How to Make New Friends in a New Town in Your 30s?
There is so much excitement when you move to a new city. You get to a new place, settle, and realize you don’t know anyone. Making friends as an adult is hard, and if you are starting in a new city, prepare for an uphill battle. Time to build your network.
Making friends in your 30s is tricky. You lack previous connections and are busy with work and other obligations. You may think it is an impossible task. But it is not impossible. This blog post will show six tips to build your new network easier.
One of the simplest ways to meet new people is to join a club or group that interests you. These give you plenty of opportunities for conversation without the awkwardness of coming up with a topic from the start.
Here are some examples:
- Learn something: Start learning that language you wanted to prepare for a trip, or join a cooking class in local cuisine, for example. You can meet other out-of-towners and ex-pats, but also local like-minded people.
- Book club: If books are your thing, you can join a local book club. You will find interesting people to chat with every week, get new perspectives, and hopefully meet new friends.
- Join a sports team: An outdoor adventure group or a dance class, something to get you moving! Maybe you’ll get the opportunity to explore some areas around the city.
Chat with Locals
So, how do you find those groups and classes? You can look for event boards at your local coffee shop or market. You can also Google the lessons you want to take. Or you can ask local people. Here are a couple of suggestions:
- Use sharing apps to find local people to chat with and meet: If breaking the ice is not your thing, you can find local people online. Online communities are great for this. The caveat is you may stay with an online friendship. Suggest a meetup in a local event or coffee shop if you want to take your online connections into real life. Some video-sharing apps enable you to chat with locals and find out the best events and groups in the city.
- Frequent local coffee shops and stores: Sometimes the right group is just around the corner. If you always go to the same coffee shop or bakery, chances are you are meeting the same people every time. Don’t be afraid of starting a conversation. By keeping light talk, you let people know you and can make new friends.
Attend Local Events, and Meetups
Feeling isolated is not good for your health, so making an effort to make new friends has many benefits. Attending local events can give you a chance to explore the city while making new friends at the same time. Meetups are perfect to find people with the same interests.
What local events can you find? Local events are not only attended by locals so that you can meet many different people. Think about art shows, concerts, festivals, or sports events. For women, going to events has the added benefit of being in public places, which makes it safer.
Giving back to the community you are trying to fit in is always a good idea. When you volunteer, you find people that care about the exact social causes as you do. For example, you can volunteer at a senior center or an animal shelter. Moreover, volunteering is a great way to meet local people and learn more about local issues. A quick Google search can help you find the right volunteering opportunity.
Leverage your Existing Network
Your old friends may know someone in your new town. Reach out to friends and ask them if they know people they can introduce you to where you are going. You can also plan an event with your old friends when in town and use the opportunity to meet some of their local friends. If you have mutual friends with someone local, making a new friendship can be much easier!
Be yourself, and don’t be Afraid of Small Talk
Many people have social anxiety and are afraid to make small talk. The truth is, without small talk is extremely difficult to meet new people. Think about it as a new friendship starting point. It can be a way to renew your social skills, especially in this post-pandemic world. Trying some relaxation techniques before going to a new event can be helpful too.
As you see, there are plenty of ways to form new connections. While you are not going to meet your best friend right away, and it takes time and effort, you never know if you don’t start. These simple tips may help you take the first steps to building relationships that can endure a lifetime. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t succeed initially, and keep putting yourself out there calmly. Success will follow.