You’re in a new city that you absolutely love. Hair laid, bills paid. The only problem is, you have no friends.
No one to chat with over shrimp tacos. No one to grab ramen with at the amazing spot you just discovered on your way home from work. No one to go hiking with. No one to buy cute gym clothes with.
I’ve experienced this and I won’t sugarcoat it. It’s the furthest thing from fun.
When I first moved to Washington, D.C.., I tried to fill the friend void with fitness and books — but it doesn’t work! I’m pretty reserved and I generally don’t try to make new friends because I’ve had the same friends my entire life. As you can probably imagine, I was having a really rough time. If you’re like me, for a month you’ll spend most of your weekends on the phone or eating. But don’t worry! The storm will eventually pass, I promise.
Here are some tips on how to meet new people in your area.
- USE YOUR NETWORK!
I cannot stress this enough. Reach out to your friends and family and see if they know anyone in your area that you can connect with. I guarantee you one of your friends will. If they don’t I’m sure they know someone, who knows someone…who knows someone. It will make your life so much easier.
That’s me with the red scarf and some awesome people.
2. Don’t be Afraid to Follow Up
Your friend connected you with someone. You went out with the person and had a decent time. What happens next? Always follow up. Don’t be afraid to look eager. You are eager. You have no friends.
And as callous as this may sound, even if you aren’t too crazy about being friends with this person, they may know someone who you’d want to be friends with. Luckily, I have not experienced this dilemma. If you are fond of this person, don’t be afraid to attempt to make plans with this person. Don’t be clingy, but at least make an effort.
3. Use Tinder
This may sound crazy but Tinder really helps. When I moved to the DC area I downloaded the app and put ” New to the area and looking to meet new people,” in my bio. As long as you make it clear that you’re not using the app for dating purposes (and you have an amazing creep detector) you’ll meet a lot of cool, interesting people who are in a similar position.
4. Befriend Your Coworkers (if you can)
You should always have a good relationship with your coworkers, but sometimes it can be hard to befriend your coworkers if you have nothing in common with them. For example, you’re single and in your 20s, and all of your coworkers are married and in their 40s. You should start with your workplace first. A lot of people might disagree with me since “work is politics,” and blah blah, but some of my closest friends were my coworkers at one point.
5. Go to a Networking Event
I reluctantly included this tip because I’ve actually never been to an event that was specifically intended for networking. Sure, I’ve been to events that have networking segments, but as the main course? No. I’ve always found that sort of thing to be weird but if that’s in your wheelhouse go for it!
6. Take a Class
If there’s a skill you’d like to hone or develop like cooking or knitting, I highly recommend taking a class for it. Nothing is better than doing something you love and meeting people along the way. Meeting someone in a fitness class can be a little tricky because everyone is either sweating or dying, but it doesn’t hurt to try.
Finding some sort of community service group is a great way to meet new people and you’re more likely to meet people you can vibe with. When I was in college, I volunteered at a soup kitchen in New Haven, CT two days per week and not only was it a rewarding experience, but i got to meet amazing people along the way.
8. Meet People Through Your New Friends
If you get invited to a social gathering by one of your new friends, this is your time to shine. Put yourself out there and don’t be shy. And don’t be afraid to exchange numbers with one of your new friend’s friends.
Don’t worry you’ll get through your awkward, no friends phase very quickly.
Keep you head up. It gets better.