Relationships

on making friends

3c71c76ab2e63d54c070ee5b1118b674

We are creatures of habit. We wake up, have our coffee, go to work, the gym, run errands, sleep, and repeat. We find comfort in the familiar–our cities, families, homes, friendships, and even food. I like trying new things, but reached a point where I became pretty comfortable with where things are, and everything began to feel a little too familiar. Work, CrossFit, home, more work, watch a little TV, and go to bed. I rarely make plans during the week unless it’s summer, and for the most part, see the same people each weekend.

When I first moved to Chicago 3.5 years ago, I didn’t have any friends. Awww. Sad story. I “knew” two bloggers I had connected with, there was a girl I met at an event, a realtor that I worked with when I found my apt, and a girl that I met through her. My social circle was tiny/non-existent. I’ve never been the girl who had a ton of friends and that will never be my goal. I’d rather have a few close friends than a ton of acquaintances. Meaningful relationships over superficial ones. Those friends who will be there when you wake up from surgery or be there for you when your dog gets really, really sick. I have those friends–I’m a very lucky girl. And I hope my friends know I’d do the same for them in a second.

So when I moved to Chicago, I did what I had to do. If I met someone who seemed nice, I asked to make plans. I went to everything that anyone invited me to, which didn’t happen that often, but if and when I was invited to something, I went. When my mom told me some guy from LA was visiting Chi and going to a BBQ (where I knew no one) and that he’d be inviting me, I was all “mooooommmmm, come on,” and I went. I became very good friends with a girl I met at that BBQ, by the way. So I would have missed out had I not gone.

I was lucky to have a blog and connected with some really wonderful girls through blogging. I’m still friends with quite a few of them, and one even became my business partner. The Everygirl wouldn’t exist had I not networked with Chicago bloggers. Crazy. And had I not gotten lunch with one of my graphic design clients, I would have missed out on becoming friends with Gina and she wouldn’t have been able to talk me into giving CrossFit a try.

I don’t attend a lot of events because I don’t really like them. Small
talk isn’t my thing. I love meeting new people, but I’d much rather sit
down over coffee, drinks, brunch, dinner, or anything, and really connect with people. But I got comfortable and stopped doing that. That’s not to say that I want or need 10 new best friends because I don’t, but I do feel like I could use another good friend or two. There are maybe 2-3 girls I talk to, and then my CrossFit friends. Expanding my social circle wouldn’t be the worst thing i could do.

Katie used to go to RNCF and photographed a feature for The Everygirl last year. We connected via facebook and talked about getting together, but it never happened, which is probably my fault because the end of last year was kind of crazy for me. So I messaged her and suggested we get together, and last Sunday, we met for brunch. Three hours later, we made plans for happy hour and are going out tonight. I know I haven’t even known this girl for a week, but I could see being good friends with her. It’s a sort of like dating, only a lot less terrible.

We all have someone we could reach out to, so I challenge you to do that in the next week. You never know. You may end up meeting a new good friend.

image via

  • miss shayna

    I hear ya. I love meeting new people and I'm actually quite good at making new friends (I've had a lot of practice moving to a new city every two years for most of my 20s) BUT as I get older I'm married now and I own my own business I hardly have time to see my husband, let alone the friends I already have LET ALONE have the time to make new ones. It gets even more difficult once you start the baby making train (which is not on my agenda) These days I'm proud of myself if I even get to see my existing friends once a month.

  • michelle

    i am so the girl with no friends! which is fine sometimes but sucks other times. i cannot wait to hangout with you in LA next week! i am so excited and i may already be packed…

  • sledgehammerwithstyle.com

    Great advice. I've lived in LA for 7 years now and still feel a void of (female) friends here. I's a great reminder that you have to put yourself out there….

  • Jessica Camerata

    I'm the exact same way with friends. And thankfully blogging has put me in touch with my favorites. Once I hit mid 20's friendships started to change and I needed new ones in my life. I don't know what I would've down without meeting my two blogging best friends. Plus, CrossFit helped me to have a big group of friends (not super close but still fun to have a big group of people to always count on for a good time).

    xo Jessica
    My Style Vita

  • Shawna | Something Pretty on the Side

    Thank you for the encouragement, Daniella. I get so lazy about making the effort, but even after 6 years in a new city I still seriously need to expand my social circle.

  • Yolonda J. Washington // DesignRoundup

    This is a rest post. I'm with you, I'd rather have close friend that I can depend on and enjoy then a bunch of superficial, non-supportive ones.

  • Jewel Laura

    My life has become so routine. I actually met with up with a local blogger today for the first time and it was really fun. I need to get out of my comfort zone. thanks for the reminder, Danielle!

  • Susan

    Such good advice! I'm still trying to make new friends at work and should just dive in and get to know people better. This is my motivation to do so!

  • Katie

    Love this! So far you've been a pretty good lady date 🙂 Ha

  • Linh Vo

    So very true. Actually, I feel like I need to RE-connect with some of my old friends. I find that as we get older, we have less time. Now with a family and baby and all of life's happenings, I have less time to spend with my friends (since I'm always with my family). Thanks for the reminder!
    Linh
    http://abeautifulrawr.com

  • Chelsea

    I can so identify with this right now! We just moved to a new town and since I'm no longer going to school/working outside the home it's SO hard to make new friends. What I really need are girlfriends to connect with and I need to make big steps in order to get out of my shell and make them. You're right about finding friends being like dating. I hope you had a great time!

    xoxo,
    Chelsea & The City

  • Kirby Todd

    I love this! Out of college it's definitely hard to both find friends and maintain friendships! We may be moving to a new city this year so I will be tested without my group of friends around!

  • Nikki Green Caprara

    What a great message! Thank you for sharing and inspiring. I was in the same boat last year and suddenly my friend circle increased by tenfold and I love it! There are so many wonderful and diverse people out there!

    Nikki

  • A

    I've lived in Chicago for about a year and a half, and like you came here knowing a handful of people (my cousin/roommate and our other roommate, and a few people they knew). I ended up getting into a relationship fairly quickly, and have made 'friends' through my boyfriend, but I started this year with the goal of making friends, and good friends at that, of my own. Going to take your advice and try to make those plans when I meet someone i could see becoming friends with!

  • Manda

    From my perspective, I'm the girl who can't seem to make new friends in the area- because they *are* too comfortable with their routine and really truly don't want to open their circle to me.
    It's rough!!
    Thanks for sharing.

    Manda from Eat Cake

  • Katie Hartle

    Great post! I think if anything we can learn from your posts and the comments, making new friends is something that can face a lot of us at different times in life. I think when you move, or find yourself in a situation where you need new friends, we need to make it a goal to work on, in the same way that you approach other goals in life, such as getting a job or going to the gym!

    Katie from FriendMatch.org

  • Stephanie

    I can so relate to this. I recently re-located from Montreal to Toronto for a post-grad program and although it's not that far away, I knew no one here. The program is small and I have met tons of people, and there are few I can really see myself connecting with on a genuine level. But I have made a sincere effort to seek out those people and not let myself get bogged down with thoughts like "why don't I have 25 close friends?" and "should I be going out way more often?" Some days it's difficult, but I remind myself that as I get older, I don't need to be friends with everyone. And it's the select few that have meaning that matter most.

  • Cheryl Rose

    I can relate to much of this post – thanks for writing it! Friends are good and having one or two more in my current teeny circle would be nice. Thanks for the reminder to reach out once in a while.

Contact Pinterest Instagram Facebook Twitter