The prospect of moving and starting fresh is an exciting one. A new city promises new friends, new experiences and perhaps meeting that special someone. But it can be a little daunting trying to figure out how to actually achieve those goals once you arrive. Don't worry; it's not as scary as you think. It just requires some effort and a little patience. Here are some tips for meeting people in a new city.
So, you want to become a local. Work is the no-brainer location to meet new people, as are bars and coffee shops. But what if you work at a tiny company or out of your home? Or don't drink alcohol or caffeine? The best way to meet local people is to get out of your house and get involved.
There are many opportunities to meet like-minded people, especially in urban areas. If you're outdoorsy, you can join a running or biking club. You can head over to the gym if you're a fitness fan. Artsy craftsy? Take a painting or sewing class. Civic-minded? Why not volunteer at a local charity? If you're religious, there's church. The literary type? Find a book club. You get the idea.
If you're not a joiner by nature, you may find that simply being a regular at a local restaurant or pub will open doors for you. You'll eventually become a recognizable face that gets included in the conversation.
Maybe you've moved to your new city looking for more than just friendships, and you want to meet other single people in your area. Speed dating is a great way to get first impressions without suffering through the awkward first date. Newspapers and e-mail lists will keep you apprised of neighborhood events, which are a great way to meet people in your 'hood. If all else fails, the old supermarket pick up isn't just a cliché -- just make sure he's not wearing a ring.
If marriage is on your mind, you'll probably want to skip the casual dating headaches and find access to people who are also seeking a long-term commitment. The best way to meet a potential mate is through someone you know, so start by letting family, friends and work pals know you're officially on the market. If that network is small and sparse, you're going to have to step up your efforts a little. Church and religious groups usually offer a safe haven for marriage-minded people to meet other marriage-minded people. And when all else fails, there's always the Internet.
Online dating is more popular than ever, and there are umpteen resources for meeting people in your area. Match.com, Lavalife, eHarmony, Jdate -- there are hundreds of online dating sites that give you options for meeting people. If finding love through your computer isn't for you, Meetups are a great online resource for offline activities. Think of it as a party that someone is throwing for anyone else who shares their particular interest. They pick a topic, plan an event and post it on meetup.com. You plug in your zip code, search the topics and go to the events that interest you. It's a no pressure way to meet other people with similar interests. Now all you have to do is get out there!
- "14 Best Places to Meet Eligible Men." Allwomenstalk.com, 2010. http://allwomenstalk.com/10-best-places-to-meet-eligible-men/
- Company Website: meetup.com. http://www.meetup.com/
- "Dating Sites 1 to 25." 100bestdatingsites.com, 2010. http://www.100bestdatingsites.com/
- "Friendship: Seven Tips for Making New Friends." Happiness-project.com, February 25, 2009. http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/2009/02/friendship-seven-tips-for-making-new-friends.html
- "How To Make A Bunch of New Friends In Any New City." Lifehack.com, November 24, 2008. http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/how-to-make-a-bunch-of-new-friends-in-any-new-city.html
- "Ten Important Research Findings on Marriage and Choosing a Marriage Partner." The National Marriage Project, November 2004. www.virginia.edu/marriageproject/pdfs/pubTenThingsYoungAdults.pdf
- Watters, Candice. "Where to Meet People." Boundless.org, 2010. http://www.boundless.org/2005/answers/a0001198.cfm