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How to Meet Friends in a New Town

by
author image Scott Thompson
Scott Thompson has been writing professionally since 1990, beginning with the "Pequawket Valley News." He is the author of nine published books on topics such as history, martial arts, poetry and fantasy fiction. His work has also appeared in "Talebones" magazine and the "Strange Pleasures" anthology.
How to Meet Friends in a New Town
A woman looks at a bulletin board in a cafe. Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Walking through the streets of a new town, it's easy to look through the windows of restaurants and coffee houses and feel alienated and lonely at the sight of people laughing, talking and joking together like they've known each other forever. The truth is, many of them have. You probably knew a lot of people in your hometown too. To meet new friends when you're living somewhere new, you can't just sit back and wait for it to happen, because it probably won't happen on its own. You'll have to get out there and make new connections.

People You See Every Day

The people you work with or go to school with are the people you see the most, so they may be your best bet for making friends quickly in a new town. A lot of people go out with their co-workers in a group Friday night, but that can result in everyone just talking about work. You might have more luck looking for something you have in common with just one or two co-workers. For instance, if you see a bumper sticker for one of your favorite bands on a co-worker's car, mention it to him and the two of you could start talking about music together. Before you know it you could be going out to see a show.

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Bulletin Boards

Bulletin boards at cafes and other locations are often covered with posters and fliers announcing everything from Yoga classes to yard sales. If you make a habit of checking them out, you'll find out about neighborhood block parties, political rallies, charity fundraisers and rock concerts. Whatever your personal interests are, somebody else nearby shares those interests. Once you start going out and doing the things you've always loved doing, you're much more likely to meet new people.

Exercise and Socialize

Exercise tends to keep your mood up and it can be social too. If you enjoy riding a bike, you may be able to find a bicycling club by checking with a local bike shop. Stores that sell athletic shoes may have information about running clubs in the area. If you prefer to swim or walk on a treadmill, you can get a membership at a gym. Rather than exercising at home where you'll have to overcome the urge to just stay in bed, make a regular habit of exercising in a group. There's a good chance you'll meet new people, but even if it takes a while to do so the exercise should help you feel better while you get settled in your new town.

Talk to People

One of the most reliable ways to make new friends is simply to talk to new people whenever you get the chance. Bill Rawlins, a professor of communications studies at Ohio University, studies friendship by conducting interviews with people who have been friends with each other for a long time. In an article on Ohio University's research website, Rawlins notes that most friendships begin with casual conversations between two people. Treating new friends as people important to you may also help strengthen the connection between you. A 2011 study at the University of Pennsylvania found that most people rate the importance of a friend based on how important they believe they are to that friend.

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