How to Put Down Roots

Moving is hard, making friends is harder. Making friends after a move as an adult is almost impossible. But it can be done, and here’s how.

If this doesn’t work for you, read on.

Leave your apartment/house

I know this one is super obvious, but it’s not always easy to put into practice. Oftentimes the repetitive grind of work and weekly habits – grocery shopping, gym time, laundromat runs – can sap all of our energy, making the idea of ‘fraternizing with strangers’ sound terrible.

But if you want to make friends, you’ll have to make the attempt. Irritating as it is, your future best friend isn’t hiding out in your closet – you’re gonna have to go and meet them. You can do this by…

Engaging in activities you enjoy

Another no-brainer that yields fantastic results. Choose a hobby or a ‘thing’ and pursue it. If you’re a religious person, find a church! If you’re someone who’s always wanted to try roller derby, attend a bout! Steel yourself and get ready to make some introductions wherever you go – a simple ‘hi, I’m So-and-so, and I just moved here’ is usually enough to have cool people wanting to at least give you suggestions on other places to hang out, if not outright taking you under their wing. You’ll have way too many friends in no time.

There’s someone for everyone. I love you, Betty.

Start a group

If you can’t find a group you’re interested in, start your own! Chances are if there’s something you’re into, others will be, too.

If it doesn’t take off straightaway, don’t get discouraged. I once held 4 consecutive sessions of a Creative Writing Workshop at my local library with 0 attendees. But on the 5th one, I made a friend who’s still my friend to this day! Doing something like this can be daunting, but the worst that can happen is you spend an hour alone doing something you enjoy.

Use the Internet

It may sound wild, but 3 of my bestest best friends are people I met over the Internet. Don’t discount the power of the worldwide web. Instead, search your area to see if there are any local forums or social media groups and see what they’re talking about. Join the conversation; make some cyber-connections. Take advantage of the Internet and forge some friendships. Then, take these friendships offline. Voila – you’re Miss Popularity.

If you have kids, exploit them

Lucy starting school has been a real boon for me friend-wise, since her classmates’ moms are also adult women just like me! Shamelessly use your kids as little friendship lures by taking them to playgrounds and library events, where you can befriend other moms like you. It’s foolproof. (Hey Emily.)

This gif is from a great documentary about what happens when moms become friends. #asimplefavor

Throw a party

Instead of waiting around to be invited to things, why don’t you invite people to your things? This can be daunting for an introvert, but it doesn’t have to be a wild rager; try something like wine and board games, or a television show viewing party. Then you can invite a whole bunch of randos from various parts of your life – coworkers, gym acquaintances, neighbors – and have something to focus on so you’re not all sitting around doing that weird tense smile and avoiding direct eye contact.

Create an imaginary friend

If all else fails, create your own pretend friend. Sure, it’s sad, and yeah, it doesn’t really count. But there are lots of perks to your friend being little more than a manifestation of your own loneliness and neuroses. You can make them look however you want, for example – poof! Your new best friend bears an uncanny resemblance to Zac Efron. And he can never leave you! Because he’s not real! #healthy

Imaginary friends never have to wear clothes.

I hope this helped, Nikki. If it didn’t, please know I tried, and I love you. And you’re welcome to move back down south whenever you want because we miss you. Tell fake Zac Efron hey for me and enjoy your 2857298 feet of snow.

image courtesy of evie.

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