Thursday 18 July 2019

When I turned 18, I left Gibraltar to go study in the UK (Bournemouth to be exact), then spent a year working in London, a semester abroad in Florida and now here I am on the other side of the world in Brisbane, Australia. So it's fair to say I've had my fair share of moving around and having to find my feet in a new city/country. The great thing about uni is that you're all in the same boat and everyone is there to make new friends. When I lived in London, it was slightly harder to make a group of friends and such because I only knew a handful of people, and London is big so meeting up for a cup of coffee could cost you £8 in transport and an hour journey. Luckily now there are a lot of useful ways to meet people online (not necessarily Tinder) and companies like GreyZone Club that can make settling in to your new life in London a tiny bit easier.

making connections when you move abroad

Before I arrived in London and started my new job, I spent ages looking through flat shares on SpareRoom and in the end moved into a 6 bedroom house in Wimbledon with 5 new housemates who had all moved in at the same time. I'm quite an outgoing person, and go out out almost every weekend (even more then since I was 21) and since some of my housemates were a bit older I couldn't do that just yet (they were a lovely bunch though!).

I then started working for an events company and thought, everyone here must enjoy going out and doing stuff right? They plan parties for a living! The company ended up being made up of only a handful of people, but luckily two of the people working there were my age and from the same university as me so we got along well. Soon after we were going out a lot of weekends, exploring the London museums and just making the most of everything the capital has to offer.

In terms of dating, I imagined I was going to be swept off my feet by a 27 year old business man who had an amazing apartment in Shoreditch and we'd be spending our evenings in posh restaurants and then watching Netflix in bed. As one does when they move to a new country, I downloaded Tinder and started swiping away. London definitely isn't short of variety, but I just couldn't find anyone who I was that interested in or the conversations on there were just too mundane. Secondly, I do prefer to meet people the old fashioned way but nowadays that's pretty hard to do unless you're out in the smoking area every time you go out and wait for guys to approach you asking for a lighter. In an ideal world, I'd be sat outside a cafe in Camden, reading John Steinbeck and an attractive man would approach me and ask 'What are you reading?'. Sadly this never happened (shock) and so, how on earth does a single girl meet like minded people in London?

Step in Greyzone Club, the only dating agency in London that has a 'friends first' approach to dating. Whether you're into sporting events, art galleries, brunch dates or nights out, they have monthly events to cater for a range of interests. The best part about this is that these events aren't just there for you to meet a partner, but rather to build friendships and then maybe in the process you meet someone you like on a romantic level too - reducing the awkwardness in attending! They appeal to professionals in their 20s - 30s who are looking to meet other ambitious, career driven people.

If you're going to be in London in October, then I'd recommend attending their Masquerade Ball on the 5th October. Whether it's by yourself or with a friend, it will be a great way to mingle and meet people whilst you're also looking fab. The best part about these parties is that everyone is there for the same reason, to have fun and make connections - so you know if you approach someone to chat they won't be taken by surprise.

Have you ever lived/worked in a different city? How did you go about meeting people? 


*This post contains affiliate links but all words and opinions are my own. 

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