Nursery, school, university. We are marched from setting to setting and submerged in environments with people of similar ages and interests. Friends are almost provided for us in ready-made packages.
At university, for example, if you don’t bond with your housemates, there are always your course mates. If that doesn’t work out, there are societies you can join or people from your part time job. And if all those fail then there is always the good old-fashioned friendship creators: alcohol and dancing.
Once we get to the workplace and move to new cities, however, the rules have suddenly changed. How on earth do you meet new people when you are stuck at a desk all day?
This all depends on the kind of company you work for, but if you find your kindred spirit at work, you are very lucky and your days just got a whole lot more bearable. Keep hold of these! Test the water by going for dinner and putting a ban on office talk.
How you choose to spend your free time is a huge statement about who you are as a person. Rather than solo trips to the gym, sports teams and fitness classes are a great place to meet new people.
However, this is not limited to traditional hobbies. I asked a friend how she knew so many people in the city despite not being from London. She runs a fashion blog and claims that she wouldn’t have met half her friends if it wasn’t for blogging. These began as online relationships and developed after meeting at events.
Friends of friends
If you are new to a place, get the friends you do know to introduce you to their local friends. Tag along for coffee or blag a plus one for a party. No, it does not make you seem desperate; everyone wants to meet new people, so throw a party where everyone brings at least one person you don’t know. After all, this is how new friendships occurred before the internet age.
Familiar faces can be comforting in a new place, even if your previous relationship has been nothing but a passing “hello”. Reach out and ask for a tour or tips they’ve learnt from being there. They will be flattered to be seen as an expert and probably find your presence stirs up some welcome nostalgia.
The reality of rising rents and static wages means that most of your twenties is probably going to be spent in house shares. If you’re descriptive and clear about the kind of person you are in your advert, a roommate could become a soulmate (or at least someone to enjoy some pizza and a bottle of prosecco with!).
If someone if willing to give up their free time to help others without payment, they are probably a decent human being – which is exactly what I look for in friends. Volunteering is an excellent way to meet people from all walks of life and try your hand at something you wouldn’t ordinarily do.
Reduce the time you spend with your head buried in your phone. Smile when waiting for the train and in the queue for coffee. Friendships start with being approachable.
Get a dog
Okay, so this probably isn’t a legitimate reason on its own, but you must have noticed their amazing ice-breaking ability! Having a dog makes it socially acceptable to talk to strangers in the middle of the day and gives you an instant topic to build on. Borrowing a dog to walk also works.
And finally, I’m unsure if this is as successful for everyone but I met my best friend in a club toilet. She sorted out my lipstick when I was mildly intoxicated, we exchanged numbers and never looked back.
So go out there and get talking! You never know who you might meet…