and making friends as an adult
Your last point about serendipity really resonated with me. A lot of what I miss about working in-person was exactly that (and being lucky enough to work with great people I enjoyed being around). Definitely saying "yes" as much as possible these days to things I wouldn't have before. People really do appreciate having that friend who's down for almost anything!
Pretty much everything is better when you focus on the journey instead of the destination. That’s the trouble with dating apps and networking on LinkedIn. The focus is on the wrong thing.
I went through the exact same realisations a couple of years ago...I was burnt out by dating apps, so I decided to change my focus on finding friends instead. It worked to varying degrees of success - Bumble BFF made it easy to meet people easily, but the relationships stayed superficial. I studied a course and the consistent interaction in a school-like setting helped forge deeper friendships, but you're right that the magic of the "stickiness" of friendships only happen when both parties are dedicated and diligent.
Being chronically ill, I can relate to internet acquaintances being the primary way in which I meet people, but to your point, I do miss the camaraderie characteristic of "intensely intimate friendship." Appreciate your reminder to say yes more often!