Moving to a new city can be rough on your social life. For a lot of people checking out restaurants and local hot spots can be lonely without friends to share those experiences with.
I have always had a handful of really awesome friends. You know the ones that will come with you to the doctor when you need support, who you can call for a last-minute “Girls Night,” who you have fun going out with and just staying at home chilling. Going from these girls to having one (man)friend in the state (2 hours away) and being the only female at work was a MAJOR change!!
Making friends as an adult sort of feels like dating, in both cases the goal is to find someone you connect with on a deeper level. Sometimes you hype up the other person, plan a conversation that may never happen, and you try to let all of your great qualities shine through. If you want the friendship to grow you have to do what you say. If you end a conversation with “We should get together, email me!” be the first to initiate the next meet up. Are you going to scare people off? Well, yes, again it is like dating, if you go bananas with excitement you might scare the person off but if you behave normal that person will likely be thrilled to hear from you. Just like you, they have a life, they get busy and distracted.
I think the best advice I could give to someone who finds themselves in a city without friends is to JUST SAY YES! Being in a city where no one knows you will allow you to reinvent yourself. I am not suggesting you go out and completely remake yourself into a new person. Here is the deal though, was there something you didn’t try before because no one would go with you or you felt your friends wouldn’t be excited by it or would tease you? What have you always wanted to do or be but never have? Why not use this time to try those things and in the process you might find someone you connect with that now you have something in common with.
In the six months since I moved half way across the country I have tried numerous new-to-me activities. I found a group of hikers online that ended up giving me a very rewarding hobby. I also met a group of local and fellow transplanted ladies, some of who have become good friends, though another online group. My goal for myself was to force myself to go to any activity that was slightly appealing to me, be it a self-defense class, weekend brunch, or an evening walk. I like knowing that with the group I was safe at these events and I knew I would be meeting others that may be in similar places in their lives. I also tested out various gyms, dance classes, yoga studios and classes, and spend more time outside and hanging around coffee shops. Oh and once I found out some of my coworkers had wives and girlfriends close by I was all for having them join us for team activities!
When I went out to do errands a year ago I was in the mind frame of just getting those errands done. Once I moved they became an adventure, mainly because I have no sense of direction! 🙂 These days once I arrive at my destination I do not jump into errand-mode, I try to keep a smile on my face and be friendly to those I come in contact with. I will introduce myself to strangers or make small talk with employees because that person may just be my new friend.
Truth is, making friends as a grown-up is tough, really tough. By being consistent and putting yourself out there you are bound to make friends and start to feel like you are truly home. In short: don’t rush but be open and willing to say yes to anything appealing.