May 26, 2012

 

Moving to a new city or even across the country causes excitement in some and anxiety in others. Leaving good friends and sometimes family can be really tough. If you have children, it can double the concerns.

I’ve moved cross country a handful of times – and have always felt torn between the excitement of discovering a “new world,” and the sadness of leaving those I cared about. For women, who typically depend more on social interactions, the people factor is often our most pressing matter. I’ve found that I really have to put myself out there and be proactive in meeting people – the first step in building those new friendships. If you’re married, and your husband is like most, he will need you to establish those relationships, too, so you’re not overly dependent upon him for all your conversing. grin

One of my earliest moves with my husband, involved my transition from working full-time to working from home. There went the “work friends” possibility. Although you can get to know people through your spouses new work friends, you won’t have that instant contact of co-workers. But, it did allow me to befriend several women in our new neighborhood during the day that I might not have otherwise come in contact with.

I’m big on volunteering, so I’ve always looked for assorted organizations to get involved with early on – theaters, charities, church, arts, neighborhood, sports, community, school, etc. These groups are always interested in fresh faces and you’ll quickly engage in your new environment. Check out the local newspaper for event calendars and investigate whatever floats your boat.

As an active church-goer, I make some of my dearest friends there. From Singles to Young marrieds to Ladies Bible Study, etc. I pull my shy self to church events, where people can visit a bit longer than in passing in the foyer, or as of late, collecting small children from the nursery. 

And along with small children come a slew of mom groups from which you can find mothers you click with. Story time at libraries, bookstores and toy shops are a perfect way to find friends at your same life stage. For kids a bit older, you have sport teams, dance and music classes, school clubs and activities in which to meet fellow parents.

There are plenty of clubs to check out, too. You might pop in to several different organizations until you find a place where you feel connected, but it can take time. Check out the free community newspapers for lists of clubs, organizations, seminars and local events.

Some people reach out to you, the newcomer, with fresh-baked goods or a friendly introduction. But, if few neighbors appear, don’t be afraid to knock on a couple doors with a warm smile and introduce yourself. Ask if you can reach out to them later with advice on doctors, salons or local tips. They might know which houses have kids that might be close in age to your own.

The main thing is that YOU have to be proactive. The sooner you get connected the better you will feel about your new place! If you have any great tips of your own to share please write them in the comments!

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