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How to Make Friends in a New City

We’ve been moving to a new city every year. But on top of that, living in the married-but-with-no-kids is a strange phase. Just like it’s hard finding friends in a transient city, I think it’s hard to find friends in this stage of life. It’s a transient stage. We spend a good portion of our lives being single and a good portion of our lives taking care of children, an 18+ year commitment.

In between (for most), there might just be a few good years where it’s just the two of you. It’s not that we don’t like making friends on our own, because we do, but we’ve found that it’s especially challenging to find couple friends. It’s hard enough having a good dynamic with TWO people, now you have to worry about the dynamic between FOUR! I’m always reminded of the Friends episode.. the one with the challenges of finding couple friends. I don’t remember the title, but it makes me laugh because it’s SO TRUE! (I might have to restart that whole series) Anyone else experience this?

10 good things about marriage and making friends in a new city.Pin
Photo by Tauran

I guess each phase of life has its own purpose, gifts, and challenges. While I remember having a ton of fun being single and how nice it was to always have a crew to hang out with, we’re learning how to have fun and appreciate the life we have now in this phase. Sure, adventures will look different, but they are still adventures. I always love the scene in UP (one of my fave movies of all time) where Carl sees Ellie’s note in their memory book, “Thanks for the adventure, now go have a new one!” Makes me cry every time!

Our 3rd anniversary photo by Jeff Newsom. Married life.Pin
Photo by Jeff Newsom (cropped for blog)

How to Make Friends in a New City

Making friends in a new city can be challenging, but here are some tips to help you get started.

  • Join clubs or groups related to your interests. This can be a great way to meet people who share your hobbies and passions. We’ve done this in the past at church and now at climbing gyms.
  • Volunteer for local organizations or events. Volunteering allows you to give back to your community and meet new people simultaneously.
  • Attend local events and festivals. This is a great way to immerse yourself in the community and meet new people.
  • Connect with your neighbors. Introduce yourself to those who live near you and see if you have any common interests.
  • Take classes or workshops. This is similar to clubs or groups, but it can be a great way to meet new people and learn something new.
  • Use social media to connect with people in your area. Join groups or attend virtual events to meet new people and make connections.

Remember, building relationships takes time and effort, so be patient and persistent.

10 good things about marriage / married life and why I’m grateful:

  1. Deeper relationship. It might not be as exciting as a first date, but you learn a lot about each other and get to know each other at a much deeper level. I don’t know about you, but I can only handle so much small talk.
  2. Having someone to depend on. In the case of an emergency, I know who to call. GHOSTBUSTERS? :D
  3. Sharing the bad times. When things get tough, you have someone to share your burdens. You don’t have to go through it alone. Although Jacob didn’t understand the depression I was going through last year, he was still there for me.
  4. Sharing the good times. There’s someone to celebrate with you. Someone to laugh and smile with you. Someone to travel and take in all the world’s beauty with you.
  5. Acceptance. Even though he sees my flaws up close and personal, he’s not packing his bags.
  6. Fighting isn’t futile. It’s not a bad thing at least for us. It just means we’re two different people working out the kinks. I learned there are three types of couples when it comes to fighting from 7 Principles of marriage (a great read for married folks btw)! You might think one looks worse than the other, but it really depends on the couple.
  7. Sharing household responsibilities. If he cooks, I clean, and vice versa. Also, it’s always easier to cook for two!
  8. Two can be better than one. We’re very different, but we complement each other. Where I am weak in one area, it’s Jacob’s strength. An example would be, I’m a starter/startup person. I have big ideas and like to start them up, but oftentimes I can’t manage and execute them. Jacob is a finisher. He is organized and likes to get things done. Together, we are UNSTOPPABLE! :P
  9. Learning to enjoy each other’s hobbies. It’s not always about finding common ground. Eventually, you can learn to love something for the sake of the other person. Jacob joins me when I get in these obsessive moods with a project. Right now, it’s Project 333 and he’s participating with me. I’ve learned to enjoy movies and watch more TV.
  10. Growth. The challenges of marriage ultimately made me grow and made me a better person than when I only had to worry about myself. The growing continues…

How do you make couple friends (without being overbearing and weirding them out!)?

This is week 28 of practicing gratitude on my blog. You can see all my other gratitude posts here.

This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. thatgirlcarmel

    I recently found your blog and love what I’m reading! This post really resonates with me as my husband and I have yet to meet a solid group of couple friends. It’s so hard – especially here in superficial Los Angeles! But it’s one of the goals we’ve set for our relationship. I totally agree with #5 on your list (thank God my husband sticks by me despite my flaws) and # 9 (I’ve spent quite a bit of time on the golf course for his sake while he’s joined me for samba).

