London is an amazing city. It is breathtaking but not in a way people choose to believe as their opinion is based on the surface. A lot of people who have been to the capital have only seen what the top “fancy” layers of the town have to offer leaving the true charm of London an exquisite treat for Londoners only.
You see, London is loud, fast, crowded, yet lonely. It has the luxury of staying an introvert while enjoying the spotlight. No one cares about what you do, where you come from or where you are headed to. You may be the richest guy in the world and still – if you choose to walk the streets of London – you will be treated in the same way as any other person. Or, in other words, you will not be treated at all.
There is a lot of romance to this loneliness. It feels good most of the time. It is empowering. Where else can you be yourself? Like for real, without any holding back or attachments? New York, maybe? No, it’s definitely not the same. The Apple (by the way, did you know that New Yorkers never call NY the Big Apple. It’s purely a tourist thing) doesn’t have the charm of an aristocrat with age-old history.
The only downfall to the current state of affairs in the capital is that if no one cares then it is hard to make new friends. Or so you may think.
Go to a pub
I know that this may seem strange to many newcomers but it is perfectly fine to go to a pub alone in London. We do it all the time. Grab your iPad, a paper or a book, order a pint, kick back and enjoy yourself for the evening. No one will bite you for sitting there all by yourself. At least not until 2 in the morning they won’t. Things get weird in local pubs after midnight…
Anyways, go to a pub and enjoy the show. The odds are there will be plenty of activities available to you from karaoke to pool games to watching a football game and other things like that. Check out for other lonely iPadders who seem to be enjoying the same thing and start a conversation.
I know this is tough, but you have to step over yourself and do it. Complaining about stuff is a great icebreaker. You will get all the support in the world if you state how obviously terrible the weather outside is or how the players are making a joke of themselves on the field. I’ve met with most of my friends in London this way after I arrived. So should you.
Facebook is there for a reason and that reason isn’t panicking when you accidentally posted a like on the new profile pic of your ex. Facebook is a social network, hence it is designed as a tool for you to socialize. At least I think that was the original intention back in the day.
There are a lot of Facebook groups where you can meet with people who live in the same area of share the same interest as you do. Whatever you are in to I am sure that there is a community on the network dedicated to that.
Join a few groups, make a few posts, chat with people online and then offer a meetup at a local restaurant or park. If you are too scared of the commitment, worry not – other people will notice your posts and may offer you the same first. If even that doesn’t work, I am pretty sure that at least one of the groups you are signed up for is hosting regular offline meetups.
No, I don’t mean it in the movie cliché way where the main characters undergo the heroes journey to understand that he was perfect from the beginning and everybody and their mother falls for him/her.
I am talking about actively being yourself and expressing your hobbies. Do you like to paint? Take an art class. Do you like to live healthily? Go to a gym. Do you have a dog? Walk with your fluffy friend at the park during regular hours.
This is very important because you will be constantly surrounded by familiar people. You will make friends with one of your classmates, gym partners, joggers or fellow dog lovers sooner than later. Sure it will start with awkward conversations but getting through them is well worth the effort.
Check out the neighbors
Why look far when you have awesome people living next door to you? You will be bumping into them every now and then anyway so why not grow your relationships from “hi” to “How are you doing today” and beyond over time?
Do note that this tip only works when you have cool neighbors and only if you stay cool for the first couple of times you interact. As I said, London is a place where people don’t like others sticking a nose into their business so don’t be pushy.
Do you have any amazing tips or interesting success stories on how you made new friends in London? Feel free to share them in the comments section or on our Facebook page. This way you’ll help others and you’ll make the world a warmer place. How awesome is that!
I’ll start: My lovely dog Alicia loves to make strange noises. She doesn’t really bark, but she rather moans in a peculiar way that sounds like I am murdering a dozen of hamsters in a very brutal and unnatural way. So my neighbors have called the police on me once. Long story short – we had a great laugh and are now good friends. Who says that friendship has to start pretty?