MEETING NEW GIRLFRIENDS WHEN YOU MOVE
Even if you’re not moving, things may change close to home – like a job or relationship – and you find yourself in need of some new gal pals to hang out with.
So, here’s a little girlfriendology advice…nine ways for finding new female friends, and maintaining old friends through a transition like moving or other significant life changes:
1. Stay in touch with your current female friends.
Since you chose to move, it is kinda your responsibility to make the effort to stay in touch. It is great when they put an effort into staying in touch with you too, but don’t lose those friendships because you moved. Call, email, remember their birthdays, get the latest gossip and stay up to date on their adventures and lives. And, it will be wonderful to go back and visit with your old gal pals.
2. Be open to advice.
Making new friends in a new city will be a challenge. I worked in an office with all guys once and struggled with finding new female friends. Ask any coworkers, especially if they’re female, for any advice on your new city – where to go, what to do, even if you know your way around pretty well. Everyone likes to help people out and they’ll be interested in your new perspective of your job and city. And, of course, show an interest in their lives as a way to get to know them and your new home town.
3. Get active – both in the community – and physically.
I started walking in my neighborhood, took some local classes in pottery, yoga, even learned to weld in a community arts class! One day I just took a book to the neighborhood coffee shop. I practiced the “act-as-if” principle – I acted as if I was more outgoing than I really am and asked other women I met for the best local stores or other advice on neighborhoody stuff – new restaurants, upcoming events in the city- best dry cleaner in the neighborhood. Ask your neighbors if there is a neighborhood book club. If not, start one! No matter how you do it, do it. Get active.
4. Get involved.
Getting involved is a great way to make friends. Join a gym, volunteer with a local non-profit – the Sunday paper often lists volunteer opportunities, take a cooking class, find a church, or sign up for a running group. My girlfriend Dana has met lots of friends through knitting classes and get-togethers at a yarn store. Other girlfriends scrapbook and are always open to showing newbies how to join in their hobby.
5. Try the internet and social media ways to connect.
I’m not talking dating, and e-harmony kinds of things here – although I do have friend who have had great dating success online. Focusing on new girlfriends – sign up for Twitter.com then find and follow locals – ask them for advice on things to do when you’re new to town. Find women with local blogs and ask them for advice – I bet they’ll offer great ideas and connections. Search for local events that you’re interested in – wine tastings, women discussion groups, women in business groups and book signings. And, while you’re on Twitter, follow Girlfriendology and share your ideas and experience about female friendship for future lessons, contests and blogs.
6. Act like a tourist! Seriously!
Act as if you’re in town for a week – or just a weekend – and try out some local festivals, visit the museums, walk the parks. Often you can volunteer at local theatres and see the plays for free. You’ll not only meet people, but you’ll also learn about the cultural scene in your new city.
7. Get a job – another job!
I know it might sound a lot like low–paying work, but often working part-time in a local retail store, restaurant or coffee shop is a lot more casual than a full-time job and also a lot more social. Being new in town, you may have time on your hands and getting a second job, at least temporarily, keeps you busy so you don’t spend time sitting around feeling lonely. And you can meet some fun friends while making a little extra money. It’s all good.
8. Make like Lewis and Clark – get out and explore.
Make a rule that you drive or walk on a new road everyday. Find multiple routes to get places – believe me, you’ll be glad you did. You may get lost a few times but you will also learn about nearby off-the-beaten-path places – restaurants, stores, parks, where you can find new friends or learn about groups, stores or places where you might make new friends.
And 9: Don’t discount older or younger women as possible girlfriends.
They’ll give you a whole different perspective on life and can have fun ideas. And, they may have friends younger or even older than them who would make great potential friends for you.
Okay girlfriends, that’s nine idea starters on how to make, maintain and enjoy girlfriends. They work if you’re moving to a new city – they also work if you’re ready for some changes right where you are. Life is about inspiration, appreciation and celebration of friendship. Make some new friends and together you’ll make some great girlfriend memories.
Debba is the founder of Girlfriendology.com, the online community for women, based on female friendships, and filled with inspiring podcast interviews, videos, shopping, glogs and more.
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