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At the beginning of 2019 I asked you guys on Instagram what kind of blog content you would like to see in the new year.  It was beyond helpful to look through tons of your responses, and it was clear that while y’all love fashion and style, it’s more insightful and personal content you’re really looking for.

So I wrote down a ton of your replies and there one I saw many times was, “how do you make friends in a new city?”  Today I’m rounding up the strategies I’ve used when we’ve moved time and time again.

7 Tips for Making Friends in a New City

1.  Go to a workout class.

I love to workout from home in SF because now I have to calculate the 10-15 minutes it takes to walk to the studio and then instead of a quick class it’s larger time commitment… but I still make myself go once or twice a week just too have that female social interaction.  A spin, yoga or pilates class has continued to be where I’ve met likeminded girls.

2.  If you have a dog, linger at the dog park.

Despite the fact that she’s definitely made finding housing more difficult, Bailey does help us be more social with our neighbors and neighborhood.  It’s how we’ve met countless people – just lingering with the dog in the front yard or walking her around the block.

Dogs and kids can be great icebreakers!

3.  Find a church or a small group.

We have usually found our church by narrowing down the church options in a certain radius and then literally searching their reviews on Yelp. No lie.  We will try 3-4 different churches and usually find one we both like!

Or you could even use services like Bumble BFF.

4.  Say yes.

Over the years I’ve become much more of a homebody.  It feels like instinct to say no to invitations or events because I’d rather be home.  However when I’m new to a city, I always try to say yes.

And almost always, I’m glad I did.  The social interaction and putting yourself out there is key to making new friends!

5.  Make Plans with that friend-of-your-sister-in-law’s sister.

You know that family friend that you haven’t seen in 15 years but your mom keeps telling you to reach out?  Or that friend of a friend?

Again, even though it’s tempting to stay at home in your sweatpants watching Bravo! (because you know I passionately love that), reach out.  There’s a 75% chance (or more!) that you’ll have a great time.

6.  Make an effort with coworkers.

When we first moved to Orange County, my job was essential to how I met other young women in the area.

And now that I work on CBL full-time, I am fortunate to get invited to events, and I always try to go if my work schedule allows.  I have showed up to many events not knowing a single person, but I’m always proud of  myself for being brave enough to go.

I know not all jobs put you in a position to be around people your age, but if you can make it happen or prioritize making some friendships in the break room – it makes a huge difference!

7.  Volunteer somewhere.

I love volunteering for three reasons:

  • It makes my heart feel good.
  • If I’m blue, it takes me out of my own life and reminds me of how much I have to be grateful for.
  • It’s a great way to meet others with big hearts and honest intentions.

You can’t go wrong with volunteering because it’s always time well spent.

I read Christian this list to see if he had anything to add, and he made a great point.  Be proactive in pursuing your hobbies, and be open to meeting people while you’re at it. Because when you’re out and about doing something that interests you, you might meet someone else who enjoys that same thing.  And then you already have that thing in common.

Do you have any tips or tricks to add to this list? I’d love to hear what they are!  Thanks so much for reading and sharing, and I hope this will be helpful to some of you!  XO –

14 Comments|See Comments

14 thoughts on “7 Tips for Making Friends in a New City

  1. I love this post Kathleen! Thanks for writing 🙂 we just moved to Dallas and I travel for work m – thurs (making it difficult to prioritize meeting people), so these are all really helpful ideas for me!!

    1. Hi Elizabeth!! I’m so glad to hear that. I think the tips are simple but sometimes it’s just a good reminder. Good things take time but you will absolutely get there!

  2. Great tips and ideas. It can be intimidating to go somewhere on your own but as you wrote there is a really good chance you might meet a friend.

  3. Honestly, I’ve made some of my best friends through SoulCycle. Just walking up to someone who you see every single class you go to makes a big difference…and makes working out more fun!

    The Champagne Edit

  4. Thanks for sharing this. I have moved a handful of times and 2 of them to a city where I didn’t know a single soul. I literally would go to bars and restaurants alone and say hi to people that looked friendly. Some of those have turned out to be my great friendships. I love that even though you are only in SF for one year, this is still a priority for you. Thanks for providing such a variety of content! I love it all 🙂

  5. I loved this! Good call on the saying yes to the “…” it’s so true. Just accepting an invite is important.

  6. This isn’t my tip, but I love it: when my friend moved to my city a couple of years ago she knew nobody so invited two ladies from work to start a girls only Pizza Club. It has since grown to about 20 members. It’s simple: once a month we all go to a different pizza place, order a bunch of pizza so we can all try everything and socialize. We all love it bc it’s basically no effort, but it’s planned so we go and just have fun. My friend goes all out though: she bought these cheap pizza charm necklaces on Amazon and gives them to new members – cheesy but also fun. We got matching t-shirts last year. She also has a facebook page and an instagram account for Pizza club. She takes and posts pictures, and also polls everyone on what they liked best and writes reviews, but all of that is not even necessary. The whole point is just show up. Eat Pizza. Make Friends. Done!

    Wow – that got long. I’m clearly very passionate about Pizza Club!

  7. These are excellent suggestions!! The gym and saying “yes” are my go-to’s every time I move. Also a big fan of making an effort with coworkers. Well done. And keep kicking butt.

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