Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Making New Friends is Hard to Do

Living in the same state for 18 years of my life I made some really great friends. I have 5 girlfriends that I met in high school or before that I keep in regular contact with. Up until about 2 years ago I even lived relatively close to a lot of them. Once Max and I were engaged and my lease was up I moved in with him an hour to hour and half away from my friends. It was hard but we were all so busy so we still ended up seeing each other once or twice a month. In Aurora (where I moved two years ago), I made some friends, people at the church I worked at, parents of my children friends. We could chit chat and even enjoy a laugh or two but I did not make any long lasting, confide in friendships in Aurora. When problems came up I always went back to my girlfriends.

Today marks 4 months here in Maryland for us. While I love a lot about Maryland I miss the close friendships I had in Colorado. I miss having someone to grab coffee with or see a girly movie with, or go shopping at the mall with.

God bless you military wives and other women who have done this a lot! I know what I need to do is get more involved. Get involved with church, get involved with the kid's school, take a sewing class, join a book club. The hard part is with three kids I am so dang busy.

I am such a social and outgoing person the friendship part of my life is what seems to be missing most. We have settled into a routine here in Maryland and I think this experience overall has been very good for me and my family. This may sound whiny but it is hard to make friends! Our neighbors are close to our age, I invited them to our BBQ on 4th of July and really enjoyed talking to them. They are a couple I could see Max and I being friends with. The hard part for me, what is the next step? They grew up here. They know tons of people. They aren't looking for more friends. I guess invite them over for dinner?

Then there is my kid's school. A wealth of potential friendships there. My first problem, I am a really young mom. I am 27, about the average age for a 1st time mom. I have a 9, 8, and 6 year old. Most of the other moms at my kids school are in their 40's, maybe some in their late 30's, very few in their 20's. I am not opposed to having friends of completely different ages. Two of my really good friends and former co-workers in Colorado are 10 years older than me. Having kids is something I have in common with all of them, which can be enough.

Then there are my kids activities. I met a lot of people in Aurora this way. Here in Maryland so far B is in Cub Scouts. So far that's it. I am enjoying the simple life but soccer will start for the girls soon enough. I am trying to get to know the other Cub Scout parents better and even invited the den leader and his family over for our BBQ.

Then there is my husband's co-workers and their wives. Max works with a great, fun to be around group of people. Not sure how to tap into this more except to push my introverted husband out of his comfort zone more. We had one of his co-workers over for dinner and a couple of his co-workers came to our BBQ. All of which are very nice people, I would love to get to know more.

Then there is church. It took us a couple months but back in May we found a church that is a great fit for us (recommended by one of Max's co-workers). We are going to go to a step family group this Thursday at my suggesting and hopefully in the fall I can join one of the women's groups.

Not sure what else to do except what I am, try to get more involved, and keep pushing myself. I love people, I love talking, and I love making new friends. I guess I just have to keep doing the inviting and hopefully it will begin to be reciprocated.

Those of you that have done this before. Please fill my comment section with wonderful, womanly advice. Thanks!

7 comments:

Evolving Mommy Catherine said...

Oh, Honey I wish I knew. Luke's co-workers are fun but Luke is introverted too so we don't end up getting invited to things much because he turns invites down half the time before he even tells me about them.

We have been living in this town for 4 years now and still don't have friends up here that Luke, Monkey and I can all hang out with regularly. If you figure something out let me know!

Brittany Ann said...

Oh, I have this problem. I have two good friends here, but that's it! I have had to foster friendships with older women, because that's who I'm around all the time, too. It's weird, and not always successful.

Have you thought about joining a Mom's Bible study? Or even a play-group? Maybe there'd be more first time moms there, so they'd be closer to your age?

Megan said...

Of course getting involved is going to plug you into TONS of resources, but you have to remember that these things take time. And I know it sucks to hear that, but really - you haven't been gone that long. I would give yourself some time. Maintain the relationships you do have with the gals back home... phone calls while you are driving, emails while the kids are getting ready for bed, etc. I would wait for things to settle down a tiny bit more. Then take some true time to search for some friends. A friend of mine suggested a site... I think it's www.meetup.com or something. But it's basically all sorts of groups of people (just like you!) that are looking to meet other folks who share similar interests. Tap into one of those and see if anything peaks your interest. And remember, family comes first. So while of course you miss your girlie-friend activities, take advantage of the time you have right now with Max. Because before you know it, you'll have a solid group of girls to do things with and date night will become a rarity. This is a perfect opportunity for the two of you to become even closer and bond in ways you maybe hadn't before. Just a thought. And remember, just because we are far away, doesn't mean you can't call us while you're at the mall! :-) Love you girlie!

Kat said...

I was just talking about this with a good friend of mine who moves a lot. I've always been in CT even for college so I have some really great lifetime friends and a few from even further back. I think a playgroup would be a good place to try. If you go on meetup.com which someone else suggested, you could find one in your area. I'm part of a group through there and I've met some amazing women. It is so much harder making friends as an adult. Hugs to you.

Jen said...

I am so bad at making friends, I guess that is why most of my friends are online. But if you can laugh with some one that is usually a good way to start.

McMommy said...

Oh how I wish I had advice for you! But I am one of those people that you used to be....grew up here in this town, friends with the same friends since 1st grade, etc.

In some ways, I envy you! It must be fun try out somewhere new once in awhile...

Bethany said...

I don't even know! I've lived here for almost two years, have a few close friends but they are ALL moving away. Literally.

So...I hang out with a girl from work sometimes, but not often. I don't know what I'm going to do once my last "good friend" moves away in two weeks. Blog more? Sigh.