How to Build Community & Make Friends after Moving
Congratulations, you’ve done it! You’ve packed up your whole life, and you’ve moved. Whether it was a local move to the next town or an interstate move half-way across the country, your new start has just begun. And the best part? You are not alone. Based on the Census Bureau, we know that over 10% of the United States population moves every year, which is 32 million people. Even though so many people move each and every year, the hardest part is building a community in your new city.
You have arrived, but that new paycheck won’t make you fulfilled or combat loneliness. That is why we need a community. People to talk with; friends to confide in. After settling in a new city, your next goal is to get to know and meet new friends.
5 Ways to Create New Friendships
The question many of us ask ourselves: where to even begin? It might seem daunting to start over, you can explore your city and meet new friends with these five simple actions. Community is only one step away.
Use the Internet
With the boom of the internet, you can now find like-minded friends anywhere. Many sites are dedicated to connecting people such as Meetup.com or FriendMatch, places to connect over everything from yoga to sewing to business. There are people in this new city that share your personality and passions. By using the internet, you can find them quicker than ever before.
Tips To Start:
- Check Facebook events to see if anything is happening near you. Maybe a festival or farmers market that you want to check out. By keeping with all that’s happening in the city, you won’t be missing out.
Explore a Passion
Connections are made through shared experiences and passions. Build your community by exploring something you love, whether that’s yoga, books, or running trails. By going out and doing what you love, you will start to run into others who share that same passion. Find a club that focuses on your passion and meet new people you already have a shared connection with and can now build experiences with.
Tips To Start:
- Find a local club or group that focuses on your passion. Look on Facebook or the internet. Then actually join the group! Give yourself a couple of months to build those relationships and ask people to hang out in-between group meetings. For example, ask someone to coffee and just spend an hour talking about your passions and getting to know one another. You might be surprised at what you find.
Leave the House
Don’t be afraid to leave your home. Go out and explore! By spending all your time in your new home, you will be missing out on experiences and creating a bad habit. Your house or apartment is your home base, a safe place to wind down at the end of the day, not a place to camp out. Go to one of the dog parks, visit a local bar, join an amateur sports league. By putting yourself in a place where there are other people, you never know who you might meet or the friends you might make.
Tips To Start:
- Go for a walk around your neighborhood every day after work. This will help you get a lay of the land, plus you might run into new and interesting neighbors.
- Plan a new adventure every weekend. It doesn’t have to be a major, expensive event, but plan something that gets you out of the house. Whether it’s going to the farmers market or volunteering at a shelter, you are adding activity into your day.
Find Connections in Faith & Culture
One great way to meet people is through a shared passion for religion or culture. Becoming active in a religious community or culture group means meeting new people who share your core values, which is a great foundation for a new friendship. It is all about creating ties that go deeper than surface level. These connections will become ones that will be with you in the good times and the bad. A community that just might become like family.
Tips To Start:
- Google a church/synagogue/mosque near you, visit a service and connect with a small group. Attend at least three months before making a change. Connections are built over time, so don’t give up after one visit.
- Search to find a culture club that ties to you. Go to at least 3-5 events or meetings to determine if it’s a good fit. Get to know the other members by hanging outside of the group: grab coffee or dinner.
Joining a gym or workout class in your new city will help you get fit and meet new people. Consistency is key in new community and friendships, and gyms are a place to meet and see people regularly. You might notice the same person at your 6 am cycling class every day, talk to them. You might find that you have more in common than just cycling, or at the very least, you’ve made a workout partner. By adding exercise into your new routine, you move your body, get healthier, and make new friends.
Tips to Start:
- Pick a workout or gym that you can go to consistently. Find a gym that is close to your home or work, motivating you to go more often. Plus, look into the different class times and pick one and try going for a month or two. You will be getting stronger and might be meeting a new friend.
- Try something new. Always wanted to run a marathon or do crossfire? Now is the perfect time to explore those new exercises. By working on yourself, you will increase your confidence and happiness, which will attract your new community.
The Takeaway: Break Out of Your Comfort Zone
We are a people who like routine, but that routine quickly stops us from breaking out and trying new things. By being in a new city you can break out of that comfort zone and do something new. Be open to the idea of new experiences and connections. By being confident in yourself and being yourself, you will attract a new community and be establishing genuine connections in no time.
Friendships and community take time to build. It won’t happen overnight, and you might have some setbacks, but choosing to focus on growing yourself, you will end up with friends when you move.