Moving to a different place provides many transitions in your life all at once: you might be changing jobs, starting school, or simply looking for a change. And if you're newly single while simultaneously dating in a new city, that's just another adjustment to get used to as well.
When I moved from New York City to Washington, D.C. after college, I was fresh out of my first relationship, and processing the end of that person being in my life. I moved for my first-ever full-time job, and I was about to live in my first "grown-up" apartment in a place where I had to build my social life from scratch. I knew dating would be in the mix at some point, and I wasn't sure where to begin. Ultimately, I got into the swing of things, but I wish I had had help figuring out how to date in a new city.
I spoke with life coach Nina Rubin (no relation) about some suggestions she may have if you're navigating life in a new city and want to date. Moving to a new place throws so many challenges your way, but if you're interested in meeting new people, this is one challenge you can certainly conquer. You got this.
Lean into being the new kid in town.
There's this annoying pressure to seem like you have so much going on – both in the dating world, and outside of it. But when you move to a new city, your social calendar may not be totally "impressive" just yet, and you will probably have free time outside of your job or coursework initially. So you won't be able to say you can't go out on certain days to seem busy, but playing games is pointless, anyway.
Instead, lean into being the new kid in town! People you're dating may offer to introduce you to their friends, and take them up on it. You can definitely meet your new buddies through your dating life, and that's really, actually fine.
"I think love can happen anytime and we need to be open to all possibilities," Rubin says. "Don’t say no to love just because you’re new to a city or don’t know many people."
Join something that interests you, and find like-minded people there.
If you're a gym rat, get a membership in your new city. Or if you love bar trivia, join a league. If you have a pup, take them to the dog park! While you're out doing your thing, you may meet someone who's into the same hobbies.
"Join a CrossFit or private gym with an active social arm and participate in events," Rubin says. "Go to events you are genuinely interested in."
If you start seeing the same faces every time you go in, maybe start with a smile, then work your way up to saying hi. Who knows where it can go from there.
Use your new home as an opportunity to try new things.
Rubin recommends to check off items on your bucket list. If you've been wanting to learn a new language, sign up for a class. If you want to step outside your comfort zone, try improv. "Do things you’ve been meaning to do," Rubin says.
I know in D.C., a popular group activity that was especially good for meeting people was kickball. A friend of mine from work set up a team, and it seemed like a great way for people to connect.
Ask the people you befriend to introduce you to people.
You'll likely meet a new social circle at your new job or school (or whatever reason caused your move), so tap into those new connections by asking them if they have single friends they could set you up with. Or if your new friends are throwing a party or a happy hour, seek out people there on your own.
"Ask friends (who have mutual friends) in your new city to introduce you to people and include you in fun activities," Rubin tells Elite Daily.
Keep an open mind.
Remember, your job, apartment, and friend circle don't have to all be in tip-top shape and "perfect on paper" to start dating. People can come into your lives at the strangest of times, and sometimes, you just have to let that happen. Rubin suggests, "Let love come in."
And who knows? Maybe dating new people will help you get to know your new city even better, through the activities you do and places you see on your dates.
When I moved to D.C. and went on dating apps that summer, I ended up seeing more of the district by going out with people than I ever would have on my own. Instead of hermit-ing in my apartment (which I tend to do), I went out to happy hours, restaurants, and even the Lincoln Memorial and Reflection Pool on one date. Maybe include in your profile that you're new to town, and would like to explore with someone who knows the area. Hey – it just might work.