HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS AS AN ADULT WOMAN IN A NEW CITY (+ Recommendations From 5 Badass Women Around The World)

Me and my friend Kris, that I met through Instagram. She’s also a blogger, which is cool because we like to get together to shoot, and grab a coffee or brunch or whatever we feel like after. You can find her on Instagram @kristindawnmejia

Me and my friend Kris, that I met through Instagram. She’s also a blogger, which is cool because we like to get together to shoot, and grab a coffee or brunch or whatever we feel like after. You can find her on Instagram @kristindawnmejia

If you’re reading this, you probably just moved away from home, and sitting in your new apartment, in a new city you know nothing about, you’re wondering how the heck you’re going to meet other women to befriend and go to brunch, happy hour and sample sales with. Or someone who will sit on your couch with you to binge-watch old reruns of Friends and devour Shake Shack orders from Postmates, I don’t judge.

Well, don’t despair, I got your back. Because I’ve been in a similar situation (actually, the exact same situation) and I made it work. And so did tons of other women, too. Which is why, after telling you a bit of my own story and what worked (or didn’t work) for me, I’ll be sharing the story of 6 other women who also moved to a different country (or state) and found creative ways to rebuild their social circle. And I’m telling you right away, they’re GOOD stories and I found them to be super inspiring. Ready? OK, let’s get f*cking started!

First, let me get one thing out of the way: Making friends as an adult is f*cking hard. That’s the simple truth. As a child, I moved enough (and changed schools enough times) to become kind of an expert at making new friends. So you’d think that these skills would have transferred to my adult life, right? Saying that’s debatable would be an understatement.

Yes, I’m an outgoing person who knows how to talk to people, and I’d like to think I’m pretty approachable… But the thing is, as a child, the friends you have are oftentimes a byproduct of your geographical location and who your parents are friends with (if they also have kids).

As adults, though, we usually don’t even work in the same neighborhood we live in, and if you moved away from home, you most likely don’t really have access to anyone you know’s network. On top of that, after College, it becomes harder to bond over a shared hate of the same teacher or simply because you’re sitting next to the same person for 8 hours a day and looking for litteraly ANY excuse not to pay attention to class.

Most likely, as an adult with a defined personality, life experience and a more or less stable career, you need a little more ground to be friends with someone than their parents having a pool. And if you’re like me, you also happen to be a picky-ass b*tch who’s looking for a specific type of person (funny, honest, loyal, open-minded and non-judgmental, for example), while still dreaming of having a Sex & The City worthy group of friends.

When I moved to LA about 2 years ago, I had only been here once, for less than a week. I knew absolutely no one here, and I didn’t even know where anything was. I didn’t have a clue of which neighbourhoods were considered good or bad, where the cool spots were… NOTHING. And since I was going to be working from home, for myself, I couldn’t even count on work to meet new people. Here are a few tips on how to meet new people, and what worked (and didn’t work) for me:

SOCIAL MEDIA & MEETING APPS

So… this is gonna sound weird, because I know people usually think of meeting apps in more of a romantic context. And I’m with you, because I met my man on Tinder, after all. But that’s also why I thought it was a perfectly normal concept to meet girlfriends online. I feel like I need to separate this category in 2 sub-categories: Bumble BFF and Instagram.

Let’s start wit Bumble BFF. In case you didn’t know, the dating app Bumble also has a sister brand called Bumble BFF, which basically works the same exact way as the dating app (swiping left and right and then matching with people), except it’s to meet other women that could potentially be, well… BFF’s. A few months after we moved to LA, I decided to give it a go, because:

a) My boyfriend was literally the only person I had had a conversation with in months, and

b) As I said, we met on Tinder, so I know dating apps can work.

Personally, I really didn’t have a lot of luck on the app, and I found that the women on there were extremely flaky. In fact, I though it was MUCH easier to meet someone half-decent on a regular dating app, even though most women I talk to seem to be convinced that 100% of the men on there are blood-thirsty psychopaths who have nothing better to do with their lives than send dick pics and make sexist jokes. I’m not saying that’s not accurate in some cases, but in my personal experience, out of the 50+ girls I matched with in the app over the span of a few weeks, I only met 3 in person, and they all happened to be flakier than the perfect pie crust.

That being said, I still would try the app if you’re looking for friends in a new city, because your experience might be different than mine, and the whole process was pretty easy… And didn’t require me to get out of my house, which was a big plus, LOL.

When it comes to Instagram, that’s actually how I made most of my friends in LA so far. You see, as a blogger, I do spend more time than the average person on the platform, and I do follow a lot of other bloggers who also follow me. After a while, I became friendly online with a bunch of different girls, and I’ve met a few of them in real life, some of which became good real-life friends I get to hang out with quite frequently.

Since Instagram is a social media platform, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using it to actually be social, and I think it’s fairly easy to make friends on the platform, especially if you’re in a creative field or using the app quite a bit yourself. The only case in which I would say it’s a little weird to message people on the platform is if you have very few posts and message someone out of the blue to meet them for a drink, lol. Other than that, I see nothing wrong with connecting with other local people and eventually meeting them in real life.

