After a big move to a new city, you suddenly find yourself with no one to hang out with. The friends you grew up with live many miles away and you don’t have high school or a college campus to force you to interact with others.
Every single adult who moves to a new town faces the age-old problem of how to make friends. Even couples might find themselves wishing for other people’s company. As an introvert in a new place, try these tips to meet some people and build a new support system.
If you value your alone time, you might feel tempted to back away from invitations to social gatherings in your new city. Even if you just want to try a new restaurant, you order the food to go and take it back to your place.
Resist the urge for solitude. If you want to make friends, then make this a time of putting yourself out there, even if it’s by yourself at first. Go to movies, bars, coffee shops, and restaurants and open yourself up to conversations with strangers. Even if you don’t make friends, you’ll hear some cool stories.
Say You’re New in Town
When you meet people around the city, always tell them you’re new in town. This opens the door for them to tell you about local places to check out and events to attend. This will also encourage them to include you in their social circles and invite you to get-togethers.
Own your rookie status and allow people to act extra friendly and inclusive.
Look for Common Interests
Start looking for friends in fun places. If you love theater, join a group of play-goers. If you knit a mean scarf, find a club in your area. When you meet up with these groups for the first time, exercise your “new in town” line and tell them you’re trying to make friends.
Not only will clubs and organizations bring you together with lots of people, but you can go in knowing these people share your interests. This gives you easy topics of conversation and good ways to connect with others.
Make Friends with Coworkers
You easily made friends in high school and college because you had no choice but to spend endless hours with your classmates. The adult version of school is work. Befriend a few of your coworkers and start inviting them to after-work events.
Although you don’t have a guarantee your coworkers share your interests, they will understand your workday rants. Making friends with coworkers can also have networking benefits and make your job more interesting.
To build friendships, you have to make time commitments. When you meet new people, make concrete plans about when you’ll hang out with them and what you’ll do. Plans add structure to your interactions and help you bond with others.
A new city presents a perfect opportunity to become a self-actualized “yes person.” Say yes to almost anything potential friends invite you to. Even if you wouldn’t normally spend hours outdoors during wintertime, say yes to that ice fishing trip. Even if you don’t usually like scones, attend that tea party.
Build on What You Have
After you’ve made a few connections and established a small social circle, expand it based on the people you’ve met. Start introducing yourself to friends of friends. If someone you know says their good friend likes the same band you do, suggest you all go to the concert together.
Throw a Party
Don’t count on other people to do all the inviting. Throw a party and invite everyone you’ve made connections with. You don’t even have to host an event at your house-you can easily make a group reservation at a restaurant or round everyone up for a pub crawl.
If you’d rather meet people from your living room, the internet has made it possible. Online isn’t just for dating anymore. Many apps exist to bring people together as friends. Use a service such as Meetup to find groups of people in your area with similar interests and hang out with them.
Dating sites have their place too. If you’re single, find a site you like and start talking by sending messages. Even if you don’t meet a new significant other, you might meet some good friends.
After parties or other events with people you meet, follow up with them. Friend them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, tag them in photos. Make social media work to your benefit and bring you closer to others.
Making friends in a new city doesn’t have to be hard. Use these tips to establish a social circle and build meaningful relationships.