Moving to a new city as an adult can be both exhilarating and challenging. And one of the most significant hurdles is establishing a social circle in unfamiliar territory. The sense of leaving behind established friendships can be daunting, but forming new connections is important for personal growth and building a broader support network.

Here, we’ll walk through practical steps and strategies to help you smoothly navigate this transition and make meaningful connections in your new community.

Acknowledging the Initial Hurdles

It’s entirely normal to feel a mix of excitement and apprehension when embarking on any new chapter of your life. The initial discomfort and anxiety are common experiences for anyone in this situation. You might feel out of place or unsure about how to go about making friends. Remember, these feelings are temporary, and with the right approach, you can build a fulfilling social life in your new city.

Take advantage of your current social network

Taking advantage of your current social network is the easiest way to expand your circle of like-minded friends in a new place.

Seek out introductions in your new area from:

  • friends of friends
  • family members
  • your closest friends

Whether it’s reconnecting with old friends from high school or meeting new faces at local events, there’s a great chance you’ll find common interests that form the basis of true friendships. 

Consider joining sports teams or volunteering at the local animal shelter. Not only is this a fun way to engage in physical activity, but it’s also a perfect opportunity to meet potential friends who share your passion.

The best part is, that these friendships often lead to even more connections through mutual friends, creating a social setting that fosters true and lasting bonds.

Join Local Meetup Groups and Communities

One of the most effective ways to meet like-minded individuals in your new city is by joining local meetup groups and communities.

These gatherings cater to a wide range of interests, from hiking and book clubs to tech meetups and professional networking events.

Platforms like or Facebook Groups can help you find like-minded people in your area.

Remember to choose groups that align with your hobbies, passions, or professional affiliations to ensure you find people with similar interests.

This shared interest provides a natural conversation starter and increases the likelihood of forming meaningful connections.

Some places you might find your tribe:

  • dog parks and other local parks
  • book club or library
  • at your new job
  • niche trivia nights
  • local coffee shop
  • volunteer opportunities
  • local businesses like fitness studios, farmer’s markets and coffee shops

With an open mind and a regular commitment to local events, you’ll be well on your way to building a close-knit group of good friends in your new town.

Leverage Online Platforms for Networking

In today’s digital age, online platforms can offer valuable opportunities for networking and meeting new people.

Social media platforms, forums, and specialized apps can connect you with locals who share your interests or professional background.

Actively participate in discussions, attend virtual social events, and don’t hesitate to reach out to people with profiles that resonate with you.

Some online platforms for meeting people:

  • LinkedIn for professional networking
  • Meetup or Eventbrite
  • Bumble BFF
  • Peanut for mom friends
  • Atleto
  • local Facebook groups

Engage in Recreational Activities and Classes

Participating in recreational activities or enrolling in classes is a fantastic way to meet people while doing something you enjoy.

Whether it’s signing up for dance classes, a pottery workshop, or local sports leagues, these environments provide natural opportunities for bonding and making new acquaintances.

Check out public places like:

  • local community centers
  • gyms and swimming centres
  • specialized studios

Be open to trying new things. This can lead to unexpected and rewarding connections.

Be Open-Minded and Proactive

Building new friendships requires a proactive approach.

Be open-minded and willing to step out of your comfort zone.

You can demonstrate your willingness to connect by

  • asking open-ended questions
  • showing interest in their responses
  • asking follow-up or clarifying questions
  • actively listening

Cultivate Patience and Foster Lasting Connections

Remember that building lasting friendships does take time and effort.

Be patient with the process and give your relationships the space they need to grow naturally.

Stay in regular contact with the people you meet, and invest time and energy on a regular basis into nurturing these connections.

Remember, your goal isn’t to accumulate a large number of acquaintances but to harbor a few true friendships that will be a source of support and joy.

Embracing Change and Building New Social Groups

Embracing change and making friends in a new city as an adult is a transformative experience. By acknowledging the initial challenges, joining local groups, leveraging online platforms, engaging in activities, and being proactive, you’re well on your way to building a vibrant social circle.

Don’t hesitate to make the first move and strike up some small talk at social gatherings or during happy hour. 

With an open mind and a regular commitment to local events, you’ll be well on your way to building a close-knit group of good friends in your new town.


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