    1. Thanks so much for reading!! :) I’m glad you can relate. It was extremely difficult to make friends in LA for us as well. We lived there last year for one year. I think other than being superficial.. everyone is hustlin and their priorities is to work and “make it” rather than make friends. Samba and Golf – that sounds like a great compromise! :)

      What part of LA are you living in?

      1. thatgirlcarmel

        Oh yes – the grind here is constant. We’re in Culver City which I love. What part did you guys live in?

  2. shoutingchow

    Love this post and the list. Great reminders of lucky we are to have great understanding supporting hubbies :) Seeeee? Maybe you would appreciate the couples app David wanted to create :p

    1. esther julee

      TY! :)

      YEAH. let’s see how that works out. If we meet lots of nice couples or if we meet lots of swingers. haha

      1. shoutingchow

        maybe it’s a great change to explore :p hahaha reminds me of that dating website where the tagline was something “have an affair to save your marriage” … soooo weird

  3. Jen Alex

    We’ve struggled to find married friends, too. Most of our friends were friends that we (or rather he) had before marriage, who also happened to get married about the same time. We have a few couple friends in our new city (an hour and a half from the majority of our friends), but it’s been hard. My husband is fortunately a social butterfly who never meets a stranger. He has lots of acquaintances and makes friends easily. He has been known to introduce us to folks like long-lost friends. I’m more introverted, which makes it harder.

    1. esther julee

      I think I’m the same way! Jacob can just about get along with anybody.. but I usually don’t open up unless I really get comfortable with them.

  4. Erika

    First of all, I love the photos you used in this post (but that’s typical)!

    Next, I just think these reasons are all really great and they resonate for my relationship with Tyler, even though we’re not married. And also… the same thing with the friendship thing, too. It’s a weird spot to be in and we’re trying to figure out how to navigate it, too!

    1. esther julee

      Thanks girl!! :) You guys should hurry up and move here!

  5. loved this post! although i hate fighting. to me, it is futile! but i know sometimes it will happen. how about disagreements that occur without shouting and yelling. now that would be better.

    btw i like the new color scheme! =D

    1. esther julee

      they did say that it gets tricky when you have two diff fighting styles. :P i think jacob just learned to have more of mine haha. bc from my point of view if he doesn’t fight back, he’s either bottling up emotions or doesn’t care.

      Thanks!! it took me seriously two days straight to make it right. :) Hopefully, it’s worth it.

  6. Kristen Leigh

    Well, since I am (most likely forever or until I’m maybe 80 or 90) a single lady, I can’t help you with making couple friends. I think finding people you click with, in general, is challenging once you’re out of college. But, I can help you with FRIENDS. You are either thinking of “The one with the apothecary table” where Chandler/Monica go out with Joey/Janine (who promptly hates them), or “The one with the video tape” where Monica and Chandler get “fake numbered” by a couple they met (and thought they hit it off with) on their honeymoon. (You’re welcome for this very important information.) – Your single, never-married, mom of a grown woman friend, Kristen

    1. esther julee

      the one with the apothecary table! i completely forgot about the honeymoon one. i really need to go watch it all over again! and i appreciate you, friend! :) it’s true. college was the last place you were forced to be in close proximity to people.. now you have to go out of your way to actually make a friendship work. or is it that we have just become pickier too?

      also, are you coming to vegas anytime soon? :D

      1. Kristen Leigh

        Yes, I think the pickier thing is true, too. As you go through life, you prioritize and figure out that you just don’t want to spend your time on people, activities, etc. that don’t really fit. I don’t have any plans for Vegas right now. I’ll be in Italy next month (was reading back to your Cinque Terre posts last week to help myself make a booking decision), and I’m hoping to visit Santa Fe later this year (end of summer, maybe), so that gets a little closer!

  7. finding couple friends is so difficult! But I fully agree with your 10 good things bout married life … even though I’m not married :)

  8. Ah, Esther, I totally hear you on the whole married no kids weird place thing :) It is so hard making couple friends! But I love your list, especially #9. I never thought I would get into board games (or cards for that matter) but now I see why my husband loves them so much.

    1. esther julee

      It is so weird. It’s almost like you have to think like a single person and try to figure out where the couples with no kids hang out. lol do you feel like you’ve found a good community in michigan? I think to add to the challenge is also moving around.

      1. We have been here for going on 3 years, which is hard to believe, but I’m glad that we were able to find a community. I also like using to find friends who love things I do–knitting and ukulele :)

        1. esther julee

          that’s really cool. i’ve been using and went to a couple blogger meetups. maybe i should try a knitting one!

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