Making friends in a new city

  |     |   Helpful Tips

If you’ve moved across town to a new neighborhood—or changed cities altogether—the idea of making friends and creating new networks can seem daunting. But it doesn’t have to be! These fun ideas for getting social could help you find your new tribe far more quickly than you might expect.

  1. Tap your existing social network

Ask your current friend group if they know anyone in the town or area where you’re relocating. They can facilitate an introduction, especially for something easy like a quick coffee to learn more about the area or to suggest fun things to try. You can also update your social profiles on Facebook and Instagram asking for recommendations on everything from restaurants to grocery stores in your new neighborhood. If nothing else, you will get some excellent suggestions and conversation starters for future posts!

  1. Visit your local coffee shops (and check out their community board)

How many times have you seen those bulletin boards at small coffee shops lined with classes, meet-ups, upcoming events, or classes? Take the time to peruse the boards and mention to the baristas that you’re new in town. Coffee shops are hubs (and often meeting locations) for lots of different types of groups, and you may find one that interests you off the bat…or get the encouragement you need to post a message of your own about starting a new group.

  1. Hit the gym

Are you a fan of killer group classes at the gym—from spinning to Zumba to cardio kickboxing? Search Yelp and Google for reviews of local gyms that have the mix of classes you enjoy. When you go, chat with the instructor after you’ve attended a few sessions and let them know you’re new in town and (possibly) looking for some workout buddies!

Prefer other active events that aren’t indoors? Pop in to your local runner’s store or bike shop, and ask the workers there for groups of folks with similar interest to yours. From kayaking to walking to motorcycling and everywhere in between, shops that cater to your interests are a great way to meet like-minded new friends. (More on this in the next tip!)

  1. Shop local

As you get to know your neighborhood, stop in and browse the local gift shop, card store, flower market or specialty food store (or sporting store!). Say hello to the store proprietor and see if there are events in the area that might be fun—like upcoming festivals or street parties. Now that the pandemic is easing, more people will be looking to get out and about, so there may be more opportunities than usual to get social.

  1. Find your faith group

No matter your faith, chances are there is a group near you who would love to share their fellowship with you. Whether you go simply to feel a sense of connection to your most loved traditions or you actively seek out opportunities for connection, faith-based communities can be a great way to expand your social network.

  1. Volunteer for events that make you smile

First, check out fun events in your area—from gardening expos to art shows, farmers markets to food truck rallies. There are probably more than you expect. You can get ideas for these events by visiting your local chamber of commerce’s website or simply googling “fun things to do in my neighborhood.” Then, find out who puts on these events and see if there’s some way you can be a part of the setup or working the event. Be prepared to donate your time and maybe some effort, but if it’s for a cause or a purpose that makes you happy, this may not even feel like work.

Above all else, give yourself some grace. It’s not always easy to move to a new place and start over with a new social group, so take your time and go at your own pace. Here’s to many successful meet-ups in your future!

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