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Why is it so hard to meet people in LA?


Why is it so hard to meet people in LA?

Picture Courtesy of Priscilla Du Preez

Why is it so hard to meet people in LA?

Although it might come at some surprise to you, Los Angeles is a hard place to meet people. 

I always tell my friends who are new to Los Angeles, don’t worry — it’s not you – Los Angeles is a hard place to meet people.

Most folks who move to Los Angeles will say it took them about a year before they found a friend group they felt like they really belonged to.

But why for a city with such a rich social scene is it so hard to meet people?

Part of the issue is how people interact with one another in Los Angeles. There are always going to be different perspectives on the nature of interacting with people in LA, but the challenges remain the same. 

People in this town are all trying to be bigger than who they are. We want to create, we want to evolve, and for better or for worse we want to always look for the opportunity in the situation.

Unfortunately, this can lead us to look too much for ‘the opportunity’ in a conversation, in meeting someone, or even a handshake in hopes it might fit into that grand plan of becoming the person we want to be. That being the case, it can set us up or those we interact with to not be able to reach a meaningful place in a friendship or partnership.

Imagine you meet someone and the first thing you talk about is how they’re some hot-shot photographer or writer, and you’ve just only moved here. You might be intimidated to really connect with that person. You might not even have to meet them to alienate yourself from them. You pull up to an art show at Milk Studios where celebrities are expected. People don’t just start talking to each other to see who is a celebrity or who is on the up and coming. Everyone just kind of stands around in a proverbial nod that everyone here is cool. You can kinda tell who is a hot-shot and who is a normal person but you also can’t.

The reality of the situation goes both ways. You might be alienating people by looking like a ‘boss’ and not even know it. This all being said, you can go against the grain and really create some meaningful friendships and opportunities by going out of your comfort zone.

I’ve met some amazing artists and even landed a job by going up to people and introducing myself. It might be nerve wrecking, but that’s okay. This city is about evolving into your best self. 

Los Angeles has literally endless things to do every single night, but that is also part of the problem so to speak. There is literally so many people at some of these junctions, you often will just hang out with the people you came with.

On the best of nights, everyone is vibing perfectly, but on some nights, you know the type, everyone just hangs with their clicks. There will be a lot of places you’ll be saying, “That would be fun if we went with a group of people.” The city isn’t designed for solo-life in this sense.

Going out doesn’t mean you’re going to meet people. You’re better off joining a Yoga class or meeting people through mutual friends. I am sure a lot of people who move here make their first friend group from the people they work with. People are really amazing here in Los Angeles, it’s just hard to meet them.

But don’t give in to the pressure. Find our what your passions are and connect with people in the same field. Reach out for collaborations and don’t be afraid to grab someone’s instagram handle to spitball a project. If you’re a ‘go-getter’ you can accomplish a lot in this town. 

If you’ve moved to Los Angeles or lived here all your life this next reason reigns true over both of you. The sure-size of Los Angeles also makes it very hard to meet people. For instance, a woman and I met at a bar in Hollywood the other night. We legit had to ask each other what part of town we lived in to see if dating was actually possible.

For instance, if you live in Studio City, and they live in South Venice, every time you want to hang out means one of you has to drive at a minimum of 45 minutes. When you go out in LA, you don’t just walk outside your doors and head to the nearest pub. You get out and move around and so you might meet people who are just not local to the vicinity.

So it’s hard to make those close friends whose house you can just pop over to after work. “Hey you want to get a drink?” Is much more of a commitment when you might have to drive an hour to get there.

Some of my best friends live 45 minutes away and that’s why I haven’t seen them in a few weeks. It’s life in Los Angeles for you, but the good news is those who make the effort really want to be your friend. There’s always a silver lining and there may be no bigger silver lining than in Los Angeles.

Any night can be the best night of your life. Any night you can meet someone who can change your life. Put yourself out there. Your life will change forever. 

Zane Foley

Zane Foley is a LA native with a passion for journalism. With a BA in Philosophy, Zane is always looking for an interesting story and point of view. Catch him on his skateboard on Venice Beach or hiking Mount Baldy with his dog on the weekends.

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