When we were younger being the new kid in town was scary. Everyone had friends and you thought they wouldn’t like you or include you. In our 20’s and 30’s, being the new girl is still scary but in an exciting kind of way. You’re new in town and don’t know anyone. Like every gal, you dream of having a set group of friends that you can meet for coffee or after-work cocktails. A tribe to gossip and laugh with about this crazy ride called life. And while you’re looking for your Monica, Phoebe and Rachel (or your Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda) you realize connecting with people is not as simple as walking into a coffee shop.
Ever since I moved to Arizona from California I’ve become obsessed with exploring new spots to meet new people. Who likes staying home everyday even if you don’t know anyone? Not me. If you are also new in town and are looking for your Marshall, Lily, Ted, Robin, and even your Barney, I can help. Here are some suggestions for meeting new people when you’re the new girl in town:
Meetup is a great website to join activities in your city. You can modify the search by up to 10 miles or more from your new city and also by interest. Most events are free, or for a small fee. Feel like going wine tasting? There’s a group for that. Want to meet people your age? There are groups for young professionals. Want to check out the local art scene? Right now there’s probably a group planning a workshop you can join! I’d be surprised if you went to a meet up and didn’t meet anyone.
Frequent a local spot.
I know I said you can’t expect to find your perfect group of BFFs in a random coffee shop, but if you live in a college town or a busy area, there will always be people at your local Starbucks – and not only for a caffeine fix. People park themselves at local coffee shops and restaurants for the free WIFI. If there was WIFI when Friends first aired, Rachel would have bumped into Monica after leaving Barry at the alter a whole lot sooner. People go to these hot spots to work and also to connect with the outside world. Swoop in and see where the conversation takes you.
Use dating apps.
If you’re single and ready to mingle, I suggest using a dating app. Just be smart and cautious about it, ladies. When using a dating app I usually use my middle name in case my love interests get the urge to Facebook stalk. Also, if you “meet” someone you genuinely want to exchange numbers with, get a texting app that gives you a false phone number (like Google Voice). That what they can reach you but you still feel safe if you’re no longer interested. You can also use Snapchat before meeting face to face to make sure he’s not catfishing you. When it’s time to meet in person, pick a public place and let someone know your dates info and the location. Text them when you are home safe and sound.
Meet people at a bar.
Meeting people at a bar isn’t for the faint of heart. I have friends who are quiet and reserved, so going to a bar alone is daunting. However, if you’re social like me this is the place to meet people. You get a drink, slowly sip and chat with the bartender or other bar patrons. The liquid courage also helps. Or perhaps someone will come up and talk to you. If it’s someone you want to engage in conversation, talk about the game or ask them what they’re sipping on. Don’t drink too fast, you don’t want people to have to decode your slurs. If you’re not interested in chatting with the guy or gal, politely end the conversation, move seats, or restart your conversation with the bartender. Bartenders notice everything and tend to save women from pesky guys. Who knows? Maybe the bartender will become your new buddy. Let’s just hope he’s not like Barney.