Building social groups and meeting people should be pretty easy in the 21st century, right? But considering many people meet new people through work, education or mutual friends, it can actually be pretty hard to expand your social network.
I’ve been seeing more and more people mention on sites like Reddit that they can’t find ways to meet new people. And, as someone who has returned to Devon after a long time away, I can totally sympathise.
Meeting people in Plymouth is nowhere near as easy as meeting new people in cities such as London, or overseas where there is often a good expat network. But there are some clever ways to expand your social scene and meet new people in Plymouth and Devon.
1. Fitness groups
An easy way to meet new people is to join fitness groups such as running clubs, bootcamps or similar. With a common goal to get fit, you can often find people on a similar journey to yourself who are open to socialising.
There are also groups for wild swimming, yoga
Another way to meet people is by attending hobby groups. And there are plenty of groups to keep you busy in Devon. From rambling or foraging, to knitting or board games.
That cornerstone of the British social life, the pub remains a great place to meet people whatever your background. Striking up a conversation over a pint of real ale (or whatever your tipple of choice is) is British people have built friendships since, well… Forever really. If in doubt, go to the pub.
4. Dating apps
Who said dating apps are just for finding partners? Actually, this one might be hard to get past your other half if you are in a relationship. But by building up friendships through your dating apps, for example if you decide you don’t necessarily want to ‘see’ each other, this can be a useful trick. OK, yeah, people don’t always like to be told ‘lets just be friends’, but this is a method that has worked for plenty of people.
5. Use social media
Yes social media has a lot to answer for. But, it is also a great way to meet new people, especially in Devon. Facebook has lots of local groups, but don’t forget about Reddit, Linkedin and even Twitter. Again, this will involve focusing on a common interest – but have a look and you’ll be surprised what you can find.
6. Start your own group
Can’t find a group for your interests? Build your own community using either social media, or build your own website (if you’re that way inclined – social media is way easier though). So long as it’s not super niche (or maybe even if it is), you’re likely to find other people who want to join you.
7. Get out more
Want to meet more people in Devon and build your social life? There’s only one thing for it… Go out and do more stuff. Do things that you wouldn’t necessarily usually do. Take people up on their offers of doing random activities and see who you meet along the way. This might involve going to the theatre, gigs or music festivals, joining people on random days out or, well… Anything really!
8. Professional networking
If you’re a professional, you run a business, or you’re a freelancer, there are lots of opportunities to meet new people. Business networking events are perfect for mingling with all manner of personalities, and to be honest you don’t even need to be a business owner. Even if you’re thinking of going freelance or starting a business, it can be a great way to meet some interesting people.
9. Learn something new
Always wanted to dance salsa? Perhaps you’ve been meaning to learn Spanish since forever? Or maybe your artistic side needs unleashing at a still life painting class? Learning something new means you’ll be introduced to a whole set of people doing the same thing as you – perfect for socialising.
If you’ve got any free time, and you don’t wanna just spend it on Instagram, why not volunteer? You can do anything from working for a charity, to beach cleanups or as an events marshall. It’s fun, you’ll get experience that can be useful in life, and you get to socialise and meet people too! Check out this volunteer page for Plymouth.
11. Use Meetup
If you’ve not used meetup.com then this can be a great way to find out about cool events in Devon. To be honest, the selection of stuff to do in Plymouth and Devon is a little on the slim side, with Facebook offering a bit more variety. But, it’s a good option to have and keep an eye on.
Another option is Eventbrite which often has some great free and paid events in Plymouth and Devon.
12. Talking to people
Sounds obvious right? But actually, striking up a conversation whenever the opportunity presents itself is probably the best way to meet random people. And people are often more receptive than you might expect – even if you start chatting in the supermarket, at the bus stop, at the beach or anywhere…
The bottom line to meeting more people in Devon or anywhere for that matter is not to be shy, say hi and try some new things.