Sep 17, 2021 - News
The state of friendships in Denver
Data: Axios questionnaire responses; Chart: Alayna Alvarez/Axios

Despite Denver residents’ openness, the city can be a hard place to make new friends, according to the nearly 200 readers who responded to our informal questionnaire.

Why it matters: Friendships are on the decline nationally, Axios' Mike Allen reports.

State of play: Many readers tell us people in Denver are either new to the area or have established friend groups they "aren’t willing to grow."

  • Plus: Between work, the mountains and personal obligations, it's a city of "incredibly busy people." And the pandemic hasn’t helped.

By the numbers: About two-thirds of respondents said it’s difficult to make friends in Denver.

  • Nearly half of those who took the survey told us they lack deep connections here, are unhappy with their lack of friends or are actively looking for connections.
  • Most respondents said they either lost touch with a few or the majority of their friends over the past year.

Yes, but: About half of respondents said they managed to make a new friend in Denver over the past 12 months. The bulk of those friendships were formed through a mutual friend or at work.

What they’re saying: "It’s easy to meet people, but not to make friends. Friendships take time to build, and the size of the metro area and the challenges to efficiently get around the city make it difficult." — Matt P.

  • "There’s always something to do, somewhere to go. On its face that sounds great, but it can also mean potential friends are booked out weeks in advance and things get lost in the planning." — Luke F.
  • "Too many people that are transient to the state. People move here for work. They don’t assimilate. They don’t put down any roots. It seems like Denver is a pass-through city for many." — Anna Z.
  • "Denverites have commitment issues." — Jason S.

The other side: Some respondents said you just have to know where to look, or the right thing to say.

  • "It's a matter of finding opportunities to meet people. It does take effort, but there are so many group-oriented, interest-based meet-ups — from churches to hiking groups to cooking classes — where you're bound to connect with someone." — Dana M.
  • "Suggest an outing, like biking or hiking, and most often they'll say yes. It's the start of a new friendship." — Lynne G.
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