(That was a play on How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, in case you couldn’t tell. Antonyms of alienate are hard to come by!).
Being relatively new to Raleigh, I’m in search of girl friends (because of circumstances, I have plenty of guy friends). I’ve been very bad about having a good work life balance since starting a business is so time-intensive.
One of my favorite friendship quotes is:
I value the friend who for me finds time on his calendar, but I cherish the friend who for me does not consult his calendar. ~Robert Brault
I absolutely agree. For me, the most meaningful friendships are the ones where I can say “Hey I’m coming over in 10 minutes” rather than having to plan a week or two in advance. On many Saturdays back in DC, I’d tell one of my best friends to meet me at the corner Starbucks or our favorite brunch place (Bread and Chocolate!) in a few minutes. We’d then watch Bethenny on the couch or take random walks around the city. Those are some of the days I’ll always remember.
So how does one find friends in a new city?
- Meetup.com: In my limited experience, it’s often better to join an interest-based group rather than a generic “I’m looking for friends” group. Anyone out there disagree?
- The gym: Classes like yoga and Pilates often help foster friendships since everyone is struggling with the same moves! In one class I attend at the Y, the instructor has us introduce ourselves to one new person, which I love.
- Start your own group: Selfishly, one of my motivations for putting together the group of young female bloggers is so I can make friends. Admittedly, it’s a bit easier with something like blogging because you can find and reach out to everyone online.
- Volunteer: Linking up with a local group like Change the Triangle is a great way to meet like-minded awesome young adults. CTT’s model is particularly cool because it pairs each service project with a social event, so you’re sure to get balanced individuals.
- Take a class: Even if you don’t make a friend, you’ll become more talented!
- Join an intramural sports league: TRI Sports runs leagues for several different sports, and I know tons of people who become friends with their teammates.
- Join a book club: I’m such a nerd, I would LOVE to do this (in my spare time). Just make sure it’s a demographic that could become your friends (not to bash the elderly ladies’ book club!).
- Make friends in the bathroom line: No seriously. Girls do this.
I absolutely believe that you have to put yourself in places where you are likely to meet like-minded individuals, but I also know that, oftentimes, friendships evolve from unlikely situations. For example, several of the girls at my sister’s birthday dinner knew each other because they had posted Craigslist ads to find a roommate! Hence my belief that you should always be open to potential friendships as you go through your day.
One last thought on this: sometimes I feel intimidated to ask someone to hang out but 1) who doesn’t want more friends?! and 2) if they say no, you probably don’t want to be friends with them anyway 🙂