How to make friends… It’s not as easy as it was on the playground

Moving to a new place is hard, especially when it’s a whole new state and you’re straight outta college. It doesn’t matter how many friends you HAD on campus. It doesn’t matter how many friends you HAD growing up. What matters is that you’re in this new space and you no longer have friends. What do you do?

Before I get down to what you need to do, think of this; you have a clean slate. When you move to a new state, you don’t have any of that Erykah Badu bag lady baggage, your hands are free — you can literally create your circle. That’s pretty cool, right.

Now that you have this clean slate, here’s what you do:

  • Acknowledge your loneliness — it’s a feeling that exists for a reason. Those days when you feel like crying, cry. If you want to drink two glasses of wine and cry-watch Scandal, Gilmore Girls, Being Mary Jane, Shameless or whatever, do it, and don’t feel guilty for it.
  • Learn to hangout with yourself. At times women get the message that we are not desirable if we do things alone. I say screw that. Take yourself out to the movies, have a meal alone, nap in the park or on the beach, read your favorite book under the sun or in your favorite cafe, get your nails done. The cool thing about these activities is that they’ll force you out of your apartment which means you’ll get some sunlight.
  • Change your idea of friendship. Don’t limit your friendships to just people your age. I live in South Florida so when I started seeking friendships I found myself hanging out with folks in their late thirties and these days even retirees.
  • Don’t be embarrassed to tell others that you want to make friends or that you are interested in dating. What’s different about making friends post-college is that you have to be intentional about it — you won’t just stumble upon some friends late in the library one night.
  • Ask people at work out with you. This can be tricky and folks might say no, again, don’t be embarrassed. You can also ask co-workers for recommendations. Tell them about your interests and see if they know anything happening locally.
  • Meetup groups are also the way to go, I hear. This is one tactic I’ve never tried out, but folks stand by it.

Now, none of these hints matter if you don’t talk to people. When you are out, approach people. Remember, you have to be intentional about this. So if you see someone at a coffee shop and you think you’d enjoy their company, go up and talk to them — put yourself out there!

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