Finding yourself in a new city is the perfect time to reach out to your cousin’s old roommate or the fraternity brother of your sister’s boyfriend. Friends of friends don’t always pan out, but they’re a great place to start. When moving to a new city, you have to take a “leave no stone unturned” attitude toward making new friends. Many times it’s a game of catch and release combined with a bit of try, try again.
The benefit of beginning with mutual friends is that you know you can meet this person safely in a social setting. After all, someone you know and trust knows and trusts this person, so it’s usually a pretty safe bet. Worst case scenario is you don’t really click with the mutual friend, but you keep hanging out until something better comes along. Sometimes you just need someone to hit the town with while you’re making other friends. There’s no shame in that game.
When dealing with mutual friends, try to keep it light and easy at first. Don’t get discouraged if your schedules don’t sync up the first couple of tries. Being an adult and maintaining a social life can be challenging, and one of the biggest mistakes people make when making new friends is giving up too quickly. Keep trying – it will get easier!
Meeting people online can be a great way to form new friend groups.
Seeing as how we’re way past the days of AOL chat rooms, meeting people online can be a great way to form new friend groups. Reddit has a sub-channel for just about every interest, Facebook has ways you can filter groups by location, and even Instagram can be a great way to meet face to face even before you get together IRL. Sure, online socializing is very “millennial,” but it’s also very effective. There’s a reason they call it social media; it may be digital, but it still totally counts as socializing! When trying to meet new friends virtually, try one of the following methods:
You may be asking yourself, “isn’t making friends with people I work with risky business?” Nope! Co-workers have a tendency to be some of the best friends because of three things:
Try to make plans with co-workers away from company-sanctioned events. Yes, happy hour Fridays are lots of fun, but it doesn’t even have to be that serious. Start by inviting a co-worker to lunch, or drop them a funny meme in your Slack channel.
Two essential rules for making a work friend:
While it’s important to follow the rules above, just know every situation is different! You might meet your new best friend at work, and in that case, you can decide what will be best for that friendship to flourish.
Similar to meeting people online, joining local groups is a good way to rapidly expand your social circle. The best part about a group dynamic is that it takes the pressure off having to be the center of attention. You can observe more and say less in a group environment, or you can take charge and insert yourself right into the middle of things. The choice is totally up to you!
The other great thing about a group dynamic is that it’s sort of like speed dating but for friends. You know you already have at least some kind of common interest or shared hobby with these people, or you wouldn’t have chosen this particular group. From there, it’s all about finding a connection with a certain individual, and boom, you’ve got a friend!
Ideas of local groups you could join include:
The best part about living in the city and meeting a new friend in a social setting like a local group is that the person you make friends with likely has a friend group they tend to do things with. Don’t be intimidated by this! Typically people your friends are friends with will also be friendly with you. There is, of course, the rare circumstance where you only click with one person from a specific clique but try and keep an open mind. After all, you are learning how to meet people in a new city!
Gyms and workout studios are not for everyone, but if you like to be active, this is a great way to connect with like-minded individuals. Most of the time, workout studios dedicated to a specific type of class are a better method of making friends than a standard gym. While a gym tends to be everyone for themselves, a workout studio tends to have more socializing before and after class. If you are sporty and outgoing, meeting new people you can work out with is the best-case scenario, and what better place than the gym?
Aside from the obvious benefit of being an excellent place to meet great people, a membership at a gym or workout studio will also keep your body in balance. Working out is good for you mentally just as much as it is good for you physically. When your mental and physical health are well balanced, your emotional state is much more open to the possibility of new relationships, be they platonic or romantic.
Whether it’s beer league softball, indoor soccer, or something wacky like axe throwing, sports league meetup events are a fantastic way to meet large numbers of potential friends. Remember, when attempting to make new friends in a new city, it’s really a numbers game. The more individuals you interact with, the greater your odds of finding the right person or people to associate with.
There’s something unique about a sports league that doesn’t really exist in any other social setting; the competition. Competition creates natural camaraderie between you and your teammates and even a healthy dose of friendly competition between you and the other team. Don’t get too involved in your own team that you lose sight of the fact that your new best friend could be wearing a different jersey on the other side of the field.
ZogSports is the largest adult co-ed sports community across major U.S. cities, including:
Whether it’s the game itself or at the post-game happy hours, you’ll make memories and connections to jumpstart your new life in the city. If your city doesn’t have ZogSports, do a quick Google search for adult leagues in your area. Seattle’s Underdog Sports Leagues and Chicago Sport and Social Club are similar operations where you can meet new friends and play recreational sports!
Proximity is a bigger deal than people realize when it comes to making friends in a new city. That’s why living in a Common home offers such an advantage when it comes to making new friends; there’s immediate proximity. If you don’t live in a Common home yet but still want to take advantage of the proximity effect, take a trip down to your neighborhood and scope out some new spots to hang out.
Great places to meet new people include:
Plus, the place that you gravitate to also appeals to everyone else at that spot. Immediately, you have two things in common with whatever local spot you walk into. First, your proximity to said spot and two very similar tastes!
It doesn’t have to be all about going out and spending money; try taking advantage of your neighborhood’s activities. Public settings designed for people to be friendly and sociable include:
Often meeting the people in your neighborhood just takes a little bit of bravery. If big social gatherings intimidate you, start small with something like walking to a grocery store or a cafe.
If your neighborhood doesn’t host many public events, then head to your local coffee shop or grocery store and introduce yourself to the barista or the person in front of you in the checkout line. The general friendliness and hospitality of your local community may surprise you.
Church is an excellent way to meet new people in a new city, specifically by volunteering your time. If you are searching for ways to give back to your new community and make new friends doing it, look no further than your nearest religious organization. Even if you are not affiliated with a specific religious group, churches and other faith communities welcome the addition of helping hands.
If a church environment is not for you, there are plenty of other community causes that are not faith-based. You could volunteer at an animal shelter or sign up for Big Brothers/Big Sisters. While you might not become best friends with the young person you’re mentoring, you could very well meet and befriend one of the other mentors.
The bottom line is that finding a cause that you’re passionate about allows you to find that same passion in a potential friend. With the shared bond of giving back, your new friendship will be rooted in something solid and unshakeable.
Some examples of good volunteer opportunities include:
Use VolunteerMatch, available in most cities, to find a specific volunteering opportunity that piques your interest.
Common is the easiest way to meet new people and make new friends in a new city. When you move into Common, you’re placed with individuals you can immediately connect with. Whether you’re a coliving member or live in a private apartment, you have access to the entire Common community on the Connect by Common app. Not only does the portal provide a whole directory of members across the country, but you can also RSVP to diverse and exciting events happening in your city. Some social event examples include:
Our members join for the convenience but stay for the community.
Common offers something unique compared to most other rental options. Our members join for the convenience but stay for the community. Common is a place for people just like you to come together and share life experiences. Our members feel more confident taking on a new city, as they don’t have to experience it alone.
If nothing suits your taste, you can organize your own get-together, like a game night, where you can invite other Common members and get funding for things like snacks, beverages, and party essentials; all paid by Common!