Me and my friend Lexi, that I met through my Friend Kris. Which brings us to my point right below…

Me and my friend Lexi, that I met through my Friend Kris. Which brings us to my point right below…

TAKING A CLASS

This is something I’ve heard a lot of people say, and I can understand the logic behind it, I really do. What I said above about meeting people with similar values and interest, well, this is the perfect way, right? If you love cooking (or want to get better at it) then take a cooking class and meet someone you can have Sunday bake-offs with. If you really enjoy working out, then go to a class and fin yourself a gym buddy that can turn into a really good friend. There are also things like organized group hikes on sites like meetup.com, where you can go to activities and meet really fun people doing so.

I’ve personally never tried it, because I f*cking hate working out (unless it’s shopping or sex, lmao) and I would like to think I’m already quite a seasoned cook (no pun intended) and I don’t need a class. But then again, if you’re looking for friends and you would like to learn something new, this could be a great opportunity to kill 2 birds with one stone.

TAKING ADVANTAGE OF WHERE YOU LIVE

This might sound weird, but Sasha and I have actually met really good friends simply because they’re our neighbours. Which is super cool, because we never have to drive very far for an impromptu wine night on a Tuesday evening, and we can be in bed literally 5 minutes after leaving their place. If you consider how bad LA traffic sucks, this is major brownie points, lol.

Which brings me to my next tip: If you’re moving to a new place (and you can afford it), try moving to a decently big apartment complex. If your complex has amenities like a jacuzzi, pool or gym, that’s even better. We actually met our neighbour friend in the jacuzzi one night, and then kept seeing each other there, which eventually led to doing other activities together, and well… You get it. We’re friends now. A jacuzzi at night, where people are in a good mood and probably drinking a bit, is a great place to meet new people, because it’s a place where people go to just chill, have a good time and be social. I swear, every time I go to the jacuzzi, there’s a different group of people there interacting and meeting each other, and it’s a great ambiance.

If you’re not the most outgoing person, this is also great, because it’s much easier to strike up a conversation in a jacuzzi than go up to a complete stranger in a bar and start talking to them.

So when you’re making arrangements for your new city or country, take that into consideration and make it easier for yourself to meet new people by just moving to a strategic place.

MEETING PEOPLE… THROUGH OTHER PEOPLE

This isn’t really a tip on how to meet initial people, but more a suggestion on what to do once you’ve met them. Just because you’ve met someone and you don’t feel like you would be BBF’s with them, don’t discard them too quickly. Because these people have friends, who have friends, who have friends. And I’m not saying you should use people only to get to their circle. But, if you think about how so many people meet their significant other through mutual friends, then it would only make sense that you could meet friends the same way. So just because you don’t feel a perfect 100% connection with someone, you can still attend one or two events with them. Maybe you’ll meet other great friends, maybe you’ll discover something new about them that will make you appreciate them more… And maybe you’ll be lucky like me, and you’ll meet friends you have an incredible connection with, and also get along with their friends!

All I know is I met a lot of really great friends through other people, and stayed friends with them long after my relationship with the person who introduced us faded. Emily Schuman from Cupcakes & Cashmere said it very well when she said (and I’m paraphrasing, not quoting) “Say yes to everything, because you never know who you might meet and when”.

I think that’s an amazing way to put it, and basically, if you don’t know a soul and need new friends, you’re not gonna find that unless you’re ready to put yourself out there a little.

*****

OK guys, now that we’re done with my rambling, let’s jump right into these 5 women’s crazy stories, and their really good tips. Seriously, some of these were similar to my own experience, but some of them just blew my socks away!


Theegreatgabs

Thoughts from Gaby AKA @theegreatgabs on Instagram

Where are you originally from & where did you move?

I was born in Nicaragua and moved to the US at 19. Atlanta, Georgia to be exact.

Why did you move away from home?

I moved because of my old relationship.

How did you make friends in your new location/what tips would you recommend for someone who just moved away?

It was really hard for me because I was moving countries. Luckily the language was not a barrier because I was fortunate to learn English when I was younger. But the fast paced life of the US was different. I had left all my friends behind so I had to build new relationships. Work was my go to at first but eventually met couple friends. I think when you are in a relationship those become your friends (other couples). The south is the south and people are just warmer there also so we eventually made friends with neighbours and friends of neighbours etc.

Forward a few years later I moved to California. That relationship ended so just as a relationship ends, a lot of our couples friends ended to. I left a lot of good friends back in Georgia whom I still talk to. California was probably the hardest to make friends in. Because I work from home I no longer have the option to make friends at work. Being in the blogging industry and through social media has allowed me to connect with other women. I’ve made so many friendships who started through a DM on Instagram. I used to think it was weird just reaching out to women in the area but it’s become so much easier to connect with others through Instagram.


@hautecommotion

Thoughts from Melissa AKA @hautecommotion on Instagram

Where are you originally from & where did you move?

Originally from Long Island, NYC - Now living in London (But lived in Memphis and LA before, too).

Why did you move away from home?

