Making Friends When You Move
It can be hard to start over and make new friends. When you move, yes, you still have your friends “back home” and you keep in touch with them, but you need to make new friends, too — friends that live near you, have similar interests as you, and that will help you out when you need something (and vice versa). Perhaps you have a husband and/or children, or you’re single, but any which way we all need our girl friends.
Making new friends is kind of like dating. First you need to meet people. Great places to make new friends include work, church, school, and around the neighborhood.
Work: Take time to get to know your co-workers. Ask lighthearted questions about their life, relationships, hobbies, and interests. You may be surprised at how much you have in common, or perhaps how little you have in common and yet you find you get along anyway through an appreciation of your differences. Give the process of getting to know each other time, as too many personal questions all at once will make you seem nosy and is likely to scare off potential friends.
Church: If you attended a church where you used to live, look up your local churches around your new home and find one that fits with your beliefs. If you have a belief in God and an interest in religion but haven’t regularly attended a church, this is a great time to start. Finding the right church can take some trial and error, but once you find one you are comfortable with, get involved. Volunteer for events and participate in activities and you are sure to get to know everyone quickly. Don’t sit back and expect others to befriend you (though it’s really nice when they do). At church sit by someone different every Sunday and introduce yourself. After a couple of months of doing this, you are likely to have made many new friends.
School: This can mean your own college classes or your children’s school. When you are taking classes it’s easy to have something in common with your classmates. Start by chatting about the assignments and studying together. Before long you’ll find that in between all of the school work, you’ve got a real friendship started. When it comes to making friends through your children’s school, get to know the other moms by volunteering to help with events. It’s so easy to start a conversation by asking the other moms about their kids. Who doesn’t love to brag about their babies?
Neighbors: It can be intimidating to get to know your neighbors. Start small by waving hello anytime you notice a female neighbor outside of her home. She’ll most likely respond with, “Hi, how are you?” Resist the urge to just say fine, but instead elaborate a little bit (but not too much) in order to invite conversation. Do not be offended, though, if your neighbor doesn’t stay and chat for half an hour; she’s busy with her own life, too. However, these simple, 2-minute conversations are the start of a friendship.
Now that you’ve met some potential gal pals, it can be nerve-wracking to take this casual acquaintance into a real friendship. Once again, it’s just like dating. However, do not sit back and wait for the other person to make the moves. Take initiative. Most likely these women you’ve met are in need of new friends just as much as you are, but are equally nervous and shy about it. Find the courage to ask for a phone number or an e-mail address and set up a play date with your kids, ask them to join you for a girls night out, invite them for brunch at your home, or whatever works for you. And once again, just like dating, sometimes these get togethers work out and you find yourself becoming better friends. Other times, you spend time together only to realize that you are better off as acquaintances. Try hard to not get offended by this process. Sometimes you hit it off as best friends, and other times you do not. But as women we need our girl friends and it’s well worth the process to find new friends. After all, when you move it doesn’t really become home until you have friends to share it with.