Finding New Friends

We have moved multiple times since we have been married. In fact, in just over five years of marriage, we have lived in four states. Obviously, I have had experience in finding new friends.

I have made many mistakes in the friend department. I have learned much. And thankfully friends have been extremely gracious.

Having long distance friends is wonderful and I am blessed to have those friends. I have learned, however, that real life friends are essential. I have become more and more aware of how important these friends are. One of the reasons a local church is so vitally important is because of this. We cannot, and should not, function on our own. We need each other.

When you move to a new city, community, or church, it can be intimidating. You feel like the outsider peering in at other closely knit relationships. Sometimes you stand back and watch hoping you can detect from a distance which group you will be able to fit in with. It is lonely. It is scary sometimes.

1. Don’t wait for someone else to initiate.

It is true that the person who has lived in the neighborhood a long time should come welcome you first. The long time member of the church should be the first to reach out to the newcomer. It doesn’t always happen like that and you cannot wait for that. It is right to initiate friendships even if you are new.

Be the first to invite another mom over for coffee. Be the first to invite a family over for a meal. Remember that they don’t have the same sense of urgency that you do. I know I am guilty of having a passing thought of needing to invite a new person, but then I just forget. I am not lonely right now, so I don’t sense the urgency. If you are new and need the relationships take the first step.

2. Keep trying.

Maybe, because of schedule conflicts, you have received several no’s. Maybe you did not connect like you thought you would initially. Keep inviting. Keep trying. It is so hard. It is especially difficult when you are the new one in town. But friendships are that important. Those relationships are vital and you have to start somewhere. So keep trying!

Photo Vince Alongi

3. Remember.

Remind yourself of the importance of friendships. It will give you the motivation to keep working at it.

For those of us that have been in a town or church for a while, remember what it was like when you were new. Going up and saying “hi” is important. Very important. But going further is what will really make a difference. Invite them into your circle of friends. I know it is hard. I know your time is already scattered in a million different directions. But this world is a lonely place when we don’t have others standing beside us in the walk of life. And God did not intend for us to walk through life alone. Remember what it was like to be in a new city or church without knowing a soul. Reach out.

Whether you are new or have been in the same place for a while. Remember that building friendships is an essential part of life. Take the first step. Keep trying. Remember.

What ways have you found to make new friends or reach out to those that are new around you? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear!

Comments

  1. My husband and I have also experienced being the new people desperate for some friends. I agree that the fastest way to get to know people beyond shaking their hands in the pew is to invite them into your home. We have found some wonderful friends by inviting people over for game nights. Campfires and picnics have also been easy ways to reach out. Who doesn’t like smores, mountain pies, and hamburgers? :) While “no’s” can be difficult, perserverance pays off. Thanks for the reminder to remember those days and reach out to new people.

  2. This is actually the second time in our marriage that we have moved. First we moved very far away from home as a couple with no children. And as I was pregnant with my last child we recently moved back closer to home. I found just getting involved in the things you love to do brings about natural friendships. I love to go to the gym and teach there, so many of my friends are also my co-workers and fellow aerobics instructors. My husband loves to play flag football, so many of his friends are his teammates. I’ve also met some great moms because my kids are involved in school, and dance, and soccer. It is so hard being the new person. But you do have to remember that you won’t be “new” for long. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks so much for the encouragement to keep trying…I needed that :-)

  4. Thanks for this post. We joined a new church just within the last year so it’s good to be reminded of the fact that if I want friends I must “show myself friendly”. I really liked what you said about the importance of going beyond just saying hello; that is very true!

    • There is a definite difference in the relationship level even just after we have someone in our home. I really think that it doesn’t matter how much you talk to someone at church or elsewhere, the relationship still goes deeper as soon as you have them into your home! Love that!

  5. Uhhgg. We have moved 4 times in our 7 years of marriage and are about to move again. If I am honest, my only true friends are family members. I have moved every few years since I was 6 and struggle with committing to a friendship when I know I will move on again soon. I need to be better about putting forth an effort. Thanks for the reminder!

    • I definitely think that is often tendency when you move a lot. My husband grew up moving every couple of years and he saw that in his family/himself. We have realized though, that even though we won’t be here long (my husband is a student so it is likely we will move again in a couple of years), the only thing we will take away with us are a few good friends. That has given us the motivation to dig deeper and work harder at developing friendships. It isn’t always easy, though! I hope you are able to develop some great friendships where you are!

  6. There are two specialty ofiefcs I would like to work in. My interest are in the nervous system and the endocrine system.In the 12 years I have been with my boyfriend, he has lost two sisters and a brother to different forms of lupus. He also lost his mother to the disease before 20 years before I met him. I feel working with an endocrinologist or neurologist I will be able to learn more on how these system works.The proctologist office would be at the bottom of the list. After experiencing a lower GI to rule out problems in my stomach. I refuse to go through that again.

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