Great Ways to Make New Friends When You Move
Making Friends When you Move
You’ve made it! You’ve successfully moved to a new city or town, and after tackling the most urgent post-move tasks, now you begin to wonder how to make friends in a new city.
You’re probably well aware of the common advice on how to make new friends in a new city: find the courage in you to say YES to new adventures and think twice before turning down invitations to meet new people, even if those invitations include doing something outside your comfort zone – that is, something you wouldn’t normally do.
Of course, following that advice is much easier said than done. In reality, making friends in a new city can sometimes be a real struggle… unless you know some smart ways to form new friendships and find good friends for life.
Here are 20 amazingly smart ways to make friends in a new city after you move.
1. Connect with friends of your friends
It’s almost impossible to know right away how to make friends in a new city after you move. So, until you do learn some good friend-making tricks, it’s time to reach out to your old pals for assistance.
Ask your current friends if they know anyone in the city you just moved to. Your preferred social media network will be invaluable here – publish a Facebook post like “I just moved to [NAME OF CITY] and I’d love to meet some cool people here. Any suggestions?”.
With a little luck, you should be able to get a few contacts. And when you do, make sure you reach out to those people and meet them for a drink.
2. Use mobile apps to meet new people
It’s never easy to make new friends in a new city – it takes considerable effort, some planning and plenty of courage too. So, in the very beginning, you may be looking for good ways to hook up with like-minded people almost effortlessly.
Thankfully, there are numerous mobile apps that can help you do just that. Meetup is one such app that seems to be hugely popular – it works across thousands of cities and should help you find and hopefully befriend local people with common interests.
Do a Google search to find more apps for making friends – that is, apps for helping you meet people in your area. Try out a few and see which one works best for you.
3. Bond with your co-workers
Being more sociable and accessible at work is one of the best ways to make friends in a new city. Think about it – you already have something in common with your co-workers (supposedly!) and you interact with them on a daily basis. Now it’s the perfect time to try and get to know them better.
Some companies organize extracurricular activities – from sports games to happy hours, and hopefully, the company you work for will too. In addition to having lunch with your colleagues, why don’t you invite some of them to watch the game together or just grab some drinks after work?
Be proactive. Be brave.
4. Invite your neighbors to a housewarming party
You just moved to a city where you don’t know anyone, and being surrounded by complete strangers all the time can make you feel downhearted. It’s all about making one step at a time to change that, and the best way to start that change is around your new home.
Make an effort to meet your neighbors to gauge if there’s a chance that you befriend any of them. Organize an informal get-together in your home and invite the folks next door to a casual housewarming party. It’s your genuine opportunity to get a feel for what your neighbors are like – after all, you never know where you’ll meet your next good friend.
5. Be a good neighbor
As hinted above, one of the easiest places to find friends is within your neighborhood. Try to be courteous and nice to the people who live around you, be easily accessible should anyone needs your assistance, and always thank your neighbors whenever you get help in any way.
Making new friends in a new city doesn’t need to be a struggle at all – friendships can come naturally when you’re friendly, polite and respectful to the people in your neighborhood. Show genuine interest in them, be positive and you’ll see how more and more people will want to be around you.
6. Get a dog
It’s understandable that you may not be willing to invest too much time and energy in looking for new friends in the new city right after the stressful house move. Still, whether you realize it or not, moving to a new city is exactly the time when you’re going to need friends more than ever.
Another effortless way to make friends in a new city is to get a dog – unless you’ve moved with your dog, of course. Walk your dog in the city parks to meet and possibly befriend other dog owners. Consider using the app Meet My Dog to find friends for your dear pet too!
Do something good for the community and get that dog from an animal shelter.
7. Get yourself a bicycle
If you happen to be preoccupied with the issue of how to find friends in a new city, then one possible solution is to buy a bicycle and ride it every chance you get. In fact, owning a bicycle can be greatly beneficial, especially if you’ve moved to a bicycle-friendly city with a high Bike Score.
