Moving to a new city is hard. You’ve made a whole life for yourself, and now have to say goodbye to start making a new one. You have to pack and unpack all of the boxes. You have to find a new grocery store, a new doctor and a new takeout Indian restaurant. And that’s the easy stuff. The really hard part of moving is trying to make new friends. It’s not so different from dating. You have to pick a good spot, make yourself a little vulnerable and hope that a like-minded person walks through the door. With that in mind, here are just a few ways to improve your odds of making friends in a new city.
Join a Group
Most metropolitan neighborhoods have an endless supply of running groups, trivia nights and film appreciation societies that are full of like-minded adults. Do a little research to find the group that matches your interests. Better yet, see this as an opportunity to learn a new sport or develop a new passion. New people show up to groups all the time, so you’re more than likely to meet someone simply by virtue of being one of “the new guys.” And don’t forget about volunteering, which is a great way to meet new people and also have an immediate impact on your new community.
Just because you’re new in town doesn’t mean you have to wait for someone to initiate a friend-date. You’re actually in a great position because everything is new to you, so it’s normal that you want a local to serve as a tour guide. If you’re feeling ambitious, grab a few tickets and tell a prospective friend that you’re looking for someone to tag along to your first game in your new city. Who knows? You might each end up with a new best friend.
Start With Friends of Friends
A great place to start making friends is by borrowing them from other friends. This is where social media can come in handy because you can connect to new people through a common acquaintance. Let everyone know you’re moving to a new city so you’re sure to have plenty of responses like “My sister lives in Milwaukee!” or “My old roommate just moved there, too!” With some luck, you’ll have a new friend waiting to help you move in when you arrive.
Eat at German Restaurants
This might seem oddly specific, but it’s a good tip. German restaurants have long, communal tables that encourage mixing and mingling. There’s also plenty of sing-alongs and dark beer to ensure everyone is in a great mood. If you’re hanging out with a new friend or group of friends, the sheer spectacle can serve as a bonding experience and you’ll definitely bypass the awkward silence phase.
Monitor Your Coworkers
Making friends with new coworkers is always trickier than it seems. You would think that the camaraderie of working together would give you a lot to talk about, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a lot of common interests or shared values. Plus, the professional nature of the work environment can make it hard to gauge anyone’s personality. Still, a new job is a great place to start building a new friend-base. Without a doubt, anyone who invites you out to happy hour on your first day is a good potential friend.