When I first moved to Chicago, my parents’ biggest concern was how I was going to meet people. I pretty much knew no one except for Rob and a few TCU friends, who all worked in totally different fields than me. I was working at home, alone, running my own business. How could they not be a least a little concerned?
It’s not exactly easy making friends as an adult. Especially if you work from home like me, or work in a profession that’s not conducive to meeting people your age. What are you suppose to do? Go up to a girl in a bar and say, “You look normal, want to be friends?”. Of course… because, that’s not creepy or anything.
But seriously, how are you suppose to meet normal, cool people in a non-creepy way?
If you know just one person, it makes it so much easier. I did know one girl that I went to summer camp with when we were younger—Arleigh. She later became my roommate and I was so thankful for her! She made my transition to the city so much easier by making a point to include and invite me to do things. She introduced me to all of her friends, who quickly became mine.
I didn’t realize until later how lucky I was to have her there. But what if you don’t have an Arleigh? The good news is that there are a lot of ways to make new friends, you just have to put yourself out there! I’ve picked up some tricks on how to make friends over the years, so if you’re moving to a new city, read on to make your transition and finding new friends a little bit easier:
1. Hang Out in the Right Places
Hang out in places where other people your age are spending time. The Allis at Soho House is a great spot. They just expanded their space into an upstairs area which is totally gorgeous. It’s the perfect spot to grab lunch, coffee, drinks, get some work done or simply read a book. I love that Soho feels a bit like an extension of my home, but instead of family, it’s filled with like-minded creative people who also want to meet others. The best part about The Allis is that you don’t have to be a member of Soho House to hang out there—it’s completely open to the public!
2. Just Say Hi
By nature, I’m a little shy—I always have been! But the first step in meeting people is simply saying hi and introducing yourself! Sure, it might not be the most comfortable thing to do, but it’s less awkward than standing around in a group of people alone! Come up with a few ice breaker questions to make that initial conversation less awkward too!
3. Attend Events
This is how I met all of my blogger friends in the city! When I first moved here, I went to any event that I could! It was a great way to meet people who had similar interests as me and led to some of the greatest friendships of my life. That’s how Shaheen and I first met! We started grabbing brunch every other week or so on her day off and a few years later, she’s one of my closest friends! Who would have known!?
We hosted an event at The Allis at Soho House earlier this week (thank you all for coming out!!) and I left feeling so overjoyed! I’d met some really cool people in just a couple of hours. It was a blast chatting with girls who work in different fields and come from different places. It was also really cool to hear that a lot of the girls had actually met just from hanging out at The Allis! If you’re looking for more events and happenings like this, download Soho House’s Eat Drink Nap app and stay updated! Even if you’re a little nervous or intimidated to go to an event, push yourself to go, you won’t regret it!
4. Go On Girl Dates
When I first moved here, girl dates were usually set up by a friend of my parents’ who knew someone else my age that had moved to the city. Sometimes they were great, sometimes they were awkward. Like a lot of first dates really. If you’re mom isn’t setting you up on girl dates, you should try the app, BumbleBFF. It’s sort of like a dating app, but instead it’s designed for you to meet girl friends! Pretty genius, right?
5. Join a Group
A book club, dinner group, Bible study—whatever it is, find something you’re interested in and do some research on groups or start one with a friend and go out from there. Chances are people will ask if they can bring their other friends and before you know it, you’ll have your own group of friends. We had a serious supper club a few weeks ago that met every week for nearly a year! I met so many amazing girls through it, but sadly, most of them have since moved onto different cities.
6. Be That Friend
Let’s flip the tables here and say you know a new girl moving to your city. If you ever get the opportunity to be an Arleigh to someone else, be her. Invite the new girl that you don’t really know to come out with you and your friends. You can only imagine how much it will mean to her!
Have you moved to a new city before? Was it easy or hard for you to make new friends? What tips do you have for meeting new girls friends?!
photography by Jules Kennedy