Approximately 400,000 people move to London each year, many wanting to fill one of the 4.5 million jobs, but why does one of the busiest cities in the world feel so lonely for so many people?
According to a YouGov poll, making new friends was in the top 10 New Year’s resolutions for 2018 along side “eating better” and “exercise more.” As we near the New Year’s resolution season, we wanted to look at how people are actually making new friends in a busy city like London.
Your 20’s and 30’s are supposed to be the time of your life, but for many of us they also represent the period of greatest change, and change can be challenging. Responsibilities such as your career, relationships, mortgages and children can become all-consuming and are a far cry from the comparatively care free periods of school and/or university. With all these responsibilities, sparing time to socialise with your friends can be hard to come by and you can feel distant from those to whom you previously felt close.
So how can you meet new people in London? Here are a few ideas…
You’ve heard of dating apps? Well, there are friendship apps as well. Bumble BFF, We3 and Hey VINA! are just some of the apps that enable you to connect with your potential new best buddy. Based on variables such as your location, personality type, hobbies and schedule you can be matched with likeminded people in the same boat as you.
Do things with groups of people
Websites such as citysocializer.com allow you to find local group activities. Be it rooftop afterwork drinks, historical walks or a gym session, you can connect with likeminded people who live or work close to you in one of the most cultural and buzzing cities in the world.
Move into a house share
A great way to meet new people is to move in with strangers. Often a challenge for any young professional is meeting people outside their regular day-to-day movements (work, train, gym). But if you’re living with strangers, you will almost certainly be exposed to people in different professions with different interests and different friendship groups. Hang out with them and their friends. In time they might become your friends too. Search for house shares on sites like SpareRoom and EasyRoommate.
Actively pursue your hobbies
You like singing? Playing football? Painting? Reading? Yoga? Musical theatre? Join a choir, a football team, an art class, a book club…. you get the idea. There are endless opportunities to join groups of people who share your interests within London. Google any one of these things and you will find an almost endless list of possibilities near to you.
Make time for your existing friends
Often, we worry about losing touch with friends. This can happen as you and your friends’ careers develop or settle down with a significant other. But just because your friendship is different from your time together at university, (maybe going out 5 times a week and watching Countdown together every day), it doesn’t mean you are not still friends. You can stay in touch via text and WhatsApp groups so you know what is happening in each other’s lives and try to meet up every few months. And when you do, it does not have to be for a big night out. It can be a quick coffee or brunch. Remember, as your life changes, your friends’ lives change as well. They probably feel the same as you, so pick up your phone and get in touch!
Make friends at work
All too often we dismiss our work colleagues as potential friends. They are associated with a certain part of our life that we may want to keep separate from our social lives. You might be worried about embarrassing yourself and potentially harming your career by letting your guard down in front of colleagues. These are fair concerns, but you don’t have to befriend everyone at work. Jobs can be stressful and talking through things with someone who truly understands your work dynamic can often help. It can be a great benefit to feel the support and camaraderie of friends at work.
At X4 Group, lifelong friendships have been made that go way beyond the working week. A lot of our team, especially individuals just starting out, choose to flat share and enjoy going out in London at the weekend. We have found that annual events like the summer and Christmas party, combined with regular company socials have really helped bring people together.
If you want to learn more about the opportunities at X4 Group, get in touch today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org