Moved to London to go to school.

How did you make friends in your new location/what tips would you recommend for someone who just moved away?

I decided back in 2017, to brave a move across the Atlantic over to London. Yep, currently living in the land of tea and crumpets. It's lovely, minus the fact that sunshine is a rare appearance over here. This move, by far, was the hardest. Though we all speak the same language, the culture is slightly different and took a little adjusting to. Did I mention I decided to go BACK to school? Let's all laugh in unison here.

Anyways, it can be really fucking daunting trying to make friends as an adult. Where do you go? What do you say? Where are the boundaries? I feel like, for girls, it's so much worse than dating because there is so much pressure to find that BFF/ride-or-die person. IT'S HARD. But I guess to sum things up quickly, here are my thoughts:

  1. Figure out what the f*ck it is you like. AKA hobbies. This is aside from the Netflix binging, after cancelling happy hour with co-workers, because it's raining outside and you just had a blowout. So you're choosing your basic bitch red wine glass and snuggles with your pup. This could be several things, like yoga. Or hiking. There are so many hiking groups all over the place. What about pottery classes or cooking lessons or learning how to dance? Pick something that you truly enjoy.

  2. Get outside yourself and your idea of normal. Don't be afraid to try this new culture and see things from their perspective.

  3. ATTITUDE. Oh my stars, is this key, because who the f*ck in their right mind (besides Cindy Lou) wants to be friends with a grouch? And just a reminder some of the best friendships/relationships take time to evolve.

  4. Use tools like Groupon and Facebook to find and try events near you.


@baileyttaylor

Thoughts from Bailey AKA @baileyttaylor on Instagram

Where are you originally from & where did you move?

I moved from Seattle to Arizona to LA.

Why did you move away from home?

I moved to Arizona for college and when I graduated I moved to LA to work in PR.

How did you make friends in your new location/what tips would you recommend for someone who just moved away?

I met tons of people on social media by finding fellow blogging girls and messaging them or meeting at events. Work friends were the only people I knew originally and moving into a house with roommates was a huge help. I live alone now but I purposefully moved into a house full of girls so I wouldn’t be alone in LA.


@stavsaidoff

Thoughts from Stav AKA @stavsaidoff on Instagram

Where are you originally from & where did you move?

I am from Israel and moved to London.

Why did you move away from home?

I moved to study Fashion Design in London College of Fashion.

How did you make friends in your new location/what tips would you recommend for someone who just moved away?

When I moved to London I found a place in a Jewish area, so it would be easier for me to find friends, as a lot of Israelis are located in these areas. So my tip would be, as a start, in order to have a soft landing, find an area with people from your nation and take it from there. London can be very intimidating and big and it’s easy to feel alone so just make it easier and do the research first.


@shenskablog

Thoughts from Paulina AKA @shenskablog on Instagram

Where are you originally from & where did you move?

I was born and raised in Poland. At the ripe age of 22 (right after graduating college), I decided to fulfill my lifelong dream and move to America. With no family or friends to lean on, I settled in Delaware for the first four years of my life, working as an au pair and I never looked back.

Why did you move away from home?
Ever since I can remember, I had a strong feeling that I belonged somewhere else than my home country. Being always fascinated with American culture and after finishing American Studies in college, I figured it’s time to take things into my own hands and make the move happen. Best decision ever!

How did you make friends in your new location/what tips would you recommend for someone who just moved away?

I admit, it took me about 4 months to fully adjust to living in a new country, so during that time I didn’t make many friends. I was more focused on building a bond with the family I worked for at the time. Then, I happened to meet people at the most random places - for example, a local library.

Being somewhat of an introvert, it’s quite a challenge for me to make new friends but I’m always open to connect when someone else makes the first move. That faithful day at the library, the girl that came up to me and gave me her number happened to be about the same age as me, and now 7 years later - we’re still best friends! Even though I live in California now, we are still close. She was actually one of my bridesmaids in my recent wedding!

So my tip for making new friends is to be open to connect anywhere and anytime. You never know when you might meet your best friend! I also wouldn’t completely rule out meeting people on social media. I’ve met some wonderful friends while connecting with like-minded people on Instagram!


YOU GUYS!!! Wasn’t this the most inspiring segment ever?? I feel like I, myself want to go out and chill at a café for a few hours and make new friends, lol. But seriously though, I’m really glad I decided to bring in these women so they could tell their own stories, because it just goes to show how everyone’s journey is different - But that you can always make it happen in the end… No matter if you’re an introvert or an extrovert, no matter what city you live in… There’s other women everywhere, just waiting to be your friend.

So wether you stumbled on this post because you literally googled “how to make friends” out of sheer desperation (trust me, I’ve been there) or because you’re a regular reader here, I hope this post gave you the courage that you needed to put yourself out there and make meaningful connections.

On that note, I’ll let you go now, and if you happen to be in LA and want to be friends, I guess at this point, it only makes sense to say: Shoot me an email, or slide into my DM’s @thehungarianbrunette. I promise I’ll take killer pictures of you ;)

Love you guys,

Jenny xx