It’s hard to meet new people. Especially if you’re out of college and headed to, or already in, a city that you don’t have any connections to. Growing up in Montana really didn’t teach me much about getting out of my comfort zone. When I moved to Austin, TX, it taught me more a little more about making friends and putting myself out there. And, I want to share that with all of you! Here’s how to make friends as an adult, out of college, and in a new city.
Tip #1: Put yourself out there
Honestly, this was the hardest pill to swallow. The first year I lived here, I moved in with two other girls. In some way, I depended on them to help me build my network. It wasn’t until I talked to a few coworkers that informed me about BumbleBff and how it was popular in the city. After a few months of wanting to meet more people, I finally took a step in the right direction and downloaded the app.
I have to admit, I only met up with one girl on the app. Even though it was awkward at first, we are great friends now. She’s one of my best friends in the city — I would do it all over again. But, don’t get me wrong, getting to know each other took a bit of time.
Tip #2: Set a date + plan (that’s comfortable)
Everything that isn’t comfortable is hard to do. It was hard to stay motivated to reach out to soon-to-be friends on BumbleBff and even harder to set a date a time to meet each other. To be honest, when I met the one friend off the app, it was extremely nerve-racking and uncomfortable. You don’t want to come off weird, and you’re hoping that they aren’t weird either.
To get to a comfortable spot, you have to push past the awkwardness. How bad are you wanting a group of girls to go out with? Or a friend to reach out to if you need it? I wanted a good group of friends, and it kept me motivated to push past the weirdness and grow a friendship that lasts.
Tip #3: Listen to your gut
In any situation, if you feel as if something is off, listen to it. When you first meet someone off an app, I would do it somewhere where you feel most comfortable. In this situation, I set a time to go to a coffee shop on a Saturday morning rather than meeting at one of our places. Once I met and got to know her more, then I would start trusting her with information, thoughts, or even coming over to my place. Until then, I set times and places that were away from our places.
If you have a weird feeling, don’t follow through with plans. Normally gut feelings amount to so much more — if things feel off, maybe reach out to a few others to see if you could meet them. Nobody wants to get hurt, especially when it comes to a friendship.
Tip #4: Reach out again (if you want to)
Similar to when you first reach out to meet people, it may be hard to reach out again. Keep up the momentum and continue to build a friendship that you feel comfortable with. In my stance, I actually met my friend and then went to Montana for three months. When I got back, I followed up with her to get a drink or coffee. Once we met up again, we really started to build our friendship.
Fast-forward a few months and now we’re really close. We’ve grown our friendship and continue to. She’s now been over to my place, I’ve been to her’s, she’s met my other friends, and plays a big part in my lifestyle here in Austin, TX. Even though it may not be easy to follow up with people, if you want to build that friendship, you’ll make it work.
Tip #5: Keep up the momentum
Once you have a friend, it can be hard to diversify and build more friendships outside of that. To be fair, I’m not good at it. I met my one friend and that was about it. I tried to reach out to a few more people on the app and didn’t have the best experiences. To be fair, I had a great group of friends when I moved here, but I didn’t have a larger group as I do now.
Over time, I met people through more of my friends and I have a good group. Plus, I’ve started a relationship that limits time spent on other activities. If you want to have a bigger group of friends, keep reaching out and meeting people when you’re out and about. Even though that can be a little hard sometimes.
If you’re starting the journey to building a bigger friend group, I feel you. It can be a hard process when you start out in a new city, but it’s more than worth it. I wish you the best of luck in finding new friendships that last a lifetime.
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