“If you think it’s hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball.”
- Jack Lemmon
Living in a big city can be challenging in many different aspects. Finding new people to kick-start your social life is no exception. Happy hours, meetups, and fitness classes are extremely popular with young professionals for this exact purpose. But do these activities really help you meet the right new people easily and efficiently?
For most, that answer is an emphatic NO.
These conventional activities fail because the end results often fall well below our own overzealous expectations. In order to make deeper connections and friendships, you need to think outside of the box to find people who share more common interests.
Fear not. Here are 5 unconventional ways to meet your new best friend in the big city.
1) Bar Theme Night
Question: What is the most popular bar activity in the U.S. on any given night? Many places will often host interactive theme nights during during the week which gives you an easy way to meet others in a relaxed environment. Trivia? Bingo? Karaoke? It’s all out there. Check your local watering hole for the next opportunity.
2) Learn a Martial Art
Is it a coincidence that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are all best friends? There is no better way to introduce yourself to someone than by an old fashioned ass-kicking. New York City is home to hundreds of Martial Arts classes where you can learn anything from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to Kickboxing. This is also an excellent way to spice up your workout routine.
There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer within your local community whether it’s cleaning up the streets or feeding the homeless. Did you know that you can volunteer to help out your favorite four-legged friends? Dogs need loving too so why not take an adoptable dog out on a hike for some fresh air. You might just hit it off with some of the other volunteers.
4) Foodie Gatherings
People love food. The only thing people love more than food is sharing the experience of an amazing bite with someone else. Ethnic festivals, food truck events, BBQ tailgates, and even cheese classes can be found monthly. You name it, it’s here in New York. If large crowds aren’t your thing, you could always take a small food tour in a more intimate setting.
5) Co-ed Recreational Sports Leagues
Whether it’s kickball, dodgeball, softball, or Quidditch (yes, from Harry Potter), there are leagues out there to serve your wildest imagination. Oh, and did we mention many of these leagues have bar specials after the games for some liquid encouragement?
At this point you have two choices; try something new outside of your comfort zone or laugh at the fact that thousands of people play Quidditch every week while you refresh Facebook screen one more time. It’s your call.