Many of us on the Rue team have moved once or more over the past few years and have developed a few strategies for meeting inspiring people and making new friends along the way. Here are some of the ways that we’ve felt more at home in our new towns. What’s worked for you?
Friend of a friend. My previous move was to a town where I knew no one- and only had one coworker. I started making friends slowly, and then my college roommate introduced me to her high school bestie who was also new to town. We hit it off and it instantly expanded our friend circle. I met the few people she knew and introduced her to my new friends, which instantly doubled our friend circle. Finding friends of friends is a great strategy because there is a good chance you’ll have some interests in common.
Reach out to people that inspire you. I’ve turned bloggers and designers I’ve followed on Twitter and Instagram into real friends by reaching out and meeting up for coffee. Who are the people in your field that inspire you? It never hurts to just send an email. Do have a specific reason for wanting to meet up- ask for advice or suggest a collaboration. Then even if you don’t end up clicking personally, you’ll be developing professionally.
Look for communities that already exist. Collecting friends one by one can be a drag. Instead, look for activities that already have a large group. This has two benefits. One, you have more people to find your perfect new best friend. Two, scheduling one-on-one friend hang outs can be slow. If you find a new friend group, it’s likely they will have lots of frequent activities and will include you.
Third time’s the charm. Everyone’s so busy these days, so when a new acquaintance declines an invitation, don’t hesitate to send future invites. I always try to make plans three times with someone I’ve enjoyed spending time with. Then if it still doesn’t pan out, ball’s in their court.
Reconnect with old friends. When facing personal struggles or wanting to celebrate a success, sometimes new friends don’t have the backstory to understand. There are times to fill them in, but sometimes it’s great to skip right to the juicy news. An old friend and I recently had a ‘Skype Date’ complete with wine to catch up. I already knew all about her past jobs so when she told me about her promotion I could celebrate exactly how far she’s come.