It’s a conundrum of life that the older you get, the more difficult it becomes to establish new friendships. Sure, you probably still meet a lot of people through your job or just being out and about, but the kinds of deep relationships that came so easily in childhood are rarer to come by as you age. It’s a problem that most adults face, and one that only becomes exacerbated after a relocation. If you want to make friends after you move, you have to be willing to put yourself out of your comfort zone a little bit.
Whether you only have a few contacts or you’re starting completely from scratch, the internet is a great place to go for building connections in a new place. From friendship apps to online services for new clubs, classes, and volunteer opportunities, here’s how to use the internet to branch out, meet more people, and hopefully, establish some brand new friendships.
Try an app
Apps aren’t just for dating—you can also use them to make friends after you move. There are a number of free apps that make it easier to connect with people and look for new friends the same way you might look for a new romantic partner. Use an app like Nextdoor to get better acquainted with your neighborhood and the people in it or check out MeetMe or We3 and pair up with likeminded people who live nearby. You can even try Bumble, which in addition to being a dating app also helps connect people who are just looking for friends.
When you’re in the process of making friends in a new city, town, or even just a new neighborhood, apps like these create easy links to those around you who are looking for the same. And because you have a chance to get to know someone a bit before agreeing to meet up, you don’t have to worry about wasting your time with people you don’t click with.
Get a deal on a new activity
Sites like Groupon and Living Social make it easy to find fun activities in your new neighborhood at a steep discount, and provide a huge range of opportunities for getting out of the house and meeting new people. Take a chance on something you’ve never tried before, like skydiving or terrain racing, or scope out something that just sounds interesting, like a kickboxing class or a haunted tour of your city. There’s no shame in going alone, and you’ll meet other people who are interested in the same sort of things.
Find a workout buddy
If you like staying fit and active, apps like Bvddy and Workout Buddies can connect you with an exercise partner to reach for your fitness goals with. Hook up with a new friend for a hike or find someone to train for your town’s half marathon with. You can even just find someone to coordinate gym sessions with.
Sign up for a class
What’s something you’ve always wanted to learn but haven’t gotten around to yet? Maybe it’s how to speak Italian, bake the perfect souffle, or become an improv expert. Whatever it is, you can likely find a class for it in your neighborhood. Think about what you want to do, and then use the internet to find a nearby course. Research by searching listings for local schools and community centers or scanning Yelp.
Adopt a dog
Dogs are pros when it comes to helping their humans meet new friends. And in fact, adopting a new furry companion is a double win if you want to make friends after you move—you get four-legged friendship and assistance meeting other people as well. If you have the time and inclination to take on the responsibility of a dog, use Petfinder or Adopt a Pet to search adoptable dogs in your area. Once you and your new buddy have established a bond of your own, you can check out an app like Meet My Dog, a location-based service that helps you find new friends for your dog (and yourself!).
Volunteering is an excellent way to meet people who share your passions and values, and thanks to the internet, it’s never been easier to find out about and apply for local volunteer opportunities. Check out Volunteer Match, Create the Good, or Idealist and search by your interests and location to find open opportunities near you.
Discover local events
Whether you’ve moved to a bustling city or out to the country, chances are good that there are community events you can attend in the hopes of meeting new people. And fortunately, there are plenty of easy ways to search what’s going on. Apps like Nearify and Eventbriteconsolidate local happenings in one, easy-to-search place, so you can view everything from upcoming concerts and festivals to fundraising and networking events. Find something that sounds interesting and go check it out—you never know who you’ll meet!
Bond over food
Food unites us. Make friends after you move by bonding over a good meal with new people. The SupperClub app lets you search and join nearby supper clubs based on your location and food preferences (i.e. vegetarian, farm-to-table, bacon lovers, etc.). Even if you don’t have a passion for cooking, you’ll be able to meet other people who enjoy eating the same sorts of things as you—an instant connector across cultures.
Join a meet up
Meetup is one of the original friend-meeting apps, facilitating easy connections with people who are interested in getting together for things like learning a new type of art medium or sharing tips about common interests. There are a ton of categories to search from, so you should have no trouble finding something that grabs your attention. With so many options, if you don’t find success with one meet up you can always check out another. Not seeing what you like? Create your own meet up and see who attends!
It’s not impossible to make friends after you move—it just takes a little bit of effort. With the internet, you can make meeting new people as easy as ordering takeout for dinner. When done alongside the other typical ways of immersing yourself in your new community, it presents a fantastic option for building relationships and finding new friends.
Source: Mueller, Laura. "9 Ways to Use the Internet to Make Friends After You Move." Moving.com. 24 August 2018. Web. https://www.moving.com/tips/9-ways-to-use-the-internet-to-make-friends-after-you-move/