How to move to a new city and make friends

Invite a few people you’ve met during your time in your new city – neighbors, coworkers, the person you joke with while in line for coffee every morning. Whether you move with your partner, family, or alone, it takes time to build a social network and form lasting friendships. Some people prefer remote work because there’s less pressure to socialize with coworkers. They may prefer to spend lunch hours and coffee breaks with kids, significant others, roommates, pets, or virtual fitness classes. This has taken a toll on workers, whose profound loneliness is evident not only in the data but the numerous self-reports emerging from media sources of all kinds. The remote work world seems to have taken not only our ability to communicate with colleagues but also our potential for fostering friendships.

How to make friends if I work from home in a new city

Between April 2020 and February 2021, Microsoft’s 2020 Work Trend Index reported that work relationships have shifted in an unfortunate direction. However, as remote work became rote, companies have become quite siloed, and even interactions with close teammates have significantly diminished. Just go to a few yard sales whenever you can spare the time, browse the item put up for sale and most importantly, be courageous enough to start casual conversations with the sale organizers. The thing is that you never know who you might meet and possibly befriend at such garage sales.

Connect with friends of your friends

After endless chats, years of liking each other’s Facebook posts, and hours of commiserating over everything from micromanaging bosses to the single life, we weren’t just colleagues. If you don’t have any kids or aren’t planning to, the same idea works for your pets. Dog parks and organized dog walks are an ideal way to meet other fur parents, talk about your pets, and maintain a more active lifestyle.

“Whichever approach you take, be curious and ask questions, and once you’ve established some common ground, initiate the next step.” For those next steps, keep reading. Making friends in a new city is sometimes closely connected to the opportunities that that city has to offer. As a rule of thumb, bigger cities offer more chances for their citizens to participate in all kinds of activities, and thus to meet new people and form good friendships and meaningful relationships.


By moving, you’ve already allowed your story to start a new chapter, so remain available for the unexpected still ahead. It won’t be helpful to compare where you’ve been to where you are now, but it will be a relief to find out that you’re still YOU through it all. If you’re on the introverted side and the idea of making the first move IRL feels too scary, there’s an app for that. “For those more introverted, try options like meet-up apps and websites that help you ease into things,” suggests Elliot. Well, apps like Bumble BFF allow you to choose friends like you choose dates. And events you find on Facebook or Eventbrite will have a description, how many people will be there, the duration of the event, and even what you should prepare so you know exactly what to expect.

  • Just because you’re in the market for new friends doesn’t mean your colleagues are, Duffy says.
  • Whatever you do, don’t shut down or give up on them, but don’t badger them for time.
  • It doesn’t need to be extravagant – just a small gathering to feel out any budding friendships.
  • Make the most of social media when meeting people in a new city.
  • Getting out and actually trying new things is going to be the key to building your new social circle.

Ask people you already know if they could introduce you to anyone in the location to which you are moving. Posting on social media is probably the easiest way to tap your friends’ friends. “I find it increases the chance that there’s someone I will get along with,” says Jillian Richardson, a connection coach and author of Unlonely Planet. Reconsider how you network.Networking doesn’t have to be uncomfortable, awkward, scary, or even planned; in fact, you can network just about anywhere. To do this, I challenge myself to chat with at least two people each day when I work from a crowded coffee shop; so far, I’ve made friends with a yoga teacher, fellow writer, and design consultant.


Check the schedule and see who else is working that day, and if your coworker thinks you’d all click, ask if they’d like to come along. The same thing applies if the roles are reversed, and you’re the one who’s introducing the newbie to potential office friends. Don’t set your sights higher than a three- or four-person hangout, as that could make others in the office feel excluded, especially if you’re working on a team that rarely goes in-person. Wouldn’t you love to get your hands on some real bargains and meet new people in the city at the same time?

Set up a virtual coffee break, lunch break, or happy hour with them, but don’t ask for an hour, ask for minutes maximum. They’re more likely to say “yes” to a shorter commitment. You could help them imagine what it must be like in your shoes by joking about the challenges of learning about your new organization from afar. Eventually, as a newfound social butterfly, you’ll cross paths with someone whom you feel a deeper connection with. It could be just an inkling — hey, there’s something I like about this person.

Plan some fun

Say please and thank you while shopping around town, leave good tips at coffee shops and restaurants, and respond kindly if someone accidentally bumps into you. Help out at an animal shelter, wash dishes at a soup how to make friends when you work from home kitchen, volunteer at the library – whatever you’re passionate about. One great option is to host a gathering at your new home. Have a housewarming party, a BBQ or brunch, or a game night, whatever you prefer.

  • Besides, it’s relatively easy to have your workout partner or yoga classmate become your friend outside the gym or studio – all it takes is an invitation for a drink after the class.
  • So, be sure to check out flyers at coffee shops, the market, etc. to learn more about the local groups in your area.
  • Marisa Franco, Ph.D., was previously a professor at Georgia State University, where she became an academic expert on friendship.
  • Go to your local bookstore or community center and ask about any book clubs locals might be running.