How to Meet New People If You’re Living Somewhere New This Summer

So you’re moving this summer. Maybe it’s to a totally city or just somewhere 15 minutes from where you used to be. Regardless, it’s likely to be an entirely different experience than what you’re used to and that includes the dating scene! Dating and romance are always more fun during the summer, and are also sure to be far more exciting when you’re in a new place.

We talked to some expert collegiettes about their experiences meeting new people in a new place and put all their tips together for a go-to list. Read on and don’t forget to share your own ideas and experiences in the comments and on Facebook and Twitter!

1. Spend time at local bars and restaurants

At first, you’ll have to get comfortable being that person who’s alone at a bar, café, restaurant, etc., but you’ll soon be surrounded by others doing the exact same thing. Dating new and unknown people is daunting, but just remember that a lot of other people are in a similar boat!

Dating is also way easier when you’re young and everyone’s in a transitional summer period. “Some of the best connections I made happened...when I simply asked, ‘Do you mind if I sit here?’" says Abigail Megginson, a sophomore at the University of West Florida. Putting yourself out there is the first step, and people will admire you for having that confidence.

Related: 50 Fun Summer Date Ideas

2. Speed date

Speed dating is a fantastic—and efficient—way to meet new people! Some of the awkwardness of the initial dating stages goes away while speed dating because everyone already knows they’re there to find a connection with someone.

You can look out on Facebook for events happening in your area, or check out sites like DoRelish to see if your city is listed or just Google speed dating and your city! What do you really have to lose?

It might not seem like the most romantic option, but there’s definitely something to be said for an environment that forces people to talk to one another to see if the chemistry is there. “Honestly the worst that can happen is an awkward encounter,” says Dajin Kim, a sophomore at The University of Texas at Austin. The competitive atmosphere also gives this one a fun edge!

The stakes aren’t too high either, as long as you don’t set yourself up to meet the one on the first night. Maybe that will happen to you, but if it doesn’t, just give one of these other options a try until you’re ready to revisit speed dating (and/or you’re confident that the folks you met to during the first attempt have cycled out).

3. Bond with your coworkers

You might not have both coworkers and neighbors, but we’re betting you have at least one! They’re your surefire entry into local events and new people, because they live there too! Hopefully they’re not as new to the place as you are.

“I resorted to the most cliché ways to establish conversation [with my coworkers],” says Ashley Ortiz, a fourth-year at the University of Puerto Rico. “That was by asking how their shift was, if they knew any good pizza places around the area and simply putting myself out there.” There’s a lot to be said for small talk!

Beyond just learning the local ropes and the ins and outs of wherever you may be working, there are surely plenty of friends and new love interests to be found among the people you work with and the people they can introduce you to. “I knew that if I wanted to have a good time and establish some connection with my coworkers, I had to initiate conversation,” Ashley says.

You don’t necessarily have to date or hook up with your coworkers (in fact, you may want to steer clear of this if it’s not prohibited entirely), but who’s to say one of your coworkers’ best friends isn’t your soul mate or next best fling?

4. Go to free community events

Community centers and parks aren’t just for old people and families! “No matter where you are, there's sure to be like free outdoor exercise classes or like free concerts and things and you can always meet people at those things,” says Linne Halpern, a junior at Wesleyan University. Go check out a local bulletin board in your neighborhood to see if there’s anything of interest.

If you’re in DC, NYC or other big cities, there are plenty of websites like DCist and Nonsense NYC where you can find local events off the beaten path. As for smaller towns, there are likely community websites or things posted at local event centers (we know, we know, but you have to do some of the work!) that you can take advantage of.

Remember that you do have to take the initiative here. “I would suggest setting a goal for yourself to make sure that there are a certain number of nights per week where you make sure to stay out of the house, like don't go straight home after work just to sit on your couch, make sure to get out and explore,” Linne says. You’ll have fun regardless!

Related: 5 Tips for Actually Making Friends in a New City

5. Tinder, Bumble and others

Last but not least, you always have the option of good ol’ fashioned dating sites and apps. Thankfully, there’s no shame in this kind of dating anymore, although it can be tough to decipher whether a whole app and the people using it are interested in casual flings, serious relationships or all other sorts of romantic pursuits.

Like speed dating, the pressure to succeed on dating apps and websites is only high if you make it so. Finding someone you enjoy spending time with or have a physical attraction to is hard work — it wouldn’t be worth it if it wasn’t! Regardless if it’s casual or serious, you want it to be fulfilling.

Tinder and Bumble are just the beginning. There’s also Coffee Meets Bagel, a “ladies’ choice” app similar to Bumble, and Hinge, which sets you up with people your Facebook friends are friends with. Maybe even give one of these obscure dating sites a try if you’re on the rebound, looking to connect with someone over your flavor preferences, and more!

There’s a lot to worry about if you’re spending a summer in a new city, from moving to finances to job prospects. That said, new love interests shouldn’t be the most stressful thing — hopefully they even help you mitigate some of these pressures!

Dating is inevitably nerve-wracking, but just remember that even when it doesn’t go well, it’s good practice. Dating lets you get a better idea of what you’re looking for and what are deal breakers, and you’ll always come out of it with great stories!