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14 Tips for Making Friends When You Move to a New City

Updated: Feb 9


Top Tips for making friends in a new city within a few months of arriving

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Introduction


Introduction

Moving to and making friends in a new city can be overwhelming and isolating, regardless of age. However, building a new social community in mid-life can present even greater challenges. (See "Why Making Friends in Midlife is So Hard".)


When we were younger, we had school and college to introduce us to new people when we relocated. As young parents, we found friendship through our children's schools and activities. When we moved to a new city back then...? No problem! We were immediately and naturally connected to new networks of people through our kids.


Now, in midlife, we may no longer have these common avenues for friendship available to us.


So, how can we find our new people in a new city? Although it's not as easy as it once was, the good news is that, with some effort, there are many great ways to start making new connections and get our social lives back on track.


In this blog post, I'll summarize 14 valuable tips to help you find and nurture new friendships when you relocate to a new city.



14 Tips For Making Friends When You Move To a New City 


1. Make Friends FAST by Joining a Social Club

The fastest and easiest way to find friends in a new city is to join a social club. One of the hardest things about making friends in a new city is breaking into existing social circles. Often, the people you encounter in your new city are friendly, but their friendships are well established and they are not particularly interested in putting much effort into making new friends.


Well organized social clubs solve this problem because they are, by design, full of people who are actively looking for new friendships.


The Trybe Women's Social Club was created specifically to help middle aged women find friendship and community through structured group experiences. The Trybe provides the friends and the fun...you just have to say "yes" to yourself and show up!


Joining a women's social club such as The Trybe can be a great way help you make friends in a new place

2. Turn Your New Neighbors Into New Friends

When you move to a new neighborhood, it's important to make an effort to get to know your neighbors (and it's surprising how many people do not do this). Getting to know those who live closest to you not only helps you feel more at home and gives you the opportunity to potentially make lifelong connections...but it can be incredibly helpful just on a practical level (for example if you're out of town when a big storm blows through).


One great way to start getting to know your neighbors is by inviting them to a casual housewarming party. Over a few hours, and perhaps a couple of glasses of wine, you'll have a genuine chance learn a great deal about them. This takes some planning and a bit of work, but it's well worth it, so make the effort and get the ball rolling!


3. Meet More People by Taking Daily Walks Around Your New Neighborhood and Frequent Local Hangouts

Walking around your new neighborhood is a fantastic way to meet new people, get exercise and improve your mood all at once. As you walk, smile at and say "hi" to everyone you pass. Stop and spend some time at a local hang out, such as your local coffee shop.


Even better, get a dog! (Or...foster a dog for a local animal shelter.) You'll meet all the dog owners who live nearby surprisingly quickly. (These new friends will remember your dog's name before they remember yours, but at least it's a step in the right direction!)


Meeting people in your new community is easy if you take walks and frequent local hangouts

4. Meet Friends with Common Interests by Exploring (New and Old) Hobbies

Are you a cooking enthusiast or do you love to hike? Are you an avid reader? Love movies? Chances are there are others in your city who have the same hobbies and interests as you. We've all heard of book clubs, but there are so many other options! A quick internet search can help you find local groups and clubs that cater to your specific interests. These groups often have regular meetings where members can gather and enjoy activities together. It's a fantastic way to meet new people who share your passions while also acquiring new skills and expanding your knowledge.


Don't hesitate to join these groups. Who knows, your new BFF might already be there waiting for you to show up! Explore Meet-up to find clubs near you. If there's an activity you've always wanted to try, now is the perfect time to get out of your comfort zone and do it! You'll meet people who share your interests, providing a ready-made conversation starter!


Sharing a common interest by joining a club - such as a book club for avid readers - is a great way to make a new friend in a new town

5. Bond with Your New Co-Workers Over a Shared Interest

Think about it. You already share something with colleagues. You interact daily. Take some time to learn more about them. Mentally consider turning colleagues into new friends to be part of your new job. Invite a colleague for lunch, a drink after work or to watch a play. If your employer/business doesn't already offer any extra curricular activities (from team sports games to happy hours) for coworkers to do together, start something yourself. Because you are already spending so much time together day to day at your job, before you know it, you'll feel like old pals.


6. Business Networking Events Can Help You with Making Friends in a New City

Whereas business networking activities are, obviously, designed for business purposes, they are also an excellent way to meet new people. Many business owners are very well "plugged in" to their communities and can likely introduce you to other people who share your interests. You might be surprised by how many business networking activities there are in your local area - from coffee socials to conferences to workshops. (If an online search doesn't help you find these types of events, try checking your local Chamber of Commerce calendar.) Be sure to attend events frequently throughout the year because you will meet new people every time you attend.



