How To Find Friends In A New City
I didn’t really get it before.
I mean, I had moved before—roughly nine times in the course of nine years—but all of those were apartment switches in a city I called home for close to a decade. It wasn’t until my husband and I decided to relocate from Los Angeles to Nashville (with about three weeks notice) that I got it. Moving isn’t just the proverbial test of “which friends love us the most to help us move our stuff across town…and who also happen to have a truck and a desire to work for free pizza.” It isn’t just an exhausting trek that takes a toll on your wallet, hygiene, and sanity. Moving, despite the excitement and adventure therein, is hard. Really hard.
And as an adult who is no longer tucked safely in the cohort of college dorm rooms or lecture halls, it can be especially hard to make new friends in a brand new city. It’s hard to leave what’s familiar and comfortable, and it’s hard to open yourself up to vulnerability. But, I promise, you can do it. And you’ll be all the more wiser, smarter, and compassionate because of it.
So, if you find yourself in a similar place of starting over and in need of friends, wind up that virtual Rolodex and start here:
To read all 7 tips, head over to the original article on The Everygirl.
Use Your Current Community
Take advantage of everyone (seriously, everyone) who says, “Oh, you’re moving to ___? You should meet ___!” This is no time to feign interest in blind friend dates (there will be time for that later). One of the best places to start when moving to a new city is to tap the resources you currently trust for friend leads.
The girlfriend of your roommate’s second cousin could be a worthwhile email, even if all it leads to is a recommendation for a great hairstylist. You need to start somewhere, and it’s best if you start with those you know. In the mobile and widespread generation we live in, don’t underestimate a six degree separation from your new BFF.
Maybe you found a killer deal for a private backhouse way out in the country. That’s great for your budget, but in the early stages of a new city transition it may not be the best for your social life. If you’re moving to a new place solo, then seriously consider the pros and cons of how your new living arrangement will put you in the proximity of other people.
This might mean a restructure of your finances so you can live central to the town’s main hub or you choose to rent a room in house with three roommates (when you thought you wanted a place of your own). Remember: You don't have to stay in any one apartment or neighborhood forever, but when starting out, it may help you find friendships (in unlikely places, even) if you maintain regular human contact.
Develop A Routine
I often think about the scene from Under the Tuscan Sun when Diane Lane’s character says: “The trick to overcoming buyer’s remorse is to have a plan. Pick one room in the house and make it yours.” I really think this can be applied to any transitional time in life. When you’re overwhelmed, start small and with one thing. Make it yours.
Your daily routine is a great example. Could it be SoulCycle after work? A scone at the local bakery every Sunday? A trip to the dog park on the weekends? Developing a routine will get you outside of the house quicker than your social calendar might, which will help you own your new city. You may even feel more confident to introduce yourself to those who might share a similar routine. After all, you have nothing to lose—and possibly a new friend to gain—by being friendly.
Speaking of SoulCycle, any fitness activity is great for meeting people. Whether it’s a recreation league at the gym, running club in your neighborhood, or the hot yoga studio with the best reviews, friendship has the potential to blossom where people gather to workout. Pay particular attention to flyers around the studio or gym, too. Many will advertise special workshops, guest teachers, or other social events.
Not into working out? Find classes that appeal to other hobbies you have. Is it improv comedy? Learning how to weave? A writing club to finally start the book you talk about? Moving is a great time to focus on your passions and find some new friends along the way.
Check out the full article on The Everygirl here.