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For over a decade, David Tian, Ph.D. — a uniquely qualified therapist, life coach, and former university professor — has coached tens of thousands of people from over 87 countries to achieve happiness and success in their relationships, dating, psychology, and lifestyle.

Dr. Tian has been featured in international media, as well as co-hosting a radio show on national radio and a weekly dating advice column in a national newspaper in Singapore.

The show, “Man Up: Masculinity for the Intelligent Man” (, is David’s way of helping as many people as possible enjoy empowering and fulfilling lives, while contributing to the global understanding of masculinity in modern times. In the show, he takes your questions posed in the Man Up private Facebook group ( and answers based on his experience coaching tens of thousands of students around the world for over a decade.

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“The Man Up Show” Ep.66 – How To Make New Friends When You Move To A New City

How To Make New Friends When You Move To A New City

  • David Tian Ph.D. explains how choosing your location, where to live in the city can affect your prospective social life.

  • David Tian Ph.D. tells us how we can solidify our social circle when we move to a new place.

  • In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. discusses how going minimalist can improve your social life also.

David Tian: Boom! Stop. In episode 66 of Man Up, I talk about, how to make new friends when you move to a new city.

[Intro Music]

Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I am David Tian, Ph.D., and this is: Man Up!

[Music Fades]

Hi, I’m David Tian, Ph.D., welcome to episode 66 of Man Up. I am in Jakarta hanging out with some friends. Got part of my crew here. So it’s cool, I don’t have to go and press play. This is nice. It’s really nice when I’ve got the crew travelling with me. And we’ve just been doing a little bit, I borrowed this, my friends here to do a little bit of shooting that involved me on the floor somehow and I got like stuff on my legs .

So anyway, episode 66, it’s a question from Eric. Eric asks a simple question, it’s a long email but I’m going to pair it down to, the end of the email was “how do I make new friends when I move to a new city”? So he’s moving to a new city, relocating for work.

It’s his first time doing so. He’s been living in the same city his whole life and is now finally accepting this promotion. He’s in his late twenties. And he’s finally moving out of his hometown and he’s never been in this situation where he’s had to make new friends.

He mentioned in the email that he travels and when he travels, he generally stays… he’s never travelled alone… and he stays with his own friends and he admires when he sees backpackers and backpacker districts making new friends. He doesn’t have that skill. And usually just waits until someone makes friends with him so he’s passive in the process. He’s worried about this. He doesn’t know how to actually make things happen.

I’ve actually created a free course on this. If it’s a really great question that is a part of a broader topic. Just to give background in our course Limitless, there is an entire module, that’s six hours of coursework. Of a course material, I mean that walks a guy through how to create a social circle.

It’s a system actually, it’s a step by step system on how to create and cultivate a social circle from scratch. And then how to attract the girl you like in that social circle. So distilling that six hours into a free course that’s still quite lengthy but it’s free. So putting up free content for you.

And then just to figure out what to say here in this Man Up video for Eric on what to do. Basically what you need to do is to be able to make new friends wherever you go. So there’s actually a separate course on that. If you go to which you should’ve already if you’ve watched more than one episode. That’s my main website. Go to, scroll down and you’ll see that there’s a free video course there on how to make friends. There’s another one on how to talk to anyone, how to make people like you.

Just click on anyone of those and it will send you through a series of video courses. So there’s one 3-video course for free on how to make new friends. So basically how to meet new people and start a friendship with them. Even if it is your first hour in the city.

In fact, some of my clients… I have a client who went to Japan and with the skills that we taught him or coaching met a girl at… came out of the airport at Narita, got on the train, got off at the subway station. What do they call those? They call those…Do you remember what those are called? It’s a JR! The JR Train! So they got off at the JR station and he did not know how to get to his hotel from the JR station.

Asked a kind, from my experience, all the people you ask in Japan, in Tokyo are really kind and go out of their way to help you. So he asked an attractive female how to get to his hotel and she actually took him by hand and helped him take his luggage to the hotel. Escorted him the whole way. And then while he was there he was saying, let me thank you and let me take you out for dinner. She agreed to that and that led to a full day’s date.

Alright, so you can do it when you land in the city, you don’t even need more than like just landing in the city, you can make some new friends. In fact, he didn’t just make a new friend, he made a new lover out of that experience. So these are skills that are that versatile and to give you the full system, take Limitless to get a good, solid course in it.

There’s a free course on that to learn how to just make friends and not just make friends in a new city and build a social circle in a new city because that’s a separate thing but to actually just to learn how to make new friends wherever.

There’s already a free course on that. So I’m just like telling you there’s all these free content that I’m putting out, okay? Because this is my life’s work, this is my passion, alright? Maybe I’m weird that way but I like to help people out that way. So you can learn how to make new friends we got a course on that. How to build your social circle. We got a free course coming out on that. And of course there’s Limitless, which is our flagship online course.

But in this video, Eric, let me help you. I’m trying to keep these videos down to 5 minutes. We’re already at PAST 5 minutes, David! Alright, so let me keep this short and sweet. When you go to a new city, one of the most important things, because it’s a new city. I’m assuming in the new city you’re either looking for a hotel or you’re looking for an apartment. So if you’re just travelling, you’re looking for a hotel, if you’re going to settle there, you’re looking for an apartment.

Here’s a tip. Here’s a killer tip. It’s far more important where you are than how big the place is. So for instance, if your workplace is far out of town, it’s in a suburb and there are – because it’s a suburb – there are going to be apartments and homes there that are much bigger, for the same price than you would get if you were in the center of the city, the center of the activity right where the bars and clubs, or the cafés, the shopping malls, wherever that is.

