Meeting people can be scary, but there are lots of low-key ways of making new friends or meeting potential dates.
If you’re feeling bad and want to talk to someone right away, you can scroll down to the bottom to find some great helplines.
Meeting people can help your overall mood and even your health! A lot of the time, people have more friends and acquaintances than they think! There are many different ways to connect with them, like planning parties or outings or using social media to reconnect with old friends and family.
How do I meet people with common interests?
A great way to meet potential friends or partners is to find people who share interests with you. You can:
- Pick up a new hobby, like taking a cooking class or joining a book club
- Go to events or a drop-in time at a YMCA or Boys and Girls Club
- Get involved in a religious organization you like
- Join a sports team or club
- Go to an event at an LGBT group, like Project 10 or the West Island LGBT Centre
- Join a Meetup.com group for people in your area with similar interests
How do I meet people online?
Sometimes it feels safest or most comfortable to meet people online, either before talking to them in person or just to chat online! You can connect with people through:
- Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit)
- Blogging/Vlogging sites (Tumblr. YouTube)
- Common Interests (TwitchTv, Goodreads)
- Dating sites (Okcupid, Tinder, etc.)
If you meet someone you only know online, it helps to meet for the first time somewhere public, like a restaurant or coffee place. It’s also a good idea to ask someone to call you partway through to make sure you’re ok and give you an excuse to leave if you don’t like the situation.
How do I meet people if I’m really shy?
Being shy or having social anxiety can make it harder to meet people, but there are a few things that can help.
Going to an event or space that you’d be interested in anyway can be a big help. You can think about subjects or situations where you might feel more comfortable, like if you’re talking about sports, books, or TV. Sometimes, doing an activity together, like seeing a movie or playing games can also make things easier because it gives you something to talk about.
Sometimes, talking to people online first can also help break the ice and give you things to talk about in person. Looking at some of the ways of meeting people online can help!
Where can I meet other LGBTQ people?
Project 10 is a good place to start. It’s an LGBTQ youth organization in Montreal with many great services including a weekly drop-in which would be a great place and community to start to meet other LGBTQ people. They also have an anonymous and confidential helpline. If you have questions or need support, call 514-989-4585, from Monday to Thursday between 12 pm and 6 pm.
There are other local events in Montreal that are aimed at LGBTQ people. Gaymerzone is a monthly event where LGBTQ people and allies get together to play video games at a bar. You can check out their Facebook page for more info and details on their upcoming events.
Pride is a week-long festival about celebrating LGBTQ people. Any of the events during Pride would be a great place to meet up with other LGBTQ people and to learn more about the community. You can check out the Montreal Pride website to learn more about what’s happening and when.
Beyond these, most events and spots in the Gay Village will have a number of LGBTQ people and allies, so it’s a safe bet that you can meet more LGBTQ people there.
It can be intimidating to go to places like these, so it can help to go with a friend or a group of people you trust, especially if you plan on partying. Most importantly, have fun!
What if I want to talk to someone right now?
Loneliness can feel especially painful, and it can feel good to talk to someone without doing a lot first. Sometimes, a school counsellor can help. Most universities also offer therapy for free, and the Argyle Institute has it at a low cost.
Other times, calling or texting with helplines like the ones below can help, and they may even give you great ideas for feeling less lonely!
Tel-jeunes is a free, confidential resource for young people throughout Quebec, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can talk through texting, phone, or online chat and get a quick response.
LGBTQ Youth Centre
A safe and welcoming environment where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people can meet up, get to know each other, and generally understand themselves better as queer-identified people.
Offers various services (listening line, counseling, drop-in, advocacy, and workshops) to help maintain the personal, social and sexual well-being of LGBTQ people.
Creating Own Your Best Relationship – Scarleteen
This article explains what to look for in a relationship to see if it suits you, and how to build on existing relationships into ones that are best for you. Includes key points to look at and examples of how to shift relationships to better meet everyone’s needs.
Online dating; how to play it safe – Scarleteen
Scarlateen’s article about how to communicate/socialize/date online in a safe way!