Making friends as an adult can be difficult: you’re not within walking distance of everyone, you won’t see them in class or at your sorority / club meeting, and afterwork is much more tiring than after class. It can be hard to get moving and challenge your boundaries to meet new people. My first friend in Atlanta actually came from a Facebook group when she posted a question on this topic – we’d both felt lonely trying to find like-minded women. Below are some things to get you started about moving to a new city or navigating a new friendship in a new city.
Places to Meet Friends
When moving to a new city, it can be overwhelming to find a place to start. There’s always your college friend or someone you haven’t talked to from high school to grab drinks. I’ve learned that it’s okay to be bold and ask, but to also not be offended when someone doesn’t follow up. Making completely new friends is a bit more difficult. There’s such a range of activities to do to find what you love! It just takes a second of being bold and putting yourself out there! (bonus tip: wear something bold as a conversational piece! 💃💃)
- Sport and Social Leagues (like Kickball or Flag Football or Cornhole)
- Networking / Industry Events
- Junior League / Collegiate Alumni Networks
- Fitness Classes / Classpass
- Young Professionals Groups
- Volunteer Groups
Online Places to Meet Friends
Now that we’re in the 21st century, finding a friend in person can be as difficult as chatting up the cute guy in the grocery store. Nearly impossible! As we’re starting to shy away from talking to someone in person for dating, finding quality girlfriends is no different! Almost every city has a few Facebook groups for the local area with many people in the same situation. Find one you love and observe for a bit before striking up a conversation!
- Community Facebook groups (Atlanta: Atlanta Social Club, Charlotte: Pink Social Girl Tribe)
- Facebook Events
- Eventbrite Events
- Local Levo / Lean In / Skimm events
Places to Have a Friend Date
So once you have your new friend, what do you do? Unlike boyfriends, you can’t water them, give them sunlight, and put them in a corner! My favorite ways to start a new friendship are to explore different things that I probably wouldn’t do on my own. Things like a local coffee shop or a free day at the museum with a slice of pizza are great ways to push both of you out of your comfort zone while giving you something to talk about besides the weather. People watching is a must in my book!
- New Local Coffee Shop
- Wine Nights
- Local Event to attend together
- Museum events
- Exercise classes (especially yoga or barre in the park)
- Free concerts / movies
- Farmer’s Markets or Food Festivals
Keeping the Conversation Going
Chances are 15 minutes into your first meetup, you already know if you want this person in your life more! But it can be difficult to make the first move and come out and say it. It’s totally normal! Sometimes, you just have to put yourself out there and say how much fun you’ve had.
If someone starts blowing you off, try to figure out if it’s a legitimate reason. If someone always cancels at the last minute, they’re not going to be reliable. However, if work keeps getting in the way, they could use an understanding person. Sometimes schedules don’t work out, but don’t take too much offense.
I’m the type of person that loves to follow up out of the blue. It tends to freak people out (especially because I love talking on the phone). If you know your communication style, emphasize this. (i.e. I’m not the best at texting but shoot me a Facebook message, and I’m all yours).
Here are some other ways you can keep the friendship going!
- Give them an automatic in (have something planned they can join)
- Have a go-to question about something they mentioned (like how’d you find out about this? Or how can I get more involved)
- Express how great of a time you had and suggest something similar!
Places to Start with a Friend Date
I always hated the initial question of “what do you do?” When I first graduated, I lost my job and had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. Recently, I was at a networking event where someone mentioned that her lead in question is “What are you passionate about?” This seemed like such a better fit!
Asking people what they’re passionate about keeps the conversation going and you get to see the person light up about what brings them joy! Plus, if they don’t have a great answer, it can be a chance to explore your passions!
Stuck on what else to talk about? Here are a few ideas:
- What brings you to this city?
- Area of town to live in or things to do around town
- College experiences
- What are you passionate about?
- Sorority / other activity
- Area of town
- Best Spotify / Pandora Stations
- Favorite books / authors
Fun Girls Nights Ideas
Finding a group of close friends don’t happen overnight. Instead, it tends to happen slowly then all at once. You meet one person who introduces you to someone else, and so on! One of these best ways I’ve found to accelerate this process is to host a a gathering to get people together. This helps spark the interest of more introverted people, while also creating a low stakes entry! My favorite ideas are below!
- Game Night
- Pinterest Craft Night
- Wine and Paint Parties
- Trivia Nights (equally great for getting coworkers together!)
- Home Spa Night
What are some of the ways you’ve met your close girlfriends?