I made the big announcement in my last post that I moved to a new city! It has been the biggest, greatest adventure. Making friends was the one and only thing I was nervous about when moving out of state to a city where I knew absolutely no one.
I worried that I would have no way to meet people. I worried that people wouldn’t be friendly and eager to form a new friendship.
Let me just say this: I was so, so wrong.
I have been in my new city for less than a month, and I have already developed friendships. Obviously I haven’t made a “best” friend. How could I in a month?! What I have done is create connections around the city and developed friendships that I know will blossom into even more serious friendships.
Honestly, making friends in a new city by myself has been way easier than I anticipated.
If you’re moving to a new city, making new friends can be easy for you as well. I’m not special! I didn’t do anything crazy or unique. If you’re preparing to move and are worried, don’t be. If you’re thinking about moving to a new place but are hesitant because you don’t know anyone, don’t be!
You can make friends in a new city.
How to Make Friends in a New City (with Technology)
With apps and websites dedicated to meeting new people and making new friends, making friends is easier than ever. I think apps for meeting new people are great because you know that you are both on the same page. You both want to get out and make friends!
Hey! VINA is my personal favorite way to make friends in a new city. I have had so much fun and success with this app. Hey! VINA is an app that functions a lot like Tinder; you swipe left or right, have a brief bio and are able to connect your Instagram account. The difference: it’s female-only and for platonic friendships.
I’ve met three amazing ladies off of this app. Each experience was so great and completely normal. I am 100% making real friendships thanks to Hey! VINA. The app recommends you only send a few messages back and forth, getting to know each other, before you meet in person. I couldn’t agree with this more. The more you message back and forth, the harder and weirder it is once you meet in person.
I know that the idea of meeting up with random girls from the internet sounds rather strange. I say, “go for it.” We are so lucky to be able to have such simple ways to connect with people.
Meetup is another app that I found and downloaded (there is also a website version). Meetup, however, is very different from Hey! VINA. In Meetup, people from your area create groups that revolve around a particular interest. Then the organizers host events for everyone in the group.
Examples of different groups include book clubs, groups for 20-somethings, volunteer groups, groups for writers, hiking groups, photography groups and so many more. If you have an interest and are located next to a big city, chances are likely there is a Meetup for it. If there isn’t, you can organize a group yourself for $14.99 a month!
For a little while right after my big move, I thought about starting a blogger group in my area, but I’ve had so much luck with Hey! VINA and have been so busy, I haven’t utilized Meetup at all and, for that reason, can’t imagine starting my own group at this time.
How to Make Friends in a New City (the Natural Way)
If you’re looking for a slower, more natural way to make friends, no worries, you don’t have to turn to the internet. There are plenty of steps you can take in your day-to-day life to make friends over time. Make sure to:
Always say “yes”
Even if an activity is outside of your comfort zone, say “yes.” Even if you’re feeling tired after a long day of work, say “yes.” This holds true especially when you’re just starting out in a new city. It’s best to get out and stay busy, working on making connections.
Leave your apartment
If you don’t have any invites and you don’t want to revert to technology to make friends, you can still meet new people on your own! The best possible way to naturally bump into potential friends is to leave your apartment. Even if you are doing something you could do in your apartment, leave anyway. For example, instead of reading a book in bed, take it to the park. Instead of browsing the internet from the comfort of your couch, bring your laptop to a coffee shop.
Go to the same places
With that being said, when you leave your apartment, go to some of the same places. Have you ever been in a coffee shop and instantly been able to spot the regulars? It’s because the people that frequently visit that coffee shop talk to the baristas and other patrons. Going to the same places will allow you to see the same people frequently. One day, they may strike up conversation. Or you can! Just say “Hey! I’ve seen you here before. How are you today?” and take the conversation from there- ask about them! The worst possible thing that could happen is they give a short answer and go back to their business.
Sign up for Something
Whether it’s an intramural sports team, book club or volunteer group, signing up for a group that you’ll see regularly is a great way to make friends. Not to mention, you will all have at least one thing in common! You have that to work with.
Have you ever moved to a new city alone? How do you make friends in a new city? Have you tried my favorite Hey! VINA?
How to Make Friends in a New City (with Great Conversation)
But that’s not all! In order for you to have the best chance at making awesome connections and new best friends, I’ve put together a conversation toolkit, jam-packed with conversation starters!
Once you’ve found people with common interests, you still have to have genuine, fun conversations to keep the friendship going strong.
Download my conversation toolkit below by entering your name and email address, and you will receive the conversation starters right to your inbox!