If you’re like most people who move to a new city, finding the best places your new home has to offer was one of your first (and most fun) priorities. Maybe you’ve settled on the perfect place for pasta and are excited about the cozy coffee shop just down the street from work.
You’re off to a great start, but like most things in life, everything is better when you have great friends to share it with! And while finding your new favorite hangouts was a fun adventure, finding the friends to share them with may seem more daunting.
To make it a little easier, try this short list of prompts and get busy connecting!
Whether you’re an avid fitness seeker or getting in shape has been on your perpetual to-do list, joining a gym is a proven way to connect with others. And while striking up conversation with the person at the weight bench or on the treadmill next to you is good, joining a weekly class (like yoga or spin) is even better because it puts you in the same room with the same people at the same time, week after week. Especially effective are bootcamp-style gyms or Crossfit boxes; these tend to be both incredibly tight-knit and welcoming to newcomers.
One of the best ways to meet new people who you actually want to connect more deeply with is to do the things you love, with others.
Are you spiritual? Churches offer spiritual nourishment and near-instant community.
Do you have children? Enroll them in dance, soccer, gymnastics or scouts and watch as the whole family finds new friends.
Do you love to read? Join a book club.
Love to eat? Keep your eyes open for a supper club (or start your own if you’re especially out-going).
Are tennis and golf your thing? Chances are there is a country club nearby. Even if you’ve never played, these clubs offer great instruction and are usually able to connect you with others who play at your level.
Are you an endorphin junkie? Don’t run alone! Find the nearest running club and join up for a Saturday run.
Whatever you enjoy doing, sharing common interests can be the beginning of life-long friendships for adults and kids alike.
Another great way to meet others is to volunteer your time. Whether it’s at the local soup kitchen or your kids’ PTA, community involvement is a great way to make connections while helping others.
Most people who move to a new city do so for a new job. If this is you, then consider killing two birds with one stone by joining a networking group like Kiwanis, Rotary, or BNI. Not only will you be able to make valuable business connections, but these groups are a fantastic way to forge new relationships.
As you may have already discovered, most people are more than willing to extend a warm welcome to newcomers, and that oftentimes includes an invitation.
Determine to say “Yes!” as often as you can.
A co-worker invites you to dinner? Say, “Yes!”
Your kids are invited to a play-date? Say, “Yes!”
Your new neighbors invite your family over for a BBQ? Say, “Yes!”
Everyone is busy, and there are always plenty of reasons to say, “No, thanks,” but when it comes to making new friends, few things are more effective than a simple, “Yes, please!”
As in all new ventures, the most important aspect of making and building new friendships is intentionality. It’s okay to start small, and it will likely take some time, but before you know it, your calendar – and with it, your life – will begin to fill up.