I am pretty confident in saying this is a dilemma that every recent grad faces when they move to a new place. You are the new kid on the block once again. Except this time, unlike college, you don’t have RAs and professors forcing you to interact with your peers. In fact your peer group no longer consists of only your age group. So how does a young, single, budding professional like myself go about meeting new people?
A friend suggested go read a book in a local cafe and strike up conversation with a stranger. So, I tried it. Let’s just say two americanos, fifty pages of 1984, and one failed conversation attempt with a barista later and I didn’t make any new friends. It’s a one in a million that you will just bump into someone cool that you can hit it off with right away.
So, I am turning to the internet, as per usual, for advice on the subject. Google search phrase, “how to meet new people in your area.” Most articles began with something catch phrase like, “Starting out fresh? Move to a new area? Have a baby? You don’t need us to tell you how hard it is to meet new people.” As cheesy as these openers are, I can relate.
What I was able to glean from the barrage of websites on how to meet new people can be surmised by this simple list:
1. Go out as often as you can. According to meet-people.ws, yes that is a real website, you will not meet people sitting in front of your TV. Well that’s a give in. Thanks meet-people for that obvious insight.
2. Smile often. The Happiness Project suggests this will make you look warm and inviting. Again, does anyone get the feeling that these suggestions are pretty obvious?
3. Join something: a group, a club, an organization! As cheesy and obvious as this one is, I think it is far more likely to help me than the first two. This of course does require you to spend some money, but who doesn’t love a good yoga/gym /self-defense /[insert appropriate activity here] class? God knows I do.
4. Join an online dating community. With dozens of leading online dating websites, it seems practical if not simple to join one of these. If dosen’t result in a romantic relationship it will possibly open up doors for friendships.
5. Meet friends of friends. It seems like a sure bet that if you like your friend, you are likely to like their friends. Ask everyone you know if they know people in the area that you could get a drink with or just get to know. You might luck out.
All this had led me to take this advice, as foolish as it makes me feel.Every one of these. I am joining a yoga class. I have made a profile on a dating website. I am smacking a smile on my face… permanently! I am asking my friends for help. Here goes nothing. If you have any more suggestions please share them with me. I will keep you updated on the ins and outs of this adventure.