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Australia to NYC: Making new friends as an adult

Australia to NYC: Making new friends as an adult

Recently, I moved from Australia to New York City. It was, and still is, incredibly scary and challenging. While I knew a handful of people, they were scattered between Manhattan and New Jersey, and most were friends of a friend- not my own connections. I didn’t want to pity-invited along to any event. In a city  of 8 million people, it doesn’t seem like it would be difficult to find, and make, friends but it was, and it wasn’t long before I started to feel a little bit isolated and consider a life where my only friends in the city would be the raccoons in Central Park.

Raccoons, and possible rabies, aside, I knew I had to do something about this feeling of disconnect from society, or I’d end up a lonely spinster in arguably one of the greatest cities in the world, known for its vivid social scene.

 

So I got to work. Thinking about how I’d made friends in my previous, Australian life, it dawned on me that not all of my best and closest friendships had been formed at school or work places- the two places I assumed were the time-honoured friend-making scenes. So, I put together a list of ways  to meet great friends in my new city.  Here are some things that worked for me:

 

Meetups

I discovered that going along to meet ups for something you’re interested in or passionate about is a great way to meet people. Not only are you mingling with other living, breathing hominids, but you’re also meeting people with similar interests to you, and because you have an inbuilt convo starter, you don’t need to make small talk about the local sports team or the unseasonable weather we’ve been having lately.

 

Book or Movie Review Clubs

Similar to meet ups, a book club or movie review club is a great way to meet people because you’re forced to not be a wallflower and to participate in the conversation. Maybe you’ll find your next bestie after you both give 50 Shades of Grey withering reviews, and bond over your shared highlighting of all the naughty parts in the book- (the only parts worth reading). The other benefit to making friends at things like this is that you’re still keeping up with your passions and hobbies. You get to keep your interests and make friends.

 

Helping people

Take a look around you, is someone struggling with a map or a Metrocard? Give them a hand. It won’t take much time and maybe you’re catching the same train, so you’ll have some time to chat.

This is exactly how I made a friend from Boston, after witnessing him struggle with the ticketing machine and offering my assistance.

Even if you don’t make a lifelong friend, you’ll feel good for helping someone and you’ll become well-practiced at approaching people, and with this comes confidence- good practice for more new friends!

 

Co-working spaces

I use a co-working space and I witnessed the blossoming of a new friendship right before my eyes recently.

Dan was casually working away at a desk in an open spaced area shared with others when Al, the eagle eye, spots some kind of gaming-card deck, the name of which is unknown to me, and asks Dan if he can “check out his deck”. Dan responds in the positive and the next twenty minutes they were dedicated to talking about the game, the styles they played and where. At the end of this brief encounter, the pair were Facebook friends and making plans to hook up to play said game in the future. While I wouldn’t advocate laying out a token of all the things you’re interested in like a weird, religious shrine for others to see and remark upon, open planned spaces encourage and foster these kinds of interactions and I have found them to be a good way to meet people.

 

Internet dating

I once met a group of guys out one night on the roller derby scene and as the night progressed, my best friend and I hung out with them more and more and we bonded quite quickly. Drunkenly insisting one of our new found pals couldn’t possibly make the late night commute to his home- in another town an hour away, we forced the poor guy to spend the night on our too-small couch. Waking in the morning to see he’d since left but had neatly folded his sheets and blankets, placing them on said couch, and hadn’t made off with our TV, made us think he was an ok guy. Later on in the day, I’m flicking through potential suitors online and see someone who looks awfully familiar to our new found friend- we were a match! We thought this pretty funny and laughed ourselves silly and then we forced him to move in with us and we’ve been great friends ever since. While we were never romantic, as the site had intended in pairing us up, that person is now one of my best friends, and I’ve met other friends through him. So while internet dating can be , it’s not entirely unreasonable to use it to make friends.

A tip - while you may be tempted to invent romantic scenarios with this new person, or people, in your head- don’t. It isn’t that actively dating someone is a bad way of meeting friends, but you want your own friends and not temporary friends you’ll have to give up if the relationship doesn’t last. So you may have to sacrifice one hottie, and the relationship potential they have, in order to make, and remain, friends. .

