Making new friends when you move to a new city is the difference between spending every night with takeout and Netflix, or actually exploring your home beyond your new digs. But, especially in your young adulthood, it’s intimidating. There are apps for dating. For friendship? Not so much. But it’s not impossible. Here’s how you can reach out and make new friends after you move.
Contact friends of friends.
Ask your friends if they know anyone in your new area, then take that person out for coffee. If you both get along with the same person, there’s a good chance you’ll get along with each other, too.
Look up alumni events.
Alumni of your college who live in your area may host networking or social events. Contact your alma mater’s alumni office or scour Facebook to find out.
Ask a co-worker out to lunch.
It won’t be weird, we promise.
Join a sports league.
Whether it’s a real intense dodgeball team or a casual kickball club that mostly just meets for drinks, you’ll find a group right for you.
Take a class.
Ballroom dance, yoga, karate, whatever you’re into. Bonus points if it’s in your neighborhood. Hang back afterwards to ask the instructor a question and chat with other students.
Check out VolunteerMatch to find ways to make the world a better place in your area. You’ll meet people who care about the same causes as you, and a structured activity can make small talk less intimidating.
Go to a MeetUp group.
Check out MeetUp groups in your area for people who are into your hobbies. Vegetarian? Find a vegetarian dinner group. Love Dungeons & Dragons? Join a game. Structured activities for folks who share your interests and want to make new friends are a great way to break into the new social scene.
Go to happy hours or networking events.
If you drink, or even are comfortable in a bar, check out networking happy hours for your field. You might meet professional contacts and people you love hanging out with.
Do all the above before you move.
Sign up for all of the above before you move and fill up your schedule! Some events will be better than others, but you’ll find your people faster and skip the part where you get homesick.
But most importantly, follow up!
One coffee or cocktail friend-date won’t build a lasting friendship. Make sure you keep in touch with people you get along with instead of falling prey to the “busy” trap.