7. Ask Your Current Friends for Help

Moving to a city with no friends and trying to make new connections in a new place can be intimidating, but you can leverage your existing network of old friends to make this process much easier. Reach out people you already know and and ask them if they know anyone in your new location. These connections can include mutual friends, family members, colleagues, old friends or even online acquaintances. (Ideally, your mutual connection will provide a positive recommendation and vouch for your character, increasing the likelihood that the new person will be open to getting to know you.)


Make friends in a new city by leveraging existing social connections

8. Join a Gym, Yoga Studio or Fitness Classes

Regular exercise not only has physical benefits, but can also improve your psychological well-being and help you meet new people. Joining a gym or fitness class is a great way to stay active while also connecting with others who share similar interests.


From yoga classes to group workouts, there are plenty of options to choose from. You can even try out local sports clubs or participate in a recreational team for some friendly competition. Don't be afraid to explore different classes or activities until you find at least one that suits you best.


Joining group activities is a great way to fight feeling lonely

9. Volunteering is a Great Way to Meet Like Minded People

To quickly build connections in a new city, consider volunteering in your community. Not only does volunteering foster the development of new friendships and help you learn valuable skills, it will also provide you with a sense of purpose and connection to something larger than yourself. Getting involved is easy.


There are countless ways to contribute, from helping to stock the local food pantry to volunteering for your neighborhood HOA. Start by reaching out to local non-profit organizations and reading local publications. Websites like VolunteerMatch can also help connect you with local opportunities.


Make friends living near you by being active in your new city

10. Check Out Cultural Events and Diversify Your Social Circle

Your new city's cultural events offer fantastic opportunities to broaden your cultural horizons and have fun. You can easily find lots of interesting cultural events by checking your local newspapers or the official website of your new city.


From concerts to music and art festivals, there are plenty of public experiences that offer a unique atmosphere and a chance to make new friends who are also curious about and open to learning about other cultures. Don't hesitate to go to these activities alone, as many attendees are likely to be open to making new friends. Push past your comfort zone and strike up a conversation with someone new!


Make friends with people who share your spiritual beliefs

11. Find Communities That Match Your Spiritual Interests

Whether you are Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or none of the above, finding a local group of people who practice spirituality in ways similar to you is an excellent way to find your people.


By joining these communities, you can find support and comfort in your beliefs while also building new relationships with others with whom you share a spiritual connection. This is a great way to deepen your spiritual practice and grow in your spiritual journey.


12. Join Your Local Toastmasters Chapter

Toastmasters is a great way to meet interesting new friends from all over the world and improve your public speaking skills while your at it.


Toastmasters is a non-profit organization that helps individuals develop their communication and leadership skills through public speaking. It is, by design, a supportive community that encourages personal growth and connection with others who are also striving for self-improvement. By joining a local chapter, you can meet people of all ages and from many different walks of life while also gaining confidence in public speaking.


13. Language Groups Have Lots of Benefits

When moving to a new location, consider the benefits of joining language groups. This advice is particularly relevant when relocating to a new country where a different language is spoken. However, it can also be applicable when learning any new language for various reasons.


Language learning groups offer not only improvement in language skills but also a supportive and social environment. Engaging in conversations with native speakers and fellow learners allows for learning and bonding, fostering new friendships while broadening language and cultural knowledge.


Technology offers great ways of meeting new people

14. Online Apps Can Help You Find Friends in Real Life

Technology provides us with numerous ways to connect with others and, believe it or not, there are some pretty great mobile apps (including some of the most popular dating apps) that can help you make friends! there are.


One of the best known examples is Bumble BFF, which is an extension of the popular dating app Bumble. This app allows you to swipe through potential friends in your area and start a conversation with those who catch your interest.

Another popular option is Meetup, which connects people through common interests and activities. You can join groups based on your hobbies or attend events organized by other members. This app not only helps you make friends, but also allows you to explore new interests and activities.


Here's an article from Cosmo that reviews these apps in more detail and provides some additional great options to check out.


Final Thoughts

Moving to a new city and making new friends can be pretty daunting. This article provided concrete 14 tips to get you started. From joining social clubs like The Trybe Women’s Social Club, to getting to know your neighbors, exploring new hobbies and attending different kinds of activities and events in your new town, you'll come to realize that, with a bit of proactive effort, finding new friends in a new place does not have to be overwhelming or even particularly difficult.


(*Note. If The Trybe Women's Social Club is not in your location, reach out to me (Angela Caveney) to start a conversation about creating a club where you live. Even if you don't know a single person in your new city, don't worry! This is a great way to start to meet new people fast. We'll provide the framework to get you started.)



About the Author

Angela Caveney, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist, Neuropsychologist and Founder of The Trybe. Her absolute favorite thing to do is to help women find their people and thrive throughout midlife. She can be reached directly at angela@the-trybe.com

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