When you are moving to a new city, it can be nerve-wracking to imagine getting out of your comfort zone to meet people. However, the quest of making new friends can be a fun and enriching one. It can even help you discover more about yourself. Below, we give you some of the best avenues to meet new people, and a few tips to help you be successful on your journey.
Meetup.com: Meetup.com is a free site that allows users to create and view meetup groups and events in your soon-to-be city based on your interests. You can find everything from young professionals’ groups to groups for people who enjoy photography, live vegan lifestyles, or share a love of all things geek. Find meetups within a specified distance of your city and view the calendar of upcoming events to RSVP.
Yelp: Not just a site to find a great Thai restaurant, Yelp offers a great service with the “events” tab, where you can see what’s happening each week in your city. There are a variety of happenings in most larger cities in the US. Some are free and others have small costs associated with them to cover food or drinks. Either way, you are usually getting a great deal and always a fun time.
Local Classes and Clubs: If there is an activity that you particularly enjoy, joining a club or taking a class on the subject can be a wonderful way to meet others with similar hobbies. If you enjoy fitness, get the class schedule from your local YMCA online. If it’s reading you love, contact the local library and see if there is a book club that meets once a month.
Singles Groups: If you’re single, chances are your new city has many great options to meet others. If you’ve been shy in the past, being in a new city is the perfect excuse to go for it. Go into the experience with a positive attitude and reasonable expectations. If you don’t find love, you may still make great new friends for life.
Friends of Friends: Before you move, don’t be afraid to take advantage of some of your current friendships. Your friends may have acquaintances in your new city. Ask for an introduction. Even if just relatives, one of the best ways to meet new people is to mingle in the circles of people who have them well established.
Children’s Events: If you have children, meeting the parents of their classmates can be a great way to explore circles with similar interests. Get involved in parent organizations through the school or other clubs or sports your child may be involved in. Consider hosting a weekend event for the children and parents. It will be a great way to help your child get some quality bonding time in with their peers, and for you to meet other parents.
A few tips to help you be successful…
- Be flexible with your schedule, and be willing to make some effort to spend time with new friends to build a relationship.
- Ask for it; Don’t be afraid to ask someone who you are having a nice friendly conversation with if they’d like to get together sometime. Follow up to solidify your plans with a phone call.
- Be friendly to everyone. With a warm smile and welcoming attitude, you may make new friends in places you wouldn’t expect, like the grocery store or coffee shop.
- Share interesting things about yourself. What do you like to do in your free time? Do you have a favorite movie genre, or type of book you like to read? The truth is, people will be more drawn to someone who has varied interests. Plus, you have a higher chance to find common ground with a new friend.
- Safety First. Always use your best judgement when meeting new people. Never meet someone you don’t know in a private location, or disclose too much information to a stranger. Use public places and group settings for the initial introduction.
Start by choosing one item from the list above and see if you can’t fill up your calendar for this Saturday night. Once you’re comfortable getting out there, you will be more approachable and your evenings will be jam packed in no time!