Have you tried to make new friends in a new city? Especially as an adult… it’s terrifying!

I’m not one who easily makes friends, through secondary school down to the university, and into my service year, a lot of people called me a snub. In fact, in secondary school, I was nicknamed “Uchechi dah snubber dah don”. I have no idea why the nickname was born, I think it’s just how my face looks most of the time.  My face talks before I open my mouth, unfortunately. 

Anyways, as I got older I made a conscious decision to be more friendly, and have a welcoming smile towards people. The world is tough for so many people, I shouldn’t be adding to it. 

I moved to Abuja in 2019, that’s over two years now, and when I moved here I had no friends in the city. I had lived in Abuja briefly in 2016, just for 6 months and even though I intended to make friends then, my face did its thing and drove most people away -except some stubborn ones I’m grateful stuck with me. 

Over two years in this city, I’ve met amazing people and while I’ve also met not-so-amazing people, I refuse to dwell on them. 

How was I able to make friends in a new city? Especially for someone terrible at making new friends? Keep reading to know more. 

Ways to make friends in a new city – what I did:

Do More Stuff:

I was out almost every day last week, at social gatherings, meetings, the saloon. And one certain thing was my meeting different people at different places. The old me would have done what I was out for and headed back home, but the new me didn’t just sit down in a place, I went around and said hi to as many people as I could; and those who I bonded with, followed each other on social media -because we are in the era where we don’t just exchange phone numbers!

Ways to make friends in a new city


Start A Conversation:

While as adults we might believe that people already have their friends, there’s always extra room for one or two more people! You won’t know this until you start a conversation. 

I was at a cocktail event, I intentionally went alone for the event because I wanted to meet new people and maybe make a friend or two. 

I got to the event, walked around saying hello to as many people as I could with my drink in one hand of course. By the time I was ready to sit, I walked around till I met a lady sitting alone. I walked up to her and asked if she needed company and she was excited to have me join her, we started a random conversation after introductions until another lady walked up and asked to join us. 

We ordered our food, sat together and played games, danced, talked about random things, and had a swell evening in general. 

Why am I sharing this? All these won’t have happened if I had just stayed by myself or if I had gone with people I already knew. 

Enjoy Everyday:

You don’t have to put so much pressure on yourself on making friends, you can enjoy friendly experiences throughout the day and just have a good time with zero expectations. You mustn’t be friends with everyone you meet, but you can have friendly experiences and that’s also important. 

Ways to make friends in a new city

Reach Out To People:

This is where I truly appreciate social media because you can randomly dm someone and start a conversation and the next thing you know you’re headed to the movies or the park for a picnic! I have one friend we were at a picnic I hosted in March, and since then we’ve done random things together. She’s been an amazing person and a wonderful friend too. 

Join A Community:

I understand most people are lone-ships and there’s no problem with that. But if you’re interested in making friends then join a community in your new city. I’m in a community of food & lifestyle bloggers and we have a group where we share random bants, have collaborations, pick a restaurant and decide to go together and it makes living in this city so much fun for me. 

Give It Time:

Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Enjoy every moment and hold dear every beautiful memory. The most beautiful friendships are the most random. Give it time, you’ll find someone you click with in your new city, and even if you don’t there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that too. Just have a great time and create memories. 

I’ve made friends with people from different walks of life, culture, religion, people way older than me and I’ve learned a lot from them. I’ve also shared friendly experiences with most people who I can’t have as long-term friends and it was beautiful while it lasted. 

First, be friends with yourself before you go seeking friendship from other people. 

Have you made new friends in a new city? Especially as an adult, what worked for you?