How To Meet New People Locally & Online

By ReGain Editorial Team|Updated June 23, 2022

We all want friendships, but it's hard to take the first step and talk to people for many. Maybe you've just moved into a new town, where no one knows your name, and you don't know where to begin. Perhaps you do have friends, but you want to meet individuals outside of your friend's circle. Maybe you want to meet someone and hope it blossoms into something more.

In theory, this should be quite easy. You can go outside and talk to someone. However, most of us do not want to bug a stranger, and besides, how do we know they have anything in common with us? There may be an icebreaker in some cases, but there is nothing to work within other cases.

Here are some ways you can meet new individuals, offline and online.

First, we'll look at local options.

Find Pet Lovers

One way to break the ice with a person is if they're a pet owner. Everyone loves talking about their animals. If you have a dog, you can go walking or go to the dog park and meet other pup owners. If you're a cat lover, you can go to a pet store or shelter and talk about cats. Even if you don't own a dog, you can usually approach someone who has a dog, and they'll be willing to let you pet it and strike up a conversation.

Join A Book Club

If reading is your thing, then look for local book clubs. Not only can you discover new books, but you'll have a community where you can discuss the books you read. If you meet individuals who have the same opinions as you, these can be some blossoming friendships.

If you can't find a book club, you can always form your own by going to a library and starting one. Speaking of that, a library is a good place to meet bookworms. Just don't disturb people when they're trying to read!

Religion

One obvious one is to find a local church and meet individuals there. Churches are more than places to practice your religion; they are places of community. Some people may not even be religious, but still, like the sense of community a church has. There is no shame in practicing your faith at home, but it can be better to have people who believe in the same beliefs as you do.

Political Events

Speaking of beliefs, if you align with a political event, look for meetups and events of like-minded people there. Even if you have the same general beliefs, everyone has nuanced opinions that can open to discussion. Just make sure to keep the political debates civil!

Your Neighbors

If you've moved into a suburb or an apartment complex or any location where you share residence in close vicinity to other people, why not strike up a conversation with them? Your neighbors can end up being great friends of yours. Some people feel like they're bothering their neighbors, but you have nothing to worry about as long as you are polite.

Volunteer

If you've ever considered volunteering, now is a good time to do so. Not only can you do good for your community, get some needed job experience, and get your hands busy, but you can meet people who want to be a part of your community as well, and you can strike up some conversations with them.

In-Line

If you're ever waiting in a line, try talking to the other person. If they're not doing anything, you may be able to have a conversation with them while you are waiting. What's even better is being in a line at an event that the two of you have an interest in, such as a convention.

Go To A Concert

Even if you live in a small town, there is probably some concert that pops up. Explore your local band scene while meeting new individuals. It can be a fun experience, and you may find other music enthusiasts too.

Take The Fitness Route

If you love working out or are interested in fitness, you are in luck. There are many ways to meet people if you're into fitness, including:

  • Go to the gym. The gym is usually a community of many of the same people, and by talking to some of the attendees, you can form a bond. Everyone wants to share their techniques and tips on how to shed those pounds and get fit.
  • Try to go on a hike. Hiking is not only an awesome way to explore nature, but it's a way you can find other hikers and find new places to hike. Everyone knows a cool hiking place, and they're willing to share.
  • If you're into running, you can probably find other runners around. Ask about their routes or how they handle themselves during a run.
  • If you travel by bike, there are always bikers interested in having partners to bike with them.

Sports

One thing that unites people are sports. You can go to any sports bar and find people interested in the same teams as you, or you can go to a sports game if the bar scene isn't your thing. Many people are interested in sports, and the competition means that there are diverse groups you can join.

Alternatively, you can participate in sports yourself. Go to a basketball court or a tennis court if that's your thing, and play some games with some people.

The Bar

A few drinks get everyone willing to talk. You can meet some interesting people at the bar, and many of them have stories to tell. If you are over the age to do so, sit down, have a drink, and chat with some people. You may come out with a new friend.

Gaming

If you love to play video games, you may want to look for other gamers. One way to do so is to find local gaming tournaments in your area or go to a video game shop and chat with some people. Many gamers are indoors, but plenty of them are out and about as you are.

For board games, go to a comic book shop. You may find tabletop games being set up there all the time.

The Coffee Shop

If you're the artsy type of person, the coffee shop is a good place to meet new individuals and have discussions. You can sit around with a cup of coffee and watch the people come in. Talk to someone who you find interesting or who you share a bond with.

Bring The People To You

Why not try to bring the people to you by hosting an event? You can host a party, a meetup of people who have similar interests, or anything else. Find a place where you can host the event, as most strangers may not want to go to someone else's house. For example, if you're into tabletop, host a Dungeons and Dragons event at a comic book shop if they so allow you to.

Online

It's easier to meet individuals online, but it may be harder in some situations, especially if you're looking for local people. There are so many choices to pick from that it's a bit of a needle and a haystack situation. You could try going to a social media site such as Facebook and looking for friends there.

Alternatively, you can use apps and dating sites to find local people. Some dating sites are more than just for romance; you can meet new, exciting friends on them as well. You can also look for forums and websites devoted to your town and discuss with people there. Use hashtags related to your area and find new individuals.

Another great site to use is meetup.com, where people post events related to a hobby they may be interested in. It's not only a good way to find out about your town's culture, but meet individuals who share the same interests. Again, similar interests are the best way to break the ice.

Seek Counseling!

One reason why you may have trouble meeting new friends is that of social awkwardness. Everyone is a little bit awkward when they first meet, but people with more severe social difficulties may have difficulty taking the first step to meet someone, or they may mess up their words and ruin their chances of meeting new individuals.

Talking to a therapist can help you if you feel like your social skills need improvement. A therapist can look at your hobbies and interests and point you to the right places you can visit. They can teach you how to approach someone and strike up a conversation without coming across as weird. And above all, they can teach you how to be more likable.

For Additional Help & Support With Your Concerns
Speak With A Licensed Therapist
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