How To Make Friends In A New City


How To Make Friends In A New City

If you scroll my browser history, it’s full of google searches like “how to grow grass,” “how to get my toddler to stop screaming,” etc. I’m a researcher at heart, and I want to know all the expert opinions before taking action. Side note: if you are an expert on either of the above questions, please send help because Google is letting me down. I do consider myself an expert on making friends, so I’m here today to encourage you in whatever phase of momming you are in that making new friends is possible.

Why am I an expert, you ask?

Well, growing up, we moved A LOT. I had to make new friends on the regular. Then as an adult, I moved several times, each time embracing the need to find new friends in my new home. This last move was my first move as a mom, and making mom friends might be the hardest nut to crack, but here I am, 16 months into our lives in Chattanooga, with a group of friends that support and encourage me in life-giving ways.

So, if you are new here or about to embark on a move, put these tips into action to connect with and build relationships with others:

  • The single best way to find and build new relationships is by getting involved in things that interest you. Find a church, civic organization, POA, etc., to connect with. Throw yourself in as much as you can and see how the relationships fall into place. I know this isn’t always easy as moms, but there is no timeline; go at your own pace, know when to say no, and remind yourself often that making friends takes time. We’ve been at our church for over a year now and can just now finally say, “we have found our people,” and as awesome as that is, I hope a year from now, I’m still finding new people!
  • Connect with moms in the same baby/kid phase you are in. We got a late start on the baby-making part of life, so I worried when moving here, we’d never make friends. Surely everyone with a baby is 15-20 years younger than us, right? Well, while we have met some newer parents with this age gap, most of our friends are only about 5-10 years younger than us, ha. While this is still a big gap and would have never flown when we were 10- and 15-years-old, adult friendships have a little more age gap flexibility. The cool thing is, while we can’t talk about our favorite ’90s bands, we have so much in common because of the phase of life we are in. Our friendships have been birthed out of conversations that started over sleep training and breastfeeding, and have been strengthened with funny stories about our husbands and tearful stories of mom fails. We get each other and support each other well.
  • While a little harder for our introverts out there, being proactive goes a long way in building friendships. My husband loves to show off his cooking skills, and I love to host people in our home, so we are always inviting people over for a meal. We’ve gotten to know many of our neighbors, tennis buddies, and church friends this way. A friend of mine met one of our now shared mom friends while playing at the park with their kids. Simply starting a conversation with those around you could be the key to unlocking a new friendship.
  • Lastly, and maybe a little more helpful to our introverts, try to say “yes” more often. Maybe you’re not the one who will initiate the hangout, but say yes when others reach out. Even if you aren’t sure there will be a connection, you never know, and even a brief social encounter will be good for your soul.

What are ways you’ve made new friends as a mom?

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Christy Dyer-Gultom
I’m Christy, a Tennessee native with a big city heart. After spending most of my life in middle TN, I’ve lived in NYC for most of the last decade. After moving a dog, husband, and baby into my one-bedroom apartment, we decided we needed a bit more space. So, we decided to head back south for the luxuries of square footage, a yard, and moving our baby out of a closet. We are excited to now call Chattanooga home. My husband is Indonesian, so we have the cutest whasian baby you could ever meet; in fact, you can follow him on Instagram @ourwhasianlife to experience all the cuteness. When not writing here, I’m writing for my online ministry called More Abundantly (check it out at It was created out of my desire to see women in the US and Indonesia grow in their relationship with the Lord and become more fulfilled in this crazy life.