By Janis Kupferer
Moving, just a few blocks or many miles, can be difficult. But those moves that take us away from our comfort zone and existing social circles are always a bit more challenging, and even a little scary. There are some steps you can take to make the process easier.
Moving to a New City
According to the 2012 US Census report, 36.5 million Americans moved to a different house in the last year. That’s 12% of the total population, and that’s a lot of moving boxes. The majority of movers, so found the Census, made a move of 50 miles.
Whether you are moving across town or all the way across the country, making a move can mean some fairly significant changes to your interaction with current friends. Your best buddy (and next-door neighbor) may have been your go-to girl for advice and fun times, but now, since she is 20 miles away (instead of the mere 20 steps), you don’t get the spur-of-the-moment, casual interactions that you once so enjoyed. Moves of any distance can be difficult, but those that take us away from our comfort zone and existing social circles are always a bit more challenging, and even a little scary.
Each day, women from across the U.S. join SocialJane.com. And, as part of the sign-up process, they write profile summaries that explain who they are and what they are hoping to achieve by joining the site. A large number of these profiles start with the line … “I’ve just moved to … St. Louis, or Chicago, or San Francisco, or any city within the US (pick a city, any city, SocialJane.com has members just about everywhere now). And although the destinations differ, the profiles always end with … “and I don’t know a soul here.”
If you too have recently relocated to a new town, don’t fret. Believe us, your situation isn’t unique and you aren’t the only one finds herself in a population of several million, yet with nobody with whom you can leave a spare key. While it might be unsettling right now, rest assured that in time you will meet new folks and build connections in your new location.
The good new is that there are absolutely things you can do, and resources available to help make a move easier and more enjoyable.
1. Join SocialJane.com:
Of course I absolutely recommend that you visit SocialJane.com and see which other members are in your area. Your first step should be a “quick search” of the database to see who else is in your new town. Then, you can narrow your search by selecting parameters that land you with a list of members who seem like good “friendship” fits for you. With your search complete, now is the time to REACH OUT to these other members. The members of SocialJane.com are here for the very same reason—to build new connections and see about forming some new friendships. So please don’t feel awkward in drafting your first email. I know that when my SocialJane.com inbox dings, I’m thrilled at the prospects of perhaps finding a new friend, and I’m certainly flattered that someone has taken the time to drop me a note.
Also, do make it a habit to check back regularly with the SocialJane.com website. New members join each day, and you just never know who might have joined the network today, yesterday or last week.
2. Join an Organization:
All of us have hobbies and activities that interest us. For me, it is running, and playing tennis and taking in a new Broadway show. With my last move, I didn’t waste anytime joining the local theater group. With them, I started attending plays and musicals, and even my first opera. Even though I run a social networking site, the truth is that I definitely tend toward the shy side, so I honestly don’t think I would have taken in a show on my own. But with this new group of theater enthusiasts, I not only got to enjoy the productions, but did so along with dozens of others. A quick search on the internet for your interest will most likely uncover a slew of events and groups.
3. Sign-up for a Class:
Every city, and I mean every city in the country has a continuing education department for adult students. And I’ve never failed to be impressed with the collection of classes that can range from religion to photography to the history of the United States. So contact your local community college or center and CHECK OUT their list of classes. You never know what you can learn and whom you might meet.
4. Knock on all of Your Neighbors’ Doors:
True story—when I lived in Denver I had a neighbor show up with a plate of cookies on Sunday afternoon. These neighbors were new in town and wanted to meet the other residents on their block. As I noshed their cookies (it would have been rude not to!), I learned that the wife practiced yoga everyday at the studio around the corner. That was all the encouragement I needed to join my first class and make a new friend. You never know who lives right next door until you ring their bell. So RING the bell, and RING all the bells on your block or hall, and see who may be residing right beside you.
No question, moving to a new city or town can be very difficult and can absolutely put a wrinkle in your social calendar. But there are resources like SocialJane.com that can help ease the transition. And, there are specific things you can do that can put you on the path to meeting new friends and feeling settled in your new location.