Remember when making a friend was as easy as offering the girl next to you a piece of your fruit roll-up? Well, unfortunately, finding great friends in the adult world isn’t that easy, especially when you’re moving to a new location.
Whether you’re relocating for a job opportunity or a beautiful new apartment, nothing can make up for the value of finding your people. Here are five legitimately useful tips for making friends in a new city below.
Go to fitness stores
“When you’re moving to a new city, especially if you are an active individual, the first place to go is the local athletic apparel store, somewhere like Lululemon, Athleta, [or] Nike,” says Jonathan Tylicki, the director of education for AKT boutique fitness studios. “They are going to know the pulse of the city and give you the best recommendations for what you like to do. These types of stores usually offer free classes or run clubs too, which can be a great place to meet locals in the community.”
Join groups and attend events
Speaking of community, try getting involved in yours. Alissa Lentz, the founder of HERO, told us about the strategy she used when relocating to NYC. “In those early days, I lived in as low-cost rent [as] I could find and spent the extra money that I saved on membership fees to communities.” Even if the first time showing up to a new place feels awkward, stick with it. “It can be tempting to just show up and leave if there is seemingly no common ground,” says personal development blogger Kyndall Bennett. As a solution, social worker and blogger Briana Hollis suggests making yourself a regular. “Try to go there at least a few times a week and make it a goal to talk to one new person each time you go,” she says. “Eventually, you’ll start to recognize people and they will begin to recognize you.”
If mingling isn’t your style, try volunteering. “Find what you are passionate about and look for organizations that need help. Volunteer to help plan their fundraiser or work in the office. These are two great ways to put you right in the action,” says lifestyle transformation coach Andrea Travillian. To find your fit, try volunteermatch.com or look for volunteer postings on the websites of your favorite charities and events.
Get into tech
Some technology can actually help improve your social life. “Bumble BFF is an app (and there are others like it) that is meant for [meeting new friends],” says Nicole Sbordone, author of Surviving Female Friendships: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Sbordone also recommends meetup.com and Facebook to search for events, activities, and clubs in your new city.
Show up early
As enticing as it may sound to arrive fashionably late, Cheekd dating app founder Lori Cheek challenges you to take a risk. “When meeting friends out at night, show up at the bar 20 minutes early. Put your phone away, order a drink, and make a conversation with the person sitting next to you. You never know what it might lead to.” Whether it’s drinks, the gym, or a local festival, be early and present. Maybe your soon-to-be bestie is there doing the same.
Packing up and moving to a new city can be hard. Here’s what to do when you’re feeling lonely, according to therapists.
xx, The FabFitFun Team