclibrary.org/book-groups/; Springfield City Library. 413-263-6828, springfieldlibrary.org/library/books-brew-book-club/

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Calling anyone who owns an “Old Guys Rule” shirt: check out FriendshipWorks, a Boston-based nonprofit that matches volunteers of all ages with future besties age 60 and over. The organization, which serves Boston, Brookline, Newton, Cambridge, and Somerville, asks volunteers for some level of commitment up front; the exact time required varies by program. If you’re looking to hang out with someone smarter than you (or perhaps reenact the movie “Up”), this one’s for you. 617-482-1510, fw4elders.org

We all know a lovable soccer (sorry, football) enthusiast who has an allergic reaction every time they hear the name Ronaldo. If you’re one of them, you’ll want to join the public Facebook group Boston Pickup Soccer. Players of any skill level can find a pickup game (sometimes the day of) or a league with openings; opportunities take place in Boston and its surrounding communities. facebook.com/groups/53906278510

Many bars and cafes throughout Greater Boston host trivia matches, a great way to meet new people and stoke your competitive side. One option is the trivia night at Back Bay’s Trident Booksellers & Cafe that happens every Friday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tables are limited and first-come, first-served. 338 Newbury St., Boston. 617-267-8688, tridentbookscafe.com/event

Board games aren’t child’s play for the South of Boston Board Game Group. Members meet in public locations to socialize over strategic games such as Dead of Winter, 7 Wonders, and Century: Spice Road. The group uses the platform Meetup to announce upcoming gatherings and locations. meetup.com/South-of-Boston-board-game-group-meetup

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Lex is a free, queer-focused social app inspired by the ads that ‘80s and ‘90s lesbians used to put in magazines to advertise themselves to potential partners. Lex user profiles are text-focused, not photo-focused, unlike most other dating apps. Nowadays, LGBTQ+ people often use the platform for finding friends and organizing local events, along with looking for dates. So, if you want to get plugged in to queer community in your area, Lex is a great place to start. thisislex.app

Assembly Row Crafty Meetup gathers people who enjoy knitting, crochet, embroidery, journaling, and other craft activities every other Monday night at a cafe or other location in Somerville’s Assembly Square. Upcoming events will be announced on Meetup.com; bring your own materials (and eccentric earrings, of course). meetup.com/Assembly-Row-Crafty-Meetup

If you want to join Brunchclub Boston’s private Facebook group (which currently has over 3,500 members), there’s only one essential question: “Do you enjoy brunch?!” If your answer is yes, then check them out; the group plans brunch meetups at restaurants throughout the city, with the promise of making new brunch-loving besties. facebook.com/groups/2842055576045182

A LonelyBones Skate Co. meetup in August 2020 in Roxbury Crossing.Becca Brichacek

The LonelyBones Skate Co. is a community built by local students for women, gender-nonconforming people, and anyone else who grew up being shut out of mainstream skating culture. They welcome people of all skill levels (including beginners) and hold regular meetups at Boston-area skateparks. lonelyboneskateco.com

The public Facebook group Boston Bike Party has a simple slogan: “Make friends and ride bikes.” Members frequently post invitations open to anyone; a recent one started at Copley and ended the day at Aeronaut Brewery. facebook.com/groups/500325783405970

Want to hang out with fancy, cultured, lifelong learners? The Cambridge Center for Adult Education offers a range of in-person and virtual classes, including “Craft Cocktails 101″ and “Tarot For Beginners,” where you can learn a cool new skill while meeting other lovable nerds (sorry, impressive cocktail-making experts). Prices for the summer term range from $40 to $375. 42 Brattle St., Cambridge. 617-547-6789, ccae.org

The Greater Boston Knitting Guild is a membership-based community that holds monthly events, guest speakers, workshops, and community outreach activities. Individual memberships cost $45 per year; accent scarf you knitted yourself (and have a strong emotional attachment to) not included. gbkg.org

To meet other fun-loving, ASL-fluent Bostonians, check out Boston Deaf Night Out. The group gathers monthly at bars and other locations in Boston and beyond to hang out, make friends, and have a great time. Event notices can be found in their public Facebook group. facebook.com/groups/276423909073394

Find some friends to laugh with at Intro 2 Improv at ImprovBoston.Cat Grimm

Every Saturday from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., ImprovBoston in Central Square holds a beginner improv class for adults. All senses of humor are welcome, but don’t worry, your classmates are all definitely going to agree that yours is the best. Registration is required, and a donation is requested. 620 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. improvboston.com

Create your own pottery and hang out with other sophisticated potters at a beginner workshop at the Clay Lounge. The 2½-hour workshops at this South End pottery studio cost $75 each. 75 Thayer St., Boston. clayloungeboston.com

Want to meet new people while simultaneously, you know, being a good person? The nonprofit organization Boston Volunteer pairs people willing to donate their time and skills to activities that need their help. The time commitment can be as little as an hour and a half. bostonvolunteer.org

The private Facebook group N.E. & Massachusetts Women Rock Climbing helps local women rock climbers find a climbing partner and trade advice and stories. Who better than a buff local rock-climbing expert to provide a little friendly “gymtimidation”? facebook.com/groups/WomenClimbNE

On the free app Tandem, you can build friendships with people around the world and learn a new language at the same time. The app matches you with someone who speaks the language you’re studying; you help them with their English skills, and they aid you in your chosen language. You and your sweet new international BFF can decide how often you want to connect (via video call, phone, or texting). tandem.net

Every Thursday from 8 p.m. until 1 a.m., Boston pub and music venue the Bebop holds an open mic night for musicians of any kind, followed by an open jam. You need to sign up for a 15-minute open mic spot in advance — and if you feel like chickening out day-of, just remember that your mom will definitely think you did great. 1116 Boylston St., Boston. 857-250-4641, thebebopboston.com


Joy Ashford can be reached at joy.ashford@globe.com. Follow them on Twitter @joy_ashford.