Have you ever moved to an entirely new place where you didn’t know a single soul? Last year I moved to a state where I didn’t know anybody. It was all new, and I was all alone, and I won’t lie, it was frightening. I had never been to a place where I had no friends or family. I had never been in a situation where I needed to start over because I had always lived in places where I had an automatic support system.
I wasn’t prepared to have anyone I could call up and get a drink or have lunch with. It took a toll on me in ways I wasn’t expecting. I only supposed to be tired from all the boxes I had to move by myself, and while that was still accurate, it turns out that moving is hard both physically and emotionally.
Research reveals that more than half of young adults are lonely.
According to Fortune.com, research conducted by the health insurance company, Cigna including 20,000 adults discovered that 54% of young adults said they feel like no one actually knows them well and did not have meaningful relationships.
It’s harder to make friends for adults because let’s be honest, when was the last time a stranger walked up to you and said: “Hey, my name is so and so.
Do you want to be my friend?” like everybody did in elementary school? It isn’t normal for adults to walk up to other adults and start a conversation.
There are some who do that and if you’re one of those brave souls, kudos to you. For most of us, however, the idea of that can be intimidating. On the other hand, not saying anything to anybody can lead to being homesick, which will probably happen in due time anyway, and being lonely.
I know it’s a struggle trying to make new friends in a new place even as a kid, so as an adult, it can be nerve-racking. So, here are some ways I came up with that can help you make new friends in a new place.
How To Make Friends When You Move To A New Place As An Adult?
1. Volunteer in your community
I love to volunteer. It is always heartwarming to see how much I can impact people’s lives just by lending a hand.
While I was volunteering, I met so many like-minded people that lived in my community that also shared my love for helping people, and before you know it, a new friendship is born.
I haven’t ever met more genuine and loving people anywhere else. It is a great way to surround yourself with great people. It’s really a win-win.
2. Be open to forming friendships at work
A lot of friendships when you are in a new area happen in the workplace. I would suggest you get to know your coworkers. Doing this, you end up meeting even more people because the friends you make at work have friends of their own outside of work.
When I worked at a Dunkin Donuts years ago, I met this one girl that I became good friends with, and because of that working relationship formed I ended up meeting five or six other people who I became acquainted with because of hanging out with her.
3. Get a pet
I don’t know about you, but I love dogs. When I am walking around outside, and I see a person with a dog, I always ask if I can pet them. You’d be surprised how often people stop you while walking your pet and then next thing you know; you’re having a conversation with a stranger. Not to mention that meeting dog lovers at dog parks and while you’re both waking your dogs is a thing.
I have a friend of over two years that I met because our dogs decided to stop and sniff each other while we were walking. Another reason to get a pet is to help with some of that loneliness as well.
It’s always nice to come home to a furry friend instead of an empty apartment or house.
4. Put yourself out there
This is the simplest point, but also the hardest. As adults, being intentionally social is not that easy to do, but it’s necessary. For relationships to be formed, SOMEBODY has to reach out to SOMEBODY with an invitation of sorts. So, talk to people.
Look for online forums/groups with like-minded people who are interested in the same things as you and join them.
Go to places you would go to before and mingle. You could take a class or start doing something you’ve always wanted to do and never did, and meet new people while learning a new skill.
You might meet someone who is new to it as well and form a bond of fear facing newness together. Nothing will happen if you coup yourself up in your house and not go outside where actual people are.
5. Stay in contact with those in your hometown
I say this for multiple reasons. One being that it can be hard to move to a new place, so keeping that support system around can be vital for not giving in to that lonely depression that a lot of us get when we first move to an all-new place.
Also, this opens the door to your friends coming to visit, and you can go out together. That will make socializing in public less intimidating, and you may feel more comfortable speaking to new people because you’re not doing it while entirely alone.
When I visited my friend after she moved we went rock climbing, and before you knew it we had met two other rock climbers, and although I left and went home, she is still hanging out with those two, rock climbing every week to this day.
So, yes, I know that moving can be rough, but it doesn’t have to be all bad.
There are so many people on this planet that I am confident that no matter where you go you can find a person or a group of people that you can get along with and form bonds and friendships. You have to get out of your comfort zone a little bit. Have you ever moved to a new place where you don’t know anyone? How did you make friends? Comment below!
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