But it doesn’t have to be.
Finally getting out on your own in a new city is something to be proud of. But part of that includes having the confidence to invest in yourself and your relationships. Resist the urge to stay in your half-furnished apartment for the first few months in your new home, and follow these tips to add some romance to your life.
1. Don’t overthink it
You'll drive yourself crazy if every time you leave the house you’re worried about trying to attract a partner. Do what you can to put yourself out there, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t meet your new bestie or the person of your dreams in the first month. You don’t need a partner, you’d like to have one. Above all else, remember that.
2. Download an app
There are so many easy-to-use apps for socializing and meeting people that can help you connect with like-minded individuals in your area. You use your phone to call your mom when you’re homesick, order takeout when you had a bad day at work and to see if that direct deposit came through in time for you to buy Beyoncé tickets. Why not utilize it to help you meet people, too?
What causes do you care about? Find a way to throw yourself into whatever those are on your days off. And if you can meet someone who has a soft spot for shelter animals or mentoring students like you do, that’s one sensitive and important thing to bond over on your first date.
4. Attend neighborhood events or block parties
Stop and read the bulletin boards in your laundry mat and quit throwing out the newsletter you get in the mail each week. The events posted in those places will provide you with tons of new people to meet, something fun to do and maybe even some free food. Plus, if you meet someone here you can hang out for a bit and get to know each other in a relaxed, pressure-free environment.
5. Watch out for local concerts or events native to the areaPhoto: Giphy
These provide similar situations to your neighborhood events, but can often bring you to people who share a passion for the same kind of music, culture or sports teams that you do.
6. Delve into your favorite hobbies via meet-ups or clubs
There are websites, social media groups, teams and organizations where you can practice pickup games, crafts and other specific interests that mean something to you. Even if your next partner isn’t involved, you might make a great group of friends who can expose you to new people.
7. Join a gym
Whether you opt for a specialty class such as Bikram yoga or Zumba, or you stick to hitting the treadmill, gyms are places that will consistently bring together people from all backgrounds and interest groups for a common goal. Not to mention people in gyms usually have a routine, so it should be easy to introduce yourself after a few "chance" encounters.
8. Take a class
It’s never too late to finally invest in that skill you’ve always been interested in. Take an art class, pick up an instrument or even invest in bettering your career skills by taking a coding or design class. All of these things will bring you together with interesting people to achieve a common goal. Your soulmate could totally start out as your study buddy.
9. Go to church
Much like the gym, church is a place you can go to better yourself and meet someone outside of your friend group or work environment.
10. Join a book club
If you’re looking for an intellectual who loves literature, this is a perfect opportunity. You can learn a lot about someone through their taste in books and their analyzations of the text.
11. Strike up conversations every day
Don’t be afraid to have a friendly conversation at the coffee shop you frequent with the people you see during your daily commute or even at the grocery store. I love putting in my headphones and catching up on podcasts as much as the next person, but you can benefit from taking the earbuds out and interacting with people you might normally pass up in your daily life.
12. Don’t be afraid to go solo doloPhoto: Giphy
It’s ok to go somewhere alone. Of course, avoid situations where you feel unsafe or are disconnected in unfamiliar areas, but embrace the idea of having solo adventures. Planning group outings isn’t always easy, and large groups can often be intimidating.
13. Don’t be afraid to open up your friend group
That being said, you don’t have to ditch the group. Lead by example next time you’re out with friends and be open and inviting. This is really the best of both worlds — you can have your friends as wing-people but also have an easy out if the conversation isn’t going so well.
14. Befriend locals
Being new to town can be exciting but also scary. Befriending locals isn’t only good for helping you navigate your new home in terms of healthcare, banking, residential areas, etc., but it can also open you up to a whole address book of people to meet.
15. Follow up with people
Don’t just get someone’s number and throw it away (unless you’re uninterested). We all know that following up is important in business, but it’s also important in meeting new people. If you had fun on that coffee date, don’t be afraid to reach out again down the line. Invest your time and energy in the people that interest you or matter to you.
16. Start with focusing on friendships
If you’ve had a string of bad dates and are feeling frustrated, a good goal is to really focus on making friends. Not only will you have an awesome support system for all aspects of your new (sometimes scary) journey, but expanding your friend group will naturally bring you to new people through mutual friends.
17. Don’t force it.Photo: Giphy
This is probably the most important rule in trying to successfully date when you move to a new city. If you haven’t met anyone you’re wanting to have a second date with, don’t force yourself to go on one. If you’re overwhelmed with trying to settle in and you can only make time to utilize a couple of these tips, that’s fine. Dating in a new city is no different than dating elsewhere — there are proactive things you can do, but the most important thing is to be yourself and to be open to new people and new experiences. With an open heart and an open mind, the right ones will come into your life.