Ways To Transition From Group To One-On-One Hangouts With A New Friend

Some one-on-one friendships start off that way. Two people meet, click, and decide to hang out with each other regularly. Others evolve from larger groups. At first everyone's spending time together, but then two members realize they get along well and begin to do things as a pair.

People can worry about the best way to shift someone from a group friend to a one-on-one buddy. They fear if they don't orchestrate a smooth, seamless transition they'll make things weird and get rejected.

Obviously you can just invite them to hang out

Often there aren't any special moves you need to pull off. It's another one of those situations where it won't seem awkward if you don't act like it's awkward. Usually if you connect with someone in your group and want to see them one-on-one you can simply invite them out.

However, I understand if you're newer to making friends, or not as comfortable with the process, it can be reassuring to have the details broken down, or be given some broad strategies you can try to apply. So with that in mind, here are a few additional ways you can make the switch from a group buddy to someone you hang out with just the two of you. These shifts can happen organically, but you can also try to steer them behind the scenes:

Move from seeing them in a larger group, to smaller ones, and then to one on one

If it feels too abrupt to start hanging out with someone one-on-one when you normally see them in a big group, you can use an intermediate step. Get a sense of what subgroups you and your target one-on-one friend belong to within the larger circle, and then invite them, and one or two other people to do something you're all interested in. For example, four of you are more into seeing movies than everyone else. Ask them all to go to a show, and get to know everyone better during that smaller outing. Maybe do something similar a few more times. Once it seems more natural to ask your target to hang out alone, shoot them an invitation

Gradually get to know them better in small group or one-on-one conversations during larger get togethers

There are often natural opportunities to do this, but you can also go out of your way to make it happen. If seven people are all hanging out they usually aren't always talking in one giant conversation. Everyone will flow in and out of a mix of smaller sub-disucssions. Spend time chatting to your potential one-on-one friend, either as a pair or with one or two other people. After some time you'll hopefully have built up more rapport and a sense that you're closer to them within the larger social circle. It will feel easier to invite them out one on one when the time feels right.

Start with more natural or accidental reasons to hang out one on one

If you're afraid to be more straightforward about your desire to spend time with a fellow group member alone, you can always look for naturally occurring excuses to have some one on one time with them. Once you've hung out with them a few times that way, then you can invite them out more directly. For example, if you both need to go to the same store after class, ask them if they want some company. You won't always be handed these plausible reasons to see them, but you may as well take advantage of them when they pop up. If you're okay with being mildly deceptive, you can always, say, pretend you also have to walk the same direction they do.