 

So while it may seem daunting and an impossible task, it isn’t always doom and gloom when it comes to making friends as an adult. I hope this list has inspired you to look outside the box when it comes to making new friends. What did you think of this list? Have you tried any of these things? 

 

About Jamie-lee Owen

Jamie-lee Owen is a writer and raccoon lover. More of her work can be found at jleeowen.com

 

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Comments 30

 
Lillyf on Monday, 06 March 2017 21:49

Hi ?

mazo on Sunday, 06 August 2017 18:26

Hi, am Mazo, just became a member.

Hi, am Mazo, just became a member.
lovelongbeach on Sunday, 01 October 2017 15:31

hi dont feel lonely if you want to hang out in long beach we can have lunch

hi dont feel lonely if you want to hang out in long beach we can have lunch
Rawana on Wednesday, 11 October 2017 01:19

Hello, just became a member and ready to meet new people with positive mind, fun, and real! Be yourself ? There's nothing enjoyable if you're not yourself (if that make sense). That's all I have to say. Thanks?

Hello, just became a member and ready to meet new people with positive mind, fun, and real! Be yourself ? There's nothing enjoyable if you're not yourself (if that make sense). That's all I have to say. Thanks?
isa on Monday, 23 October 2017 09:39

feeding raccoons seems less hard i always struggle talkn to ppl feel like they look at me n think this desperate loner ....lol

feeding raccoons seems less hard i always struggle talkn to ppl feel like they look at me n think this desperate loner ....lol
Bb on Monday, 06 November 2017 16:35

Hey everyone I just want you meet new friends

Hey everyone I just want you meet new friends
Feriha on Wednesday, 29 November 2017 19:22

Hey ... I want to make new friends

Hey ... I want to make new friends
friendm2 on Monday, 11 December 2017 09:02

hi... I wanna make new real & honest friends...

hi... I wanna make new real & honest friends...
Terri on Wednesday, 13 December 2017 19:08

I agree with the honest, real friends. Otherwise what's the point. Probably because I'm older and am not looking to meet your Internet personna.

I agree with the honest, real friends. Otherwise what's the point. Probably because I'm older and am not looking to meet your Internet personna.
Terri on Wednesday, 13 December 2017 19:09

Anyone in brevard county Florida?

Anyone in brevard county Florida?
Jason on Friday, 22 December 2017 23:10

The New World Order, initiate your self to enjoy success. Ask your self, can I join to protect my investment from any party of the world? Long Life and get your love back, fame and prosperity. Email me at: kimberlyjasonchubb@protonmail.com

The New World Order, initiate your self to enjoy success. Ask your self, can I join to protect my investment from any party of the world? Long Life and get your love back, fame and prosperity. Email me at: kimberlyjasonchubb@protonmail.com
Lover on Thursday, 28 December 2017 17:47

Hi guys is there any body who want friendship

Hi guys is there any body who want friendship
DJIBRIL on Thursday, 18 January 2018 12:24

Hey guys here is someone who want to befriend with you to Share more about life!!!!

Hey guys here is someone who want to befriend with you to Share more about life!!!!
kitt on Tuesday, 06 March 2018 15:51

I must agree when a person moves to the unknown it is scary for everyone until you meet new friends that you can trust and honest with you that will not let you down and treat them the same way equally.

I must agree when a person moves to the unknown it is scary for everyone until you meet new friends that you can trust and honest with you that will not let you down and treat them the same way equally.
friendm2 on Wednesday, 28 March 2018 12:39

Totally hard meeting friends as an adult when you move to a new town

Totally hard meeting friends as an adult when you move to a new town
Rajjj on Sunday, 13 May 2018 11:51

Hi, I new wat to making friendship with freeminded people.

Hi, I new wat to making friendship with freeminded people.
Indiana Pyke on Friday, 20 July 2018 10:02

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Kellie on Sunday, 22 July 2018 08:21

Hi
Just registered it would be nice to have a decent friend to have a chat to without having to be a agony aunt lol and not get any support back ?

Hi Just registered it would be nice to have a decent friend to have a chat to without having to be a agony aunt lol and not get any support back ?
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