6 Ways to Make Friends in a New City

Moving to a new city by yourself can be a lonely experience. You don’t know anyone in your new location, and all your friends and family are back home across the country. 

It may be that you moved for work or to start a new life in a more desirable area. Whatever your reasons, relationships are an important part of your life. Without a support network of loved ones around you, you are at greater risk of poor mental health.

You want to make the most of your new start and feel like you are entering an exciting new phase of your life. You don’t want to be spending your evening’s binge-watching Netflix and going to bed early.

If you put yourself out there and look in the right places, you will find friends soon enough. If the idea of being lonely fills you with dread, here are six tips to help you seek out your people.

Use your network

You may not have any friends in your new city, but your friends and family might know people who live there. Ask your loved ones if they have connections they could hook you up with, and post an update on social media to make this request from your friends. With luck, you might get an introduction to someone who lives locally in your new home. It’s possible you might even know someone who lives there without even realizing it. Go through your old connections from school, university, or previous jobs. Check their contact details on Facebook to see where they live now and use this opportunity to reach out to them before your move.

Take up a sport

Exercise is one of the best ways to meet people. Playing sport is a social activity in which you and your teammates are working together towards a common goal. If there’s a sport you are good at or have considered getting into, find a local club near you. You could join a soccer team, a running club, or take martial arts lessons. There are so many options to choose from. When you attend meetups once a week, you will soon start a rapport with people in your club and very quickly make friends.

Get to know your work colleagues

When you start a new job you will immediately be introduced to a lot of new people. But it can take some time to really get to know your work colleagues. You spend all day together but only in the context of attending meetings, sending emails, and dealing with customers. There’s not always much opportunity to break down barriers and become friends. Make an effort each day to have a real conversation with your coworkers. Ask them about their personal lives, families, and interests. Chat about things that aren’t related to work and become more comfortable around each other. 

You could also expedite this process by arranging a work social event. Send an email round or post up a note in the office inviting coworkers to go out for drinks or an activity like crazy golf. As long as you arrange this on a convenient date, you should get a lot of interest. This gives everyone a chance to let down their hair and get to know you.

If you are working remotely, however, it can be a lot more difficult to meet your coworkers. You tend to only see them as a disembodied head on a Zoom meeting so it’s not easy to turn this interaction into a friendship. There’s no reason you can’t spark up a conversation with a remote coworker. Send an email or post a message on the work Whatsapp group to arrange drinks in your area for those who are local. If your colleagues are spread far and wide across the country, you can have a Zoom social full of games and icebreakers.

Find a church

If you are religious, finding a local place of worship may be one of your top priorities when exploring your new area. As well as attending services, you should make an effort to get to know other members of the congregation. Sharing the same religion means you probably have a lot in common, so try to spark up a conversation with people whenever you attend. A lot of churches, such as The House of Prayer Church, hold regular social events like coffee mornings and fetes, which are great opportunities for meeting people. 

Join a book club

Most people think reading is a solitary activity, but it doesn’t have to be. If you love sitting down with a good novel and a cup of tea, why not do some research to find out if there is a local book group near you? Different groups work in different ways, but usually, you will get together once a month to discuss a particular book that you’ve been assigned to read. You don’t have to be a literary expert to attend, as it’s often an excuse for people to read more and have a chat with other bibliophiles. Often, the reading lists will be a mixture of popular bestsellers and classic titles with a few slightly more obscure books thrown in. If you generally read books of a particular genre, you might find book groups that cater to a particular niche, such as fantasy, horror, or feminist science-fiction.

Meet your neighbors

Whether you are moving to a house in the country or an apartment in the city, you will have neighbors nearby. It doesn’t matter whether they are the same age as you or fifty years older – they are part of your new community. One of the first things you do when moving in should introduce yourself to the people next door and on your street. You never know when you might need their help. You will end up bumping into each other now and then, so you want to be on good terms. This way, you may get invited to parties, events, and other social gatherings in your neighborhood.

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