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Apr 18, 2013

How to: Make Friends in a New City

I got married a few months ago, err...sorta. You can read the full story here, but the point is: my life has changed quite a bit since starting ManMade, and I'm steadily evolving into what - when I look back on it in a few years - will be remembered as the beginning of a new chapter. And in this new season, we're having some very serious discussions about going on an adventure and moving to a totally new city. I'm fortunate enough that I can work anywhere, and she's so smart and talented, I know she'll find meaningful work no matter where we aim. Of course, we have some different ideas of what aspects to look for, but most of our hopes are shared, and we're excited to talk about making a new home together in an environment that we really love, rather than one where inertia has placed us right now.

Of course, we're well aware that it can be pretty tough to make new friends in a new city as an adult. This New York Times pieces details why it can be so hard to make friends after thirty: "As external conditions change, it becomes tougher to meet the three conditions that sociologists since the 1950s have considered crucial to making close friends: proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other... This is why so many people meet their lifelong friends in college." 

Jeremy from The Art of Manliness takes these basic conditions - proximity, repeated interactions, and vulnerability - and provides some interesting suggestions. Some of it is a bit abstract, but it's a solid list of what to keep in mind if you're making a transition, or if you're in a new city and haven't built the community you desire quite yet. This stuff can be tough, especially if you're an introvert, so give a onceover.

How to Make Friends in a New City [The Art of Manliness]

Do you have any tips or success stories of creating community in a new setting? Let us know how it went in the comments below.

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Mere // Not Merely Living on Apr 19, 2013:

um. You guys should obvi just move here! We'll be your friends. :)


Alexandra Hedin on Apr 18, 2013:

This is facinating to me - I have made more friends after becoming a mother than I ever dreamed I'd make as an adult.  But I guess the rules apply :: we live close, we see each other at pick up/drop off every day, we are often frustrated with our children, and we are all going through the same thing.  It's quite easy to strike up a conversation about potty training a toddler with another person who is potty training a toddler.  :)  


Good luck with the move!  I can't wait to hear where you choose.


-a