Making friends as an adult is difficult. We’ve come a long way from playing tag in the playground at school, spending our evenings at a youth club or competing with our sports team. If you’re lucky, you’ve now got a couple of best friends and a clutch of acquaintances that range from work colleagues to the woman who cut your hair ten years ago!
Moving away from your area and leaving your old friends behind can be a difficult thing to come to terms with. With social media and FaceTime, you’re never too far away for a quick catch-up, but it can be tricky to navigate your new neighbourhood when it comes to finding some new friends to chat with on the school run, at the gym or just over dinner. Here are some ideas about how to make friends when you move to a new area.
Did you lose touch with your old flat mates from university, or your work best friend who got a new job in a different city? It’s time to reconnect. Reach out on social media and suggest a chilled night out or brunch date. Chances are, they’ll be happy you made the effort to get in touch again and you’ll always have something to talk about – even if it’s just reminiscing about the good old days..!
Look into further education
New home, new start, right? It’s time to brush off your pencil case and get back to school. Do some research and see if your local university or college holds night classes or summer courses – and try something you’ve always wanted to learn! Some universities hold 10-credit courses in subjects like Graphic Design, Interior Decorating or even Child Development, and they’re a great way to get out of the house and meet new people while you’re learning something fascinating. Make sure to introduce yourself to your classmates and jump at the chance to go out for a drink when lectures are over.
Take a day or two to really experience your new city or town. Head to cultural sites like museums, parks or events, and get chatting to people there. You’ll automatically have something to talk about, and you can ask for recommendations for similar activities in your new area.
Always wanted to take up dance lessons, or learn how to paint? A hobby is a great way to meet new people who are likely in the same boat as you. You can tailor your activity to suit your personality: if you’re a more out-there, confident person try something really person-centric, like salsa dance, amateur dramatics or sports. If you’re quieter or a little shy, try rambling, a book club or arts and crafts. There’s a saying that “your vibe attracts your tribe” – so choose activities that suit your personality and find others who are just like you.
Have you started a new job and are a little wary to tag along on group outings? Even if it’s just going for a coffee at lunch time with a new colleague or just sitting at their table in the staff room, these small wins will add up over time and you’ll find yourself with a group of work mates.
If you’re searching for a job, or work from home and are afflicted with the curse of the freelancer – loneliness! – head to networking events or co-working sessions to bounce your ideas off people and meet potential new friends in the process.
We know, we know – exercise isn’t usually the first thing on your mind when it comes to making friends, right? However, most gyms have coffee areas or even little cafes inside them where you can sit in your workout gear enjoying a snack, and be on the lookout for another person doing exactly the same. Found them? It’s time to strike up a conversation.
Jokes aside, many gyms hold free classes for their members, so it’s a great way to regularly see the same people, make new acquaintances and feel good about yourself. If all else fails, see if they’ve got a sauna and get chatting!
Social media isn’t just used to share photos of what you had for dinner, just like apps like Bumble aren’t just used to find your next relationship. There are loads of apps on the market aimed at making friends, like Bumble BFF, Peanut and Meet My Dog if you’ve got a four-legged friend who can break the ice for you! Don’t be afraid to reach out, and make sure you fill in your bio with your interests, hobbies, favourite activities and a bit about you so you can connect with likeminded people a lot faster.
It can be tempting to lounge around at home in your pyjamas watching endless TV or binging Netflix, but if you really do want to make some new friends in your new area, it’s time to get out there. Make the effort to join clubs, start activities and head out to new places. You can even enjoy your time alone – go to the cinema, take yourself out for a meal or treat yourself to a shopping spree. The more comfortable you are with yourself, the more comfortable you’ll be with other people. Now put the TV remote down, get out of your pyjamas and get outside!
Moving to a new area can be lonely, and it can be intimidating. However, you’re never really by yourself – most people are surrounded by others for the majority of every day. There’ll be someone funny at work, someone kind in the gym changing room, and even someone you click with immediately on the bus. Making friends takes time – it’s not as easy as when we were kids! Hopefully our tips will help you out and you’ll be making memories with your friends in no time.