Coming to a new city to study can be daunting, and leaving your friends and family behind means that sometimes people find that it can get a little lonely. Making new friends as an adult isn’t easy. However, some of the friends you make while you’re at university could be friends for life. As it’s such an exciting and memorable time, going through it together with others can be an especially bonding experience.
You might find that you can easily meet people and make friends through your hobbies and interests or through university clubs or societies. Or, you might just be great at sparking up conversations with strangers. For many of us though, it doesn’t come that easily. This is where friendship apps come in. Using a ‘make friends in London app’ is a great way to meet new people.
Just think of a friendship app as how you might approach a dating app: be open, be yourself, be clear about what you’re looking for, and put yourself out there. It might take a little getting used to, and you might want to try out a couple of different apps to see which ones work best for you and what you’re looking for.
So, here are a few of the most popular friend-making apps around at the moment that means you can find others who, like you, are looking for new friendships or simply looking for other people to hang out with alongside their studies.
All of these apps are available to download (for free) on your app store.
This is probably the most well-used app out there for friendship finding. Originally a dating app, it also offers this friendship version (as well as a networking version). The advantage of using this one is that it will have a large pool of users who want the same thing you do, so there’d be plenty of users to choose from. The original app (Bumble) works on a female-first-choice basis, so Bumble BFF mightn’t be the top choice if you’re a guy wanting to make male friends, but probably a great choice if you’re looking for female friends, or if you don’t care about gender.
The Friender app is much more focussed on finding friends that have similar interests or hobbies as you. You just input the kind of activities that you like to do in your spare time and the app will only show you those around you that have similar interests. It means that there’s always a common interest to start the conversation with which really helps break the ice. It also means that if there’s a class or club around a favourite activity of yours that you want to join but would rather not go alone to, you might be able to find someone to take with you – so this is a great app for anyone who has relocated to a new town or city.
The We3 app is another interest-focussed friend-finding app. Choosing an app that’s all about compatibility (rather than just seeing what someone looks like) is probably the best way to meet like-minded people in London. After answering questions about yourself, the app will privately connect you with highly compatible people who share your traits, interests and goals. The only drawback of an app like this is that you’ll probably have a smaller pool of people to choose from than the bigger apps like Bumble BFF.
This app is a partner of Tinder (the longstanding dating app) and is focused on female friendships. It connects women in more than 158 countries, so you should have a large pool of other women to speak to. This app also allows you to take quizzes that help build your profile and there are tonnes of female-empowering content on the app to read too.
The Yubo app works in quite a different way. On this app, you can set up your own video streams and have anywhere up to 10 people in a group. It’s more suited for those who want to meet up virtually (at least to start with) rather than in person. This app does tend to have a younger audience (it’s aimed at teens to people in their mid-twenties).
The Meetup app is a much more diverse option. It’s really well used all across London and the surrounding areas, by people of all ages, genders and with a huge range of interests. You could spend hours browsing the various meet-ups people have organised in London, both as one-off events and regular hangouts.
This might be a good choice for you if you’d rather chat in person rather than messaging someone directly on an app, as usually the hangouts are simply organised on the app, then people show up and get chatting in person instead. You can find meet-ups with specific purposes like football, board games, nights out, picnics, crafting – the list goes on. Or, you might find a meet-up someone has organised for people living in London who come from particular countries, cultures or backgrounds.
If there’s nothing on there that catches your eye, you can always organise your own get-together and see if anyone is interested in joining.
Atleto is perfect for finding a gym buddy. If you want to find someone to go to your gym or new classes or activities with, this app allows you to match up with those wanting the same thing. You might want a running partner to explore London with, for example.
And, here are a few tips for making friends in London.
Always be yourself
It’s easier said than done but try not to be someone you’re not, just so that you have people around you. There are lots of people in London (millions in fact), so there will be lots of people your age who will be highly compatible with you and who are in a similar situation as you. When you’re not yourself, friendships can be short-lived and you might regret wasting your time. Instead, focus your efforts on finding the right people for you.
Spread yourself across social circles
It’s unlikely that you’ll find one friend that will fulfil all of your social needs, so once you make a couple of new friends, try not to place all your expectations on them. At university, you will be surrounded by people of a similar age and background. In London, there are a huge number of students staying in the city at one time, so try to spread your social life out a little. Do this by making friends and doing different activities. It’s a great way of meeting lots of new people, and friendships will grow quickly – and some of those will really stick.
Be careful if you’re meeting up alone
Just like with dating, if you’ve decided to meet up with someone you’ve been messaging on an app, be aware of the dangers of this. If you’re inviting someone for the first time to take part in an activity, make sure it’s in a public place. Don’t go to someone’s house until you’ve gotten to know them. Being invited to someone’s house after a few messages is potentially a red flag. It might also be a good idea to let your flatmates know that you’re meeting someone you don’t know well, so they can help you out if needed. Saying that, as long as you’re meeting in a public place and you’re aware of the dangers, there should be nothing to be worried about.
Try not to be disappointed if it doesn’t work out
If you’ve had a friend date with someone and they no longer seem interested in chatting or meeting up again, it can be upsetting but try not to take it too personally or give up. They might be busy or might feel there just wasn’t a great connection. Just like in the dating world, there are plenty more fish in the sea – especially in this city. Equally, if things are going well, don’t rush them too much. Great friendships can take some time to develop. Just pace yourself and let it flourish naturally.