Yes, riding a bike reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke by 50% and you can save around $10 each day by bike commuting 10 miles.
But the real benefit of having a bicycle in the new city can be biking to work and back with some of the co-workers or hooking up with other cycling enthusiasts in the area.
8. Join local Facebook Groups
Moving to a new city alone can be really tough. One thing is perfectly clear – you will have to meet, interact with and spend time with different people in that city so that you minimize or negate the effects of the so-called separation anxiety.
Presently, one of the best ways to find friends in a new city is to join Facebook Groups – simply go to the search bar at the top of your Facebook home page and select GROUPS to refine your results. Also, use the name of the city you just moved to in order to get more local results – after all, you’ll want to meet in person some of the people from those online groups.
With more than 500 Million Facebook Groups, you’ll surely find new-city people with similar interests to yours.
9. Visit local museums, zoos, and aquariums
Stop wondering how to meet people in a new city – instead, get out of your new home and meet them. That’s usually easier said than done, but you’ve got even easier options for human interaction – to spend time at public places while having some fun too.
Find time to visit local museums, art galleries, monuments, zoos, aquariums and other places of interest in the new area. That way, you’ll be able to enjoy the attractions of the new city while having a healthy break from your busy unpacking calendar.
Find the courage to strike a conversation with someone who has also been admiring a painting in the city gallery, or joke with someone who’s been watching the penguins at the zoo almost trance-like.
10. Attend local cultural events
Another brilliant way to meet people in a new city and have fun at the same time is to look through the cultural calendar of the city and then visit the events that are to your liking. The local newspaper or the city’s official website will surely have a list of all the cultural events for the current month, or even beyond it.
Look specifically for events out in the open, such as live concerts, music festivals, or art festivals. Keep in mind that festivals are great for meeting new people and making friends in an unknown place simply because 1) they are remarkably communal, 2) they are centered around having fun, and 3) they often include group activities.
11. Sign up for art classes
It won’t be long until you learn that signing up for various classes is one of the best tips on how to make friends when you move to a new city. What makes this advice great is the absolute freedom you have when it comes to choosing what type of class or classes to attend.
Many experts advise that new city comers should stick to art classes where most people have a stronger need to express themselves and are more open to new friendships. Painting, photography, craft classes, creative writing, improv, martial arts or why not ikebana – the sky’s the limit, really. Dancing classes are also preferred by people who have just moved to an unfamiliar place.
All it really takes is enough time and desire to pursue a passion of yours.
12. Take up photography
Photography is a fantastic hobby to help you meet new people in new cities without too much effort from you. You don’t need to be a professional photographer to enjoy taking photos around your neighborhood, within the city limits, or well beyond.
In fact, photography a hobby that will get you out of your home, and that’s the number one prerequisite for making friends in a new city. All you need is a digital camera and you’re ready to snap away. If you really wish to improve your photographic skills, then joining a photography class is a good idea too. Never again will you use the automatic mode on your camera too.
Sharing the photos you’ve taken on various social media networks will also help you interact with people as you’ll be getting in encouraging comments and genuine compliments about your improved photographic skills.
13. Take a foreign language class
Discover the power of a foreign language!
If you like languages, then you’ll be happy to learn that learning a new language is a marvelous way to continue your education and make new friends at the same time. To make things even more beneficial for you, choose to learn a new language in a group setting, rather than taking individual classes, so that you can have the unique chance to form new friendships naturally and effortlessly.
Look online for educational institutions and organizations that offer foreign language classes in the new city. Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Chinese… you can’t go wrong with any foreign language you’ve always wanted to learn.
14. Join a gym or a yoga studio
There isn’t a magic formula to making friends in a new city – sometimes good friendships form almost effortlessly, sometimes you end up empty-handed no matter how hard you try. The trick? Keep trying.
