You’re in a new place for an extended stay or as a transplant from another state. It’s suddenly apparent it’s a lot harder to meet people in a new town. You don’t want to get lonely, and, in the very least, it would be good to meet new friends if not a romantic connection. Here are clever ways to meet new people in a new place.
Join a Meetup
Meetup.com helps like-minded people get together. Find events in your area by location or keyword. Find people who like to jog, talk about online marketing, play chess, dance, etc. Use it as a place to start networking; you may not find a romantic spark at a meetup, yet a friend there may introduce you to someone they know.
Play a Sport
Plenty of coed sports are played in major cities. It may be a bit harder to find an array of activities in a rural setting, but don’t be afraid to try a hand at something out of your comfort zone. In addition to meeting new people around town, you’ll afford the chance to burn calories and relieve stress.
Open Your Mouth
Some are natural party people who love to gab and don’t get nervous in social situations. Others are more introverted and could be hesitant or especially selective in meeting people. When in a new place, however, it’s important to open your mouth when waiting in line at the bank, seeing people on the main street, etc. Start having casual conversations.
Use a Dating App
Dating apps, such as Tinder, use your geographic area to link you with other singles. You could use such apps to meet potential friends too. Some feel hesitant about meeting others online but it’s incredibly convenient for those who find themselves in a new place without a lot of social connections, friends, or love interests. Be sexually responsible and get tested for STDs. Find information at saferstdtesting.com.
Take a Tour
Depending on your town, you could take a tour of a brewery, winery, museum, historical sites, etc. It could be a bit difficult to strike up a conversation while a guide is speaking, but find the right moment to speak to people with a similar pastime or interest.
Act naturally and do things that make you happy. The things that take up your free time are those that lead to new romance and friends. For example, if you love to paint, start painting. When it’s time to buy supplies, start a conversation with another painter in the store or one who works there. While there, you may see a flyer for an upcoming exhibition.
Go to a Holy Place
If you’re religious or curious about a faith, attend services and associated events to meet others of the congregation. Some believe that church, synagogue, or similar place of worship is a great place to find a potential wife or husband. It can’t hurt your chances of finding new friends, and you may find solace in a newfound faith that makes it easier to live in a new place.
Do Charity Work
Start getting involved in a charity. Meet people by going to meetings, serving the homeless in a food kitchen, or working to build a new park in local community. It’s a great way to meet genuine and wholesome souls who enjoy helping others.
Get a Part-time Job
It’s not the funnest of options, but getting a part-time job will provide you with added cash, which is never bad, and affords opportunity to meet coworkers. Target a place that is highly sociable, such as a cafe or restaurant. That way, you increase your chances of being sociable by meeting regular patrons as well.
Don’t Be Reluctant
At times, you don’t feel like going out or being sociable, yet you can’t submit to your antisocial moods when trying to meet new people. That means not turning down an invite, especially when coming from a new acquaintance. You don’t want to seem snobbish or cold to others by snubbing their invitation. It’s a bit of adjustment for those who like to stay at home versus go out to the bar.
Eat Out at the Bar
Plenty of restaurants allow single diners to eat the bar, which is usually the most social section of the establishment. Get the chance to make casual conversation with the bartender, servers, patrons, and restaurant managers. If you keep showing your face in the same place, a worker is sure to notice and start getting more friendly with you.
Get a Pet
People bond over mutual interests and owners certainly love their pets! Look for opportunities to meet other pet owners in your area. The app, Meet My Dog, connects loving owners who arrange for their dogs to meet. If you’re not keen on owning a pet, you could always borrow a friend’s for a few hours per week.
Go Back to School
It’s easier to make friends as a kid because you’re constantly surrounded by peers at school. Going back to school will expose you to hundreds of other adults. Aside from those in your class, you may find other friends by hanging out in the library, lounge, cafe, etc. Also, look into joining an extracurricular activity or volunteering to help the music, drama, science, or other department.
Learn a New Language
Much can be done in isolation, but those learning a new language want a partner for conversations. Learn a new language from a private tutor or RosettaStone.com. After some time, put an ad on Craigslist to see if anyone in the area is interested in speaking Spanish, Italian, French, etc.
Get Educated About STDs
Sexually transmitted diseases affect many in the 18-35 age range. Younger people may have had topics covered in school but don’t know a lot about practical prevention and methods of contraception. Get involved in your community, attend classes about safe sex, and meet others by spreading knowledge. Most importantly, educate others on how often and where to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
Get on a Schedule
Get on a schedule and be at the same places at the same times. This increases the chances of striking-up conversation with a barista at a cafe, servers at a restaurant, or workers at a retail store. Make it hard for people not to notice you. Familiarity makes it a lot easier to have that first conversation.
Do Things in the Community
Start raking the leaves in the park, baking cookies and giving them to neighbors, and finding opportunity to make an impression on those in your community. You may notice that signs need repair or fresh paint, for example, so ask the appropriate person if it’s okay that you offer a hand. Similarly, go around to local businesses and ask if you can volunteer your time for a few hours per week.
Contribute to a Local Newspaper
See if you can review plays or concerts, write reviews of local government happenings, or cover local sports teams for the paper in your town. Depending on the size and model of the paper, you may need previous experience or show your command of words. If you’re more of a photographer, see if you can take shots at events to couple print and web stories.
Tend to a Garden
Use online tools, like CommunityGarden.org, to find gardens in your area. Lend a helping hand, gain knowledge about flowers and plants, and in some cases, save money on fresh produce. It’s a great way to meet people in your neighborhood and start a conversation.
Start Your Own Meetup
Start learning more about a meaningful topic, such as HIV prevention. Target a population in your area that needs the most help whether it be high school teens, thirty-something singles, or the LGBT community. You can make a powerful impact and meet a lot of people in a short time.
Treat an Acquaintance
In some cases, you have to entice others to spend time with you. You don’t want to seem like you’re bribing another person to hang out, yet providing some incentive to get to know you better is okay. Treat an acquaintance to dinner, coffee, or admission to a museum. It will provide them with something for free and give you an opportunity to make a new friend.
Join a Book Club
If you’re a reader, a book club is great chance to enjoy a book in solitude yet discuss its themes, symbols, and characters with literary-minded individuals. Even if you don’t like a particular book, being in the club will give you access to others who may share your other interests. Use Meetup.com as suggested above or ReadersCircle.org to find bookclubs in your area.
Boardgames are making a huge comeback and it wouldn’t be unusual for you to walk in your nearest cafe and ask someone to play. Some cafes have their own games as to invite patrons to stay longer and start impromptu games. Post a memo on the cafe bulletin board challenging a local to a game of chess, Monopoly, checkers, etc.