Wherever the center of activity is, it’s going to be a lot more expensive, the real estate in the center of the city, get a smaller place. There are many reasons for this. Get a smaller place in the center of the city. Location! Location! Location! Ask any real estate agent, it’s all about location. If you choose the wrong location, you’re going to have a shitty social life. End of story. This is for the guys who are going to the new city, you can do this.

It is far more important than any other factor, the logistics. Of course you have to have the social skills to capitalize on it, but if you’re really far out of town, for you to rebuild a great social life around yourself, it’s going to be really difficult. So location is everything. If you live currently out of town and you want to take advantage of this, look for when your lease is up or see if there’s a clause you can break your lease early, move into the center of town. It’s better to be living in a studio apartment, like a one room apartment in the center of town than it is to have a three-bedroom apartment way… like forty-five minutes out of town and you’ve got to commute in every time. Take the smaller space.

Here’s why. When you are meeting friends, one of the biggest factors whether they’re going to go to your place or whether they’ll invite you out or whether they’re going to drop by and see you on a regular basis, because to really solidify yourself in a social circle, you have to be seen. It’s the mere exposure effect that has been very well documented in social psychology in marketing and advertising and business. Mere exposure is really important.

If they keep seeing you, at the events, at the parties, at the bars, at the clubs, or the cafés, or the gym, or the yoga studio or wherever it is. Salsa classes, wherever it is that you go for your… along your own interest right, wherever you go to meet people, if they keep seeing you… you don’t even need to have an introduction. You don’t even really need, it will be really easy like, “Oh hey, you’re back!” Something as simple as that. And probably they will approach you. They’re going to start smiling at you. Making eye contact with you giving you, lots of warm invitations to approach them is really easy. BUT… you have to show up! You got to show up! You got to show up! And in order to show up, it’s got to be close and convenient.

If you’re really far, it’s going to be hard. You’re just not going to go. It’s like going to the gym. It’s a New Year’s time resolution – January right – lots of people going to the gym, here’s a clue. Here’s a tip, I mean, if you really want to stick with your resolution, get a gym that’s right next to where you live.

If it’s far and it’s an awesome gym but it’s really far from where you are, if you have to drive for more than ten minutes, you’re not going to go. That’s just the plain truth. You’re going to go from January, February, you’re not going to go after that. The chance are, ninety-seven percent of chance, that you will not go after February. I just pulled that number out of the hat but I did read it somewhere. That ninety percent…over almost ninety percent of people who have gym memberships don’t go more than two months a year.

Don’t let that be you! One of the biggest reasons is because it’s too far. So go close. Go to the center of town. This is what I call the X-Theory. And it’s a whole part… you learn about this in the step by step system on building your social circle but it’s really important that you know where the “X” is. The “X” marks the spot. The “X” is your location. And all of these, you’re creating a hub of social activity around your “X”.

That’s how you get a great social life. You’ve got to be in a great part of town. Here’s something from a psychology perspective for the guys who are still tempted to get a place far away but that’s just bigger. You should know that when you have a big space, you will be tempted – this is just human psychology and it’s been proven – you will be tempted to fill up that space. I don’t fucking care how big your apartment is.

You’re going to fill it with shit you don’t need. That’s just the way we are. You’ll buy some extra stuff and you’ll end up accumulating all these extra stuff and maybe once a year you’d do a spring cleaning where you might clean it out. But if you’re like most guys, you will never clean it out until you move. You will pile up all these, here’s an easy one, magazines. Guys buy tons of magazines they read once and they just pile them up.

Clothes that you neverwear that just collect dust. When you’re in a smaller place, and the space is a premium for you, you won’t be accumulating shit you don’t need which is great. You have a lot more disposable income and you’ll have a piece of mind and it actually has a real psychological effect on your freedom, your social freedom. So go minimalist. Get less stuff, get a better experience. Live as close to the center of activity in town as you can. That’s one tip that I can give you when you’re starting out new.

I’ll give you an example from my life when I first moved to Singapore, National University of Singapore where I was a professor… NUS. I was located 20 to 30, to 40 minutes depending on traffic from the center of town. It’s out on the suburbs. Clementi I think, Clementi. Now they encouraged us to find housing nearby. So for the housing allowance they gave me as an expat, I could have afforded a three-bedroom apartment in the same area as the university. However, that area was all families.

There was Ikea there. It wasn’t like a single man’s playground, really. But in the center of town, it was a single man’s playground. I chose to live in a one-bedroom studio apartment basically with walls that collapsed. A much smaller, I think it would been a half or almost a third of the size of the apartment I could’ve gotten in Clementi for the same price. But I went for a third of the size to be in the center of town. To be in the middle of the activity. That was a great decision. That really, really paid off. In fact, it was such an awesome place that it was a brand new condo. Girls actually asked me when if they could come and see my place. So that was awesome. So pick location!

Location! Location! Location!

When you’re going to a new city, you want a great social life. Of course you need the skills on how to talk to people. And those are going to be true no matter whether you’re in a new city or in your old city, you still need those skills. So I’ve already created a couple of free courses on that. And I’ve created a new, free course that’s coming out soon on how to build that social circle even if you move to a new city.

Okay, so look out for that, you’ll be seeing that. Go to to find all those free video courses. And in the meantime you must join the private Facebook group for Man Up. Click the link, join the private Facebook group. I will see you inside there. Until next time, man up!