riends don’t come delivered to your door, sadly you cannot order them on Amazon. Often new encounters with potential friends can be daunting beyond belief, and you’d rather hide away at home than deal with a potentially awkward situation.
But there are ways to circumvent this, your twenties are supposed to be the best time of your life. While that can’t always be true, you can actively work to make yourself more available to people who will hopefully enhance your lifestyle.
Here are seven detailed suggestions for meeting new people, and hopefully they will get you out of that antisocial shell.
Adopt a forward dating style
Being forward while dating is easier said than done, and it can be nerve-wracking if it seems like you’re the only one carrying the conversation. But it doesn’t have to be so hard.
The most important part about dating is keeping your date interested, and that pretty much just means talking to them on a consistent basis. Whether or not this relationship pans out, a lot of the time you’ll be introduced to new people through your boyfriend or girlfriend.
If you’re unsure about how to keep the conversation fresh in the early stages here are a few tips:
- Sending a meme or two can go a long way. If you’ve found something funny on Twitter or Instagram share it! Sending a TikTok also works especially well, and often sparks up common interests you two might have.
- Dating apps are perfect for talking to multiple people at the same time. In the early days of scrolling, you don’t have to be committed to anyone. Bumble and Hinge are the best options, with better messaging platforms.
- Video calls can cement your interest in a person if you feel comfortable talking to them face to face. If you’ve connected with someone you really like, suggest a facetime rather than your usual text.
Attend a music festival
Music festivals are absolute hotbeds for social interaction, so much so that it can even be overwhelming at times. But with so many people there, the options for potential meetings are limitless.
But before you break out your flower crown and glowsticks ready to make friends, consider these four tips when deciding on what music festival to attend and how to act when you get there.
- Choosing the right festival for you is the first thing you should be thinking of. Meeting someone at an EDM festival is going to go very differently than if you’re at a jazz festival. Find your niche and stick to it, in terms of music, location, and activities.
- Hang out or hookup? You can find plenty of people ready to do either or at a music festival, but it's important to establish which kind of interaction you want to focus on, as each will yield different social results.
- Group activities planned by the festival are more common than you think. Rather than going in blind, looking for people and things to do, look up planned festival activities beforehand on their website.
Try some gym classes
For many people going to the gym is a solo activity. You plug in your headphones and spend a couple of hours on the treadmill or with the weights by yourself. But gyms can be very social places if you just look for the right people.
Gym sponsored classes are a perfect segway into meeting new friends. And there are tons of options to choose from, they have classes for everything these days not just yoga.
Try one of the typical indoor cycling or spin classes. Or if you’re looking for something with a higher intensity to accompany your socializing try HIIT or high-intensity interval training classes, lots of cardio in short bursts of time.
Dance classes too are always a good bet, as there are so many different styles to choose from. After class be sure to introduce yourself to your neighbor, and together you can commiserate about your aching muscles and the Cardi B song you spent a good three minutes blasting it out to.
Now not only does volunteering act as a way into new social circles but it has the added benefit of helping out your community and those in need.
It’s better to find a cause you’re interested in, as you’re more likely to stick with the program and keep coming back to participate if you find what you’re doing interesting. And once you meet someone with a like-mind for this passion project, it’s that much easier to keep the conversation going.
Volunteering has been proven to increase happiness in those who partake. Here are a few examples of common volunteering opportunities you might want to try out.
- Tutoring is an absolute classic and a great option for people who are still in college. Your college or high school in the area are a great place to start, and often you’ll have group training sessions where you can meet fellow tutors.
- Local animal shelters are often desperately in need of volunteers to walk and interact with their cats and dogs. If you don’t mind getting slobbered on and cleaning up after some overexcited pets, animal-lovers are some of the greatest people to meet.
- A community garden is an awesome collaborative space. If you need some vitamin D head outside for some sunshine and conversation with plant-lovers of all kinds.
Make time for yourself
This might seem like something you shouldn’t be doing to meet new people, but it’s very important to acknowledge that not only you but everyone needs time for themselves.
Of course, the alone time you need varies on how introverted or extroverted you are, but it's never a bad time to reflect on how you’re doing as a person.
It might be hard to take in but sometimes you’re not ready to meet new people and thus make new friends until you’ve figured some of your own issues out. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have friends, but working on your self-worth and making sure that your mental health is taken care of is most important.
And better yet, making sure that you have time for self-care is going to make you someone people are more attracted to, whether it's in a romantic or platonic way. If you come off as a well-adjusted person people will be more likely to keep up long-standing relationships with you.
So make sure you dedicate an hour or two of your day to relaxing, doing something you love on your own. It will keep you well balanced.
Reconnect with old friends
Now, this isn’t exactly meeting new people, but it is a good way to extend your social circle beyond its current boundaries.
People fall in and out of your life, that’s a fact. Sometimes you need to let these people go, and you’re better off without them. But often enough people fade away for silly reasons, you were too busy, or not in a healthy mindset to be friends at the time.
So if there’s someone you’ve been thinking about a lot lately, reminiscing about good times back in college or an old job, then maybe it's time to reach out again. People change, and oftentimes the person you’re thinking of misses hanging out just as much as you do.
Arrange something casual to start with, a coffee date, or a walk in the park. Or even hit up an old dining spot that has sentimental meaning to you both. You could be pleasantly surprised by this friend, and if things work out then you can extend your social circle through their friends as well.
Hit up happy hour
At the end of a long day sometimes all you want to do is catch a ride home, collapse into bed and snuggle up with some much-needed Netflix and instant mac and cheese. But when you head home, you’re missing out on after-work gatherings, especially happy hour.
Happy hour at your local bar or restaurant doesn’t just have to be with co-workers, often it includes people from other departments at your employer that you’ve never met before.
Of course, if you prefer not to drink or if you’re driving home from work after, you don’t have to partake in a drink at all. Sometimes it's more fun to watch your co-workers throwback shot after shot on a Friday night and join in on the conversation.
And for those who can’t hold their liquor, these happy hour events often create some wild stories to be told before tomorrow’s meeting. A great conversation starter, and a surefire way to make memories.
Not every one of these options will appeal to you. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there and be social, especially if you’re not used to it.
But people will come your way just by participating in some of these things, and you’ll never know how it goes until you try.
Got any of your own tips for meeting new people? Leave a comment below and be sure to like and share!