Anyone that's moved to a new city knows all too well how stressful the endless tasks related to moving can be. Researching neighborhoods, applying for new jobs or even routine tasks such as moving your cable can get so overwhelming that making new friends may be the last thing on your to-do list. But once the last piece of furniture is unpacked and your plants are arranged exactly how you like them, that inevitable feeling of isolation can start to creep in. Unless you're lucky enough to move to a city where you know many people, making new friends can often feel like the most daunting part of your entire move. Online dating continues to be the most commonly used tool to meet new people in a new city. But unless you want to spend the next few months going on awkward first dates, here are some alternative online platforms that will help you meet cool folks in your new city.
Launched in 2001, MeetUp is an excellent, online networking tool for those who are interested in meeting like-minded individuals in their local area. MeetUp is a social platform that connects people of similar interests by acting as the facilitator of MeetUp groups all over the city. If you’ve got an interest, MeetUp most likely has the perfect Meetup group for you. These like-minded individuals schedule different meetings in an effort to network, exchange ideas or simply hang out. From cooking to marketing to theater and film, this is a great way to make new people on a platonic level. And the best part is; it's FREE!
It's not an alcohol related activity but it will teach you how to give an awesome speech at your best friend's wedding! Toastmasters is a professional networking group that provides open online registration for those who are interested in sharpening their public speaking skills and making new friends during the process. This internationally recognized organization trains and guides their members to become great public speakers and communicators via workshops, conferences and speaking competitions. So if you're looking for a way to develop your communication and social skills, Toastmasters is a great choice for accomplishing both.
While the primary purpose of this online platform isn't socializing, it's still a great way to meet people that enjoy similar interests and hobbies. Dog lover? Volunteer at a local pet shelter. Arts & crafts skills? Help out at an after-school program. VolunteerMatch has a wide range of non-profit organizations that use VolunteerMatch.com to find volunteers for various causes and projects. And what better way to meet awesome people than while giving back to the community?
It wouldn't be fair if we didn't include at least one online dating site to round out this list. However, Grouper presents its users an interesting twist and you'll need at least one pal to sign up with you. Grouper.com is an online dating site that facilitates group dates among friends. This innovative site capitalizes on the age old concept of double dating and takes it one step further. Grouper promotes platonic friendships as much as romantic connections because 9 times out of 10, you're more likely to leave with two or three new friends rather than a romantic interest. And for a new transplant, this may be a better option than a romantic relationship right off the bat. So if you're ready for a new and more daring way to meet friends (or make a potential love connection), Grouper is perfect for you!
As you see, meeting new friends in a new city doesn't have to be limited to sitting at a bar by yourself or struggling through a series of awkward first dates. These socially driven platforms have made it much easier to find your niche in a new city and to have lots of fun while doing it!