Making new friends when you relocate can be very hit and miss. I would actually describe my experience as miss-miss-hit-miss-miss-miss… and then a couple more ‘hits’ after a lot more ‘misses’. Ugh. It takes a lot of effort, and the word ‘easy’ doesn’t describe my experience at all, especially in Germany where people are quite reserved. So here’s a few tips for when trying to meet new people:
1. Be shameless
I openly told people that I didn’t know anyone in Frankfurt and shamelessly said I’d be happy to go to any drinks or meet ups that were taking place. Don’t be afraid to go to these things on your own. I once went to the cinema with a bunch of people I didn’t know and I won’t lie, it was pretty awkward when I realised I was sitting in the ‘love seat’ (double cinema chair) with a random stranger, but whilst I queued for the toilet, I did end up meeting two of the closest people to me here in Frankfurt, so I guess I can’t complain.
2. Flat share
Temporary accommodation and being
too fussy, meant that I lived in three different apartments within my first 6 months of living in Frankfurt. It probably would have been a lot easier if I’d chosen to live on my own, however I have met so many people through flat sharing, and you don’t have to do it forever.
3. Become a regular
Whether you try something new or get back into something old, joining a club has done loads for my sense of community in Frankfurt. Meet Up has loads going on and with an expat population of nearly 30% in Frankfurt, there are plenty of people who speak English and are open to meeting others. And honestly, even if this isn’t a ‘hit’ and you don’t make close friends, being surrounded by familiar faces and having the odd chat here and there can make a huge difference.
Making a conscious effort to join Facebook groups is a great way to be in the loop with what’s going on in your new city. And even though the notifications can be a pain in the arse, you never know who you’ll meet when you make the extra effort to join an event.
A simple smile shows someone that you are open for interaction and approachable for conversation. I can’t promise that 10 smiles will bring you 10 new friends, but who knows who you’ll end up talking to. New to city, and looking to meet new people, you’ve got nothing to lose.
Although some of my attempts to make friends have failed and there were points where I would laugh at the fact that I only had 2 friends in an entire city, I can tell you that doing the above is the only way I was really able to make it work. So be shameless when it comes to meeting new people, and just don’t forget to smile 🙂