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How to Make Friends in a New City

Don't shrink from what could be an exciting transition. Make friends in a new city to make a brand new start without forgetting where you started out.


  • Step 1: Enroll in classes where you might naturally have conversations with people on the same path, and who might later want to have coffee or grab a bite.
  • Step 2: Volunteer to help others, join a political campaign, or participate in community groups. Feeling a common conviction about what you're doing lends itself to relationships, and can make your new city a better place.
  • FACT: Data from 2009 revealed that 37.1 million people changed residences in the United States in the previous year, up from 35.2 million in 2008.
  • Step 3: Speak well of other people in whatever you do and wherever you go. Smile and put out a positive vibe. Ask questions, get help, and generally show a willingness to embrace the environment.
  • Step 4: Take your dog to popular dog-walking areas, where you're likely to meet other dog owners. Hang out and shoot the breeze about pet care. Most friendships sprout from small talk.
  • Step 5: Look online for meetup groups that allow you to network with people in a new area. Start your own group if nothing appeals to you right away.
  • Step 6: Introduce yourself to your neighbors. Look up friends-of-friends to expand your circle in the new city. Connect with others through your expanded network and become part of the scene.
  • Step 7: When you meet who share your interests -- whether it's movies, books, exercise, wine, food, pets, or social causes -- invite them to an event that has something to do with that activity. Having a baby, joining a religious congregation, or getting a new job can all invite new social interaction.
  • Step 8: Check your newspaper for local events, and explore attractions and social gatherings, even when you're not inclined. The more you get out there, the more likely you are to meet people.

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