Best Ways to Make Friends in a New City

Moving to a new city can be extremely hard, especially if you do it all by yourself. From finding a new rental apartment and being torn between taking all your belongings or moving with only what’s important to searching for a new favorite place to have brunch — adjusting to a new place and, basically, a new way of living is no picnic.

It is much easier to get adapted and feel comfortable if you have a group of friends who are ready to support you each step of the way. But, what to do if the only people you know in a new city are a lady from the grocery store downstairs and a pizza delivery guy? 

While it might take some time and effort — it is harder to form new friendships the older you get — friends are something you need to live a happier and healthier life. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to meet people and make friends in a new city.

Start With Your Own Contacts

Don’t hesitate to use the power of social media! Especially when you’re on your quest to finding new friends. Spoiler alert — you might be already friends with them on Facebook. 

Many of us have hundreds of followers and connections on various social media sites. While some of them you either don’t even remember or don’t care that much about, there are definitely people with whom you have lots in common.

A great idea would be to post on Facebook or Instagram and let everyone know you’ve moved to a new city and want to grab a cup of coffee with anyone who lives here as well. This way, you’ll be able to reach a large audience and, those will be the people you’ve already met or even hanged out with before. Life is unpredictable, and, who knows, maybe you’ll discover your high-school best friend lives in the same city, and you still have lots in common!

Talk to Your Friends

If turning to your personal network did not result in any successful new friendships, it’s time to ask your friends for a helping hand. There is a good chance that a friend of your friend will turn out to be someone you’ll enjoy spending time with rather than a stranger you meet in a coffee shop.

Probably, all of them already know that you’re moving to a new city, so go ahead and ask them if they know someone here you could meet with. Similarly, you can ask your family members and coworkers. There is no harm in casually asking, but you might end up having a few meetups planned even before the time of your move comes!

More like this: How to Find a Great (Not Just Any) Roommate

Turn to Your Hobby

One of the best ways to meet new people is by going to events dedicated to your hobby or passion. A great example can be joining your local book club, signing up for the dance classes, or heading to the antique fair.

There are few reasons why you should try it out. First of all, you might feel more comfortable at these kinds of gatherings, as you will have common topics to discuss with new acquaintances straight away. This way, you can still stay in your comfort zone while getting to know new people. Secondly, there is a higher chance you might actually become friends with someone, as you meet with like-minded people who share similar interests and hobbies.

making friends

Go for Drinks With Your Coworkers

There are two extremes when it comes to hanging out with coworkers. Some people might be very reluctant to mix professional and personal life and avoid talking about private stuff with their colleagues. Others, especially those who just moved to the city, consider their coworkers to be one and only chance of finding friends and desperately try to connect with them.

Well, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. You should definitely visit any team-building events and company get-togethers. However, you can also be proactive and invite your team to meet after work and learn more about each other over beers. 

But, remember that your co-workers do not necessarily have to become your best friends, and they might not share your views and opinions. So, avoid revealing particularly personal details of your life the first time you see your colleagues and don’t do anything you’d be embarrassed about the next day you come to the office!

Give Expat Meetups a Try

Relocating to a new country is even more challenging — add cultural and language barriers to all the other difficulties and inconveniences you might face. Going to expat gatherings is a good way to meet new people who might be speaking your language and better understand your background and experience. Of course, just like with your coworkers, don’t assume any person from your home country will become your best friend. 

But, these gatherings are perfect for making new connections, as many of those who attend actually come with a goal to get to know new people. So, they will be more open, ready to chat and get to know each other closer, and spend time together in the future.

While some might be in the city for only one or two weekends, you’ll be sure to find lots of people who live here. Who knows, maybe by the end of the evening you’ll already have a new event planned!

More like this: What to Expect When Moving From a Small Town to a Big City

Don’t Disregard the Importance of Cultural Events

Subscribe to the updates on cultural events in your town, as it’s another great way to expand your social circle and meet new friends. Luckily, everything slowly goes back to normal after the pandemic, and you can find more and more gatherings happening across the county.

If you don’t feel comfortable going to festivals and exhibitions by yourself, look into smaller, low-key events. You might find a quiet brunch combined with a discussion of Van Gogh’s art or a garden party with wine and cheese tasting. Thanks to social media, it’s easy to stay informed about anything that’s happening in the area, so you should use it to your advantage!

Say Yes to Invitations and New Opportunities

Of course, it is difficult for any of us to get out of our comfort zone. You might have received a party invitation from your gym buddy, but you’re very hesitant to go. Not many people feel comfortable coming to events where they don’t know anyone, and you might imagine the worst-case scenario being a miserable wallflower at a loud party.

Instead of canceling last minute because of the mysterious stomach ache, plunge in and get dressed! We all have our insecurities and anxieties, but that’s the price to pay when you’re doing something new. You already risked everything and moved to a new city — now it’s time to start getting comfortable here, learning about new places, and meeting new people. Even if it means taming your increased anxiety for a bit.

Think about the long-term picture — in a year or two, surrounded by new friends, you wouldn’t even remember this fear and hesitation if you should go or not. But to get to this point, you need to act and be brave now!

Hopefully, this list will give you a few tips and ideas on how to make friends in a new city. Most importantly, don’t be hard on yourself and stay patient, as it will not happen overnight. 

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