Moving is a time for starting over. In a new home on a new street in a new city, maybe even a new state, everything has changed, including your habits and your grocery store. Depending on your distance, your circle of friends has taken a big shift too.
The New York Times published an insightful article on how difficult it can be to make friends after a certain age.
In your 30s and 40s, plenty of new people enter your life, through work, children’s play dates and, of course, Facebook. But actual close friends — the kind you make in college, the kind you call in a crisis — those are in shorter supply…
“After 30, people often experience internal shifts in how they approach friendship. Self-discovery gives way to self-knowledge, so you become pickier about whom you surround yourself with, said Marla Paul, the author of the 2004 book ‘The Friendship Crisis: Finding, Making, and Keeping Friends When You’re Not a Kid Anymore.’‘The bar is higher than when we were younger and were willing to meet almost anyone for a margarita,’ she said.
But what about making friends after a certain move? Where do you go to make friends in a city you have only been in for two days? When age and location becomes an obstacle, how do you meet new people?
Here are a few places to start:
This might be an obvious one, but there’s a hidden beauty about work friends: You already have something to talk about. You both know the coffee on the third floor is the best, and that the bagels down the corner are always stale. After eight-hour days, work might not be much fodder for conversation, but it’s a place to start. Look for friends at work who share the same hobbies. Even if you don’t end up hanging out, they can introduce you to other like-minded locals.
Another idea is to attend the work events your company or coworkers put together; hanging out away from the office makes is great bonding time.
Like work friends, meeting people at concerts gives you both a jumping off point. If you’re willing to pay over $15 for anything, there’s a level of commitment to liking the band you’re about to see. Music can be a great way to get to know the person sitting (or standing or dancing) next to you. Stubhub has a free app that can help you find new music wherever your location.
This type of get-together can be a way to discover your neighborhood and the people in it. Whether it’s a flea market, a festival, a screening or anything in between, you have the chance to meet your neighbors and get to know the locals. Events is a website that lets you search for community events in your area and create your own account to keep track of it all.
In today’s social media fueled world, some sites provide an online way to connect with people. For instance, Girlfriend Social is a website dedicated to helping women meet each other based on interests and hobbies. If you want to go a different route, perhaps your friends from home know someone in your new city, and can connect you with them via Facebook or email? This might also be someone who can get you better acquainted with the town or neighborhood.
Make Time to Wander
Something pointed out in the New York Times article is the fact that as we get older, our lives get busier. Dozens life’s nuances get in the way and give us less time to socialize outside the home. Regardless the point you are in life when you relocate, you never outgrow the need for friends.
After moving to a new City full of eight million strangers, I had to quickly find ways to expand my group of friends while balancing a full-time internship. I can only imagine how hectic it is when you throw other things like play dates into the mix. Still, you need to set aside quality time to explore and meet people whenever you can to make friends in your new city. Open yourself to meeting and chatting with new people and you’ll find yourself with the social circle you need.
Are you planning a cross country move from New York City? Check out Moveline and set up an account with us, we’ll help you decide how to move.