I, Mark Roemer, know that moving to a new place can be difficult, especially if you do it all independently. Finding a new rental apartment and deciding whether to take all of your possessions or just what you need, to hunting for a new favorite brunch spot – transitioning to a new area and, generally, a new way of life is no easy task.
If you have a group of friends willing to help you every step of the way, it is much easier to adjust and feel at ease. But what do you do if the only people you know in a new city are the lady who works at the grocery store downstairs and the pizza delivery guy?
Connections are something you need to live a happy and healthier life, even if they require time and effort to develop – it gets tougher to form new friendships as you get older. In a new place, there are plenty of opportunities to meet people and create friends.
Begin with Your Contacts
Don’t be afraid to use social media to your advantage! Especially when you’re on the lookout for new acquaintances. You might already be friends with them on Facebook. Is it too late to insert a spoiler alert?
On various social networking networks, many of us have hundreds of followers and contacts. While you may not remember or care about some of them, there are undoubtedly people with whom you share many interests.
A fantastic option is to post on Facebook or Instagram that you’ve moved to a new city and would want to meet up for coffee with anyone who lives nearby. You’ll be able to reach a broad audience this way, and most of them will be folks you’ve met or even hung out with before. Life is unpredictable, and who knows, maybe you’ll find out that your best friend in high school now lives in the same city as you and that you still have a lot in common!
Make Contact with Your Friends
If reaching out to your network hasn’t yielded any fruitful new friendships, it’s time to turn to your friends for assistance. Rather than a stranger, you meet in a coffee shop, a friend of a friend is more likely to turn out to be someone you love spending time with.
Most of them are probably aware that you are relocating to a new place, so ask them if they know someone you could meet with. Similarly, you might inquire about your family and coworkers. There’s nothing wrong in casually asking, but you might find yourself planning a few get-togethers even before your relocation!
Take Up a New Hobby
Attending events dedicated to your activity or passion is one of the most acceptable methods to meet new people. Joining your local reading club, signing up for dance classes, or going to an antique show are all good examples.
There are a few compelling reasons to give it a shot. To begin with, you may feel more at ease at these types of meetings because you will have immediate common ground to discuss with new acquaintances. This allows you to remain in your comfort zone while meeting unique individuals. Second, because you’ll be meeting like-minded people with similar interests and hobbies, there’s a better possibility you’ll make friends with someone.
Join Your Coworkers for a Drink
When it comes to hanging out with employees, there are two extremes. Some people may be hesitant to blend their working and personal lives and avoid discussing personal matters with their coworkers. Others, particularly those who have recently relocated to the city, see their employees as their sole hope of making friends and make every effort to connect with them.
The truth, though, is somewhere in the middle. Any team-building events and workplace get-togethers should be high on your list of things to do. You can, however, take the initiative and encourage your team to gather after work to learn more about one another over a few beers.
However, keep in mind that your coworkers do not have to become your best friends, and they may not share your viewpoints. So, the first time you encounter your coworkers, avoid exposing susceptible details about your life, and don’t do anything that would make you feel uncomfortable the next day you come to work!
Ex-Pat Meetups Are Worth a Shot
Relocating to a new nation is much more difficult when cultural and language hurdles are added to the problems and inconveniences. Attending ex-pat meetings is a great way to meet unique individuals who may speak your native language and gain a deeper understanding of your history and experiences. Of course, just as with your workplace, don’t expect to make friends with anyone from your native nation.
However, because many people who attend meet new people, these meetings are ideal for creating new connections. As a result, they will be more open in the future, willing to converse, get to know each other better, and spend time together.
While some visitors may only be in town for one or two weekends, you will undoubtedly encounter many locals. Who knows, maybe you’ll have a new event organized by the end of the evening!
Don’t Underestimate the Value of Cultural Events
Subscribing to local cultural event updates is another excellent approach to broaden your social circle and make new connections. Fortunately, following the pandemic, things gradually return to normal, and more and more gatherings are taking place around the county.
Look into more minor, low-key activities if you don’t feel comfortable traveling to festivals and galleries alone. A relaxed brunch with a discussion of Van Gogh’s art or a garden party with wine and cheese sampling might be available. It’s simple to stay informed about what’s going on in your neighborhood thanks to social media, so make use of it!
Accept Invitations and New Opportunities with Open Arms
Getting out of our comfort zones is, of course, challenging for any of us. You may have received an invitation to a party from a gym buddy, but you are hesitant to attend. Many people are reluctant to participate in parties where they don’t know anyone, and the worst-case scenario could be becoming a sad wallflower at a loud party.
Instead of canceling at the last minute due to a weird stomach ache, jump right in and get ready! We all have our fears and uncertainties, but that’s the price you have to pay when trying something new. You’ve already taken a considerable risk and relocated to a new city; now it’s time to settle in, learn about new areas, and meet new people. Even if it means temporarily reducing your anxiousness.
Consider the long-term picture: in a year or two, surrounded by new friends, and you won’t recall your worry and hesitancy about whether or not to attend. But, to reach this stage, you must act and be brave right now! This list should provide you with a few pointers and suggestions on establishing friends in a new city. Above all, I, Mark Roemer, want to remind you not to be too hard on yourself and be patient; it won’t happen overnight.