It’s natural to feel lonely when you move to a new city, especially if you move alone and have to start all over again, it’s hard to make friends. With so much going on in these first few weeks, you almost forget that you should have a social life, and by the time you remember, it can feel too late. You’re already in a routine, and going out to see people would disrupt that.
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But, living a solitary life is not healthy, no matter how much you believe you don’t need friends. People need people for interaction, support, and to get out of their heads for a while. Although making friends as an adult can be intimidating, you should still make the effort when you arrive in a new city. To make things a little easier, here are eight ways to help you make friends in a new city.
Volunteering is an excellent way to give back to the community, even if you’ve only lived there for a few weeks. But, it also gives you a superb place to meet people. Often, these places are full of people who share your values, so you’re bound to find people you have many things in common, making it easier to build connections. As everyone shares a common goal, you immediately have something to talk about, too, so you don’t need to worry about making conversation. There are hundreds of volunteering groups for you to explore, so you’ll always find someone happy for your helping hands.
JOIN A CLUB
If you don’t want to volunteer, you can still meet bigger groups of people and enjoy similarities by joining a club. Again, there are thousands of groups for you to search for, and you’ll easily find them with a quick Google search followed by your city or even your neighborhood. Clubs often meet once or twice a week to once a month, so while it won’t scratch the social itch as regularly as you might like, it still gives you something to look forward to. The more effort you put in, whether it’s a book club, sports club, or game club, the more you’ll open up and maybe build friendships with other members.
You use apps for just about everything else, so it’s no wonder you can use them to make friends. Maybe you have done this already with the likes of Tinder, Hinge, Grindr, or Bumble if you have made it explicitly clear you are not looking for just a hookup. You can also use Nextdoor and others to find connections without the expectation that things might turn romantic, which is common with dating apps.
GET IN TOUCH WITH FRIENDS OF FRIENDS
Although your friends might still be living in your hometown a million miles away, they could have friends that are happy to get in touch with you and show you the ropes. As they’re friends with your friends, you can feel a little more comfortable with them, and they can give you some much-needed company early on. These people will have friends of their own which they can introduce to you, and you can build more connections. You may not stay close with them forever, but you can still expand your social circle to make you feel less lonely.
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SPEAK TO YOUR NEIGHBOURS
The culture of neighbors looking out for one another seems to have disappeared. Nowadays, people are more cautious, or they simply have no desire to build a relationship with the person who shares a wall or a boundary. However, neighbors need to look out for one another, and getting to know them can build trust even if it doesn’t create a lasting friendship. You don’t want to have a toxic relationship with the person who lives next door, so being civil is often enough to save you a lot of grief.
DON’T IGNORE YOUR CO-WORKERS
Similarly, many people roll their eyes at being asked to work and get along with their coworkers, but isn’t that the point of them? Sure, some coworkers make you wish you could work remotely forever, but not all of them are bad. Some might even have a lot in common with you if you give them a chance. So, if instead of heading out for lunch every day (especially with rising food prices), make your lunch at home and spend some time in the break room, you might be surprised at what you find.
GET A DOG
There are a few reasons why getting a dog can reduce loneliness and help you make friends. One is that you immediately get a best friend who lives with you and thinks you’re the greatest person to walk the planet. Besides you, you can increase your social circle when going for walks as you’ll meet other dog walkers who can share tips and maybe even set up a walking schedule so you can meet each other every day at the dog park. Everyone who owns a dog knows they change your life, but your dog might change it in ways you didn’t expect.
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THROW A PARTY
It can be tricky to balance a plethora of new friends, especially when they are all from different areas of your life. This is why throwing a party can help you establish better friendships and even bring your fledgling friendship groups together. You can opt for a game night, wild rager that spills into the early hours, or you can host something classier, with a sit-down meal, high-quality Richard Haworth tablecloths, the finest wine (you can afford), and sophisticated adult conversation, at least for the first few hours before you let your hair down and loosen up.
It is challenging to make friends the older you get. People have more specific ideas about what they want from a friend. It isn’t as simple as sharing a birthday month or wearing the same shirt. Heck, it isn’t even as simple as sitting next to one another. But, it’s still possible to make friends and ease the loneliness, so don’t be so afraid to try these ideas.
Very timely post for me! We’ve just moved not only city but continent and I’m working on finding friends for myself and my children. We’ve started with inviting neighbours and opposite neighbours over and then we plan to just generally get out and about as much as possible, go to activities, volunteer etc. It’s finding the right Facebook groups etc to know what’s going on that can take a while to get right, and for me also finding things that suit our different ages and interests. Thanks for the tips Olivia!
Oh wow! That is a big move! I hope you find the tribe you are looking for, which im sure you will. Connections cant be rushed 🙂
I love the ideas of getting involved, it’s a great way of finding people of mutual interest and giving back! Thanks for sharing Olivia! Any volunteering suggestions? x
The connection is wonderful. The world is here to be a better place of all in the society.
My Rollercoaster Journey
I struggle to make and to maintain friends