How to Make Friends in a New City
When you move to a new city, it can be exciting to start over. It feels like there’s a fresh lease on life as you start writing the next chapter of who you are.
Those first weeks after moving can also be very lonely. When you don’t know anyone or your potential people, staying home and video chatting with your friends can be tempting.
If you’ve taken care of your post-move tasks and want to start exploring, here are some practical ways to start making friends at your new home.
1. Connect with Mutual Friends
It often helps to reach out to your current friend group to see if there’s a mutual friend in your new city. There’s a great chance that a person who fits this definition will be a good connection for you.
With some luck, there should be a handful of contacts that will let you reach out and meet them for drinks, dinner, or fun. After all, you’ve already got something in common with each other.
2. Use Mobile Apps
It takes a conscious choice to get outside to start meeting people in a new city. In the first days after settling into your home, it often helps to look for like-minded folks from the comfort of your couch.
Several apps make this option possible. Meetup is the most popular choice since it offers access to thousands of cities to find people with common interests.
Each area has specific apps that provide a similar service, so it helps to perform local searches on your phone or when your Internet gets hooked up.
3. Join a Networking Event
In NYC, one of the best ways to meet new people is to get involved with a networking event hosted by a local association. Whether it’s the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce or an LGBT networking organization, you’ll find an entire spectrum of interests awaiting your arrival here in the five boroughs.
If you move to a smaller community, a gym membership often functions as a networking event. Try to arrive early, hang out at the juice bar, or share a protein drink with someone who seems engaging. The New York Road Runners are a great group to consider joining for those who would rather exercise outside.
4. Get to Know Your Coworkers
It helps to be accessible and friendly at work when you want to meet new friends. Since you’ll be with a lot of those people throughout the day, it makes sense to explore a potential connection. You already have something in common!
Some organizations organize social activities outside the workplace to facilitate this process. In addition, there’s often a safe way to explore these potential connections, from intramural sports to supervised happy hours.
5. Have a Housewarming Party
Some people think the purpose of a housewarming party is to get some stuff for their new place. Although there is an element of gift-giving with these events, the goal should be to meet nearby people. You don’t need to be best friends with your neighbors, but you’ll never know if a BFF is there unless you start meeting them.
Informal get-togethers are often the best way to see people in their natural element. Even if friendships don’t form from this endeavor, you’ll have more information that helps you become a good neighbor – which means fewer complaints.
6. Get a Pet
If your new home allows pets, consider getting an animal companion to share your space with each day. Many people like to get a dog because the walks create social opportunities with fellow canine companions. You could also get a cat, a gecko, or an aquarium.
Having the responsibility to take care of a pet takes your mind off the loneliness. When people come over, you also get another chance to have something in common.
7. Start Riding a Bicycle
When you’re not having much success meeting people, investing in a bicycle might be worth exploring the city. It’s an easy way to stay active without needing the cost of a gym membership. In NYC, you can save about $1 per mile for every commute with this transportation option. In addition, you’ll find that other cycling enthusiasts will reach out eventually when they see you out there on the streets.
It isn’t always easy to meet new people after moving, but you can put yourself out there to see if friends are in the area. You never know who you might meet!