Remember in elementary school making friends was as easy as playing tag? But we get older and all of sudden we are a real adults. We often move to great new cities and new opportunities and realize making friends as an adult is a bit more difficult.
It can be hard to find people that share your unique interests and knowing who to trust and who will support you. But like I told many of my friends, new friends aren’t just going to show up on your door. You need to get out, be proactive, and meet someone. Here’s a few ways to expand your circle in your brand new city…
Get to Know Your Co Workers
Work is the best place to start. You at least know you have something in common with those around you. Try sitting at a new table during lunch instead of tweeting away on your phone in the corner. Attend the company softball game even if you hate softball so that you can get to know your co workers in a casual environment and hopefully find some connections.
Meetup.com is a great resource for anyone looking to expand their network in a new city. It’s networking, a similar interest group / friendship site. The site allows people to form groups and plan events based on similar interest from “80 year old ballerinas” to “new natural hair women post-big-chop.” You can find someone who likes snowboarding in a bathing suit too with a simple click. Twitter and Facebook are still around too. Chat with people and meet up with people as you feel comfortable to help expand your friendships.
Join a Sports Team
Many cities have recreational leagues for working adults in a variety of sports. Zogsports is in a few of the major cities and even in smaller areas your local YMCA or park should have a league that you can join. You’ll not only stay in shape but you’ll also get to enjoy post game fun and build some new friendships.
Since you have a lot of time on your hands, why not volunteer? You can get to know the social issues in your brand new city and meet the people who are making a difference. Google is your friend. A search such as “volunteer opportunities in ____” will yield plenty of results.
Be a tourist
Having zero friends in your new city is no excuse to be a hermit. There has to be one or quite a few popular places in your new city for dining or entertainment or tourism. Explore! If the places are popular there will be crowds of people and maybe you can make friends with the other person enjoying a meal for one. This is a great way to also build your conversation skills and topics. When you meet new friends, you’ll have something to talk about other than watching Netflix on your couch since you moved. (just me? Oh)
Reestablish Your Life
Maybe you were in a sorority or a member of the NAACP in your old city. Perhaps you were really involved in your local church or gym. Chances are you can find the same type of activities in your new city. Begin building your life again. Attend meetings, get involved, and make new friends!
Read the paper, listen to the radio
The hardest part about moving to northeast Florida a few years ago was I couldn’t seem to find out what was going on around town and find other young working professionals. Turns out I wasn’t using the right resources. The town was old school and most of the events were still printed in the indy newspapers and advertised on the radio. Who knew? Read the event sections of local papers (online or in print), listen to the popular radio station and get out there. Attending cool events that interest you are bound to keep you entertained and put you in a place to meet great new people.
Sometimes getting a date can be easier than making a friend. Be open to accepting date invitations and don’t be intimidated because you are new to the city. You may find the love of your life or you may meet a cool new guy/girl and make a great friend, meet some of their friends and connect, or learn more about your new environment.
Stay in Town
It’s tempting to run and visit your old city or other friends every weekend but try to stay put for a few weeks. It’s impossible to make new friends if you aren’t ever in town. You will, can, and must build new friendships in your new city so that you can have a healthy balance of work and living.
What about you? How do you make friends in a new city?
Dee Rene is the creator of the faith-based blog Laugh.Cry.Cuss. Check out the site http://laughcrycuss.com and follow on Twitter @laughcrycuss @deerene_lcc