How to make friends in a new city

For the average person, there probably isn’t a faster way to lose friends than the combination of new job and new city; after all, everyone has their own lives and concerns, and distance eliminates one of the chief ways of maintaining bonds: the ability to go out together. In fact, an Oxford University study shows that after the age of 25, people begin losing their old friends.

This is problematic for long-term health, as many medical studies tout the importance of friendships in regulating emotions, empathy, increasing self-esteem and assuaging a tendency towards depression and anxiety. In the following article, you’ll find several ways to make new friends after you get to your new city and career.

Take a Tour of The City
Every single city in America (and many abroad) has city tours scheduled during the daylight hours – these are excellent places at which to meet new people. They are so varied that you are certain to find one that suits your taste, and therefore the people there will be of a kindred spirit (potentially). You can find food tours, architecture tours, historical monuments, zoo tours etc. Get online and check out a website such as to find out dates, locations and times. You can also simply Google the city name with the search string “city name + tours” to find plenty of options.

City Events
During your long-distance move, you are likely to see convention centers and other places that host city events. Once you get your stuff inside your new home, and even before you’re unpacked – since this process can take several days – you can head out to events at which to make new friends. Don’t hesitate to ask anyone with whom you strike up a conversation at a city tour, whether or not they can recommend city events.

If you’re really extroverted (or trying to become moreso), then you can even start your own events in your new city. Start small with dinner at a restaurant and invite people to join. Seek out like-minded individuals using Eventbrite or Meetup online and help them organize an event. The options are virtually limitless.

Go To Bar Crawls
Although the world closed down for a bit due to the Covid pandemic, things are opening up again – which means that post-work bars are back on the itinerary as meeting places. You can go to a bar crawl with friends or alone; once there, make sure your body language suggests that you’re open to speaking with people. If you turn towards the bartender, then speak with him/her; they tend to be social butterflies and city information experts – on the social scene, at least.

Use Your Pre-Existing Network
Since you’re new in town, any such network probably revolves around work – but it’s also possible that you have extended family or a few online friends via your social networks. If they’re from that city, you’d be surprised just how useful their recommendations can be. Check your LinkedIn profile before you make your long-distance move. Perhaps even better, ask for recommendations from your Instagram network.

One Of The Best: Join a Fitness Center
This is one of the flat-out best places to meet new friends; additionally, joining a gym is an excellent idea for your own personal health. It’s a place where you can reliably find yourself going nearly every day during the week, which makes a good place to forge lasting bonds. If weights aren’t particularly your thing, then you can join yoga classes or cycling classes for the same effect.

Here’s a tip: first sign up for free trials at several gyms around town in order to vet them for atmosphere and functionality. Once you settle on one, consider making the yearly commitment, and then seek out FaceBook/Metaverse friends who attend the same fitness center. Before you know it, you could have several new friends from this venture alone.

Enroll In Enrichment Classes
This is yet another of our favorite ways to meet new friends in a city after a long-distance move. The possibilities are endless: after all, you may need help with class work, or get big project ideas and want to bring like-minded people in. Obviously, the class is a subject in which you are actually very interested, and that doesn’t require too much “study” time – if any. Consider art classes, business workshops, classes that may further you in your career, etc.

Hopefully you can find some benefit in these ideas, as they are the tip of the iceberg. With these under your belt, you should look forward to getting settled in your new city and, potentially, new life.

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