Another great advice on how to make friends in a new state or new city is to join a gym or a yoga studio – an excellent way to stay fit and be social at the same time. Once you start seeing and meeting the same people multiple times, you’ll gradually feel more comfortable to talk with them.
Besides, it’s relatively easy to have your workout partner or yoga classmate become your friend outside the gym or studio – all it takes is an invitation for a drink after the class.
15. Join an amateur sports league
Making friends in a new city is sometimes closely connected to the opportunities that that city has to offer. As a rule of thumb, bigger cities offer more chances for their citizens to participate in all kinds of activities, and thus to meet new people and form good friendships and meaningful relationships.
If you like practicing sports, then seek out a suitable sports league and join it. Yes, going to sporting events is also a good way to meet new people in new cities, but nothing compares to the opportunities created by actually being part of an amateur sports league.
Flag football, baseball, basketball, volleyball, tennis, golf – the list goes on and on. Many amateur sports leagues organize monthly or bi-monthly tournaments – the perfect opportunity to meet like-minded people and befriend them (for life).
16. Join a book club
At times, finding friends in a new city requires a bit of creativity. You may love reading books but has it ever occurred to you to join a book club in order to meet people who are also avid readers like you? Hopefully, now it will.
Reading books is an amazing pastime – it has the power to create infinite new worlds just for you, it’s fun, plus it’s good for the brain and your overall emotional health. Just look for book clubs in the new city and join some of them to be able to discuss your favorite books with random strangers who may actually become good friends along the way.
As a bonus, joining a book club is a guarantee that you’ll never wonder again which book to start reading next.
17. Visit nearby national parks
If you love nature and you enjoy spending time surrounded by it, then you may be in luck as far as making new friends is concerned. Nature lovers tend to have great support for each other, and you know how easy it is to strike a conversation with the people you meet on the trail.
The city you just relocated to may be close to one of the 58 national parks in the United States. And if that is the case, then you can seriously consider getting the America the Beautiful Pass that will give you immediate access to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. As a nature lover and a passionate hiker, you’ll get multiple benefits by purchasing that pass as it will actually cover the entrance fees at national parks and national wildlife refuges.
18. Go to farmers’ markets
It’s good to know that many towns and cities organize farmers’ markets where local producers sell their healthy and tasty produce. As you know, anyone who shops locally from such markets supports the community, so you can also become one of those smart shoppers.
If you enjoy healthy eating, then visiting farmers’ markets in the new area will become a great way to meet new friends in a new city. You’ll probably see some of your own neighbors there too, and you’re likely to have fascinating conversations with the local producers.
Ultimately, it’s the diversified group of people who attend farmers’ markets that will give you a real opportunity to meet and befriend some great people there.
19. Become a regular at garage (yard) sales
Wouldn’t you love to get your hands on some real bargains and meet new people in the city at the same time? Of course that you would. Going to local garage sales will give you the perfect opportunity to get to meet the locals while having the perfect excuse – hunting for some forgotten treasures.
Just go to a few yard sales whenever you can spare the time, browse the item put up for sale and most importantly, be courageous enough to start casual conversations with the sale organizers. The thing is that you never know who you might meet and possibly befriend at such garage sales.
As an added bonus, you can even find some really useful items for your new home too.
20. Become a non-profit/charity volunteer
Without a doubt, the noblest way to make friends in a new city is to volunteer at non-profit organizations or charitable organizations in the area. Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community, and it’s definitely one of the most rewarding and satisfying things a person can do in life.
There are many ways you can volunteer your time depending on your interests and beliefs. Pick a cause you’re passionate about – only then will you be able to make a difference through volunteer work.
For example, if you love animals, then you should consider becoming a volunteer at an animal shelter in the new town or city.
BONUS ADVICE ON HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS IN A NEW CITY: While it’s great to make new friends when you move to a new city where you don’t know anyone, you must not forget your old pals. Do everything in your power to keep in touch with the great friends you had to leave behind.