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How to Make Friends in the Suburbs

Julia How to make friends in the suburbs

My dress in purple (shown), turquoise and orange (all on sale!)

I get questions about how to make friends as an adult in the ‘burbs on a daily basis. Apparently a lot of you guys are going through what I did last year with a move to a new place, outside of a big city where you’re more likely to know people. Trust me, I know it’s hard. It really took me a full year and a half to finally feel like I had a good group of friends here.

There are a lot of ways that you can make friends: Join a club, volunteer, talk to someone in a workout class, join your Junior League, if you’re a mom, talk to other moms in the playground, become friendly with your coworkers… the list goes on. I wanted to share how I personally did it in hopes that my story inspires you to get out there and make a new friend.

Obviously this process will be different for everyone depending on where you live and what you do but these are the stories of how I met three of my new friends here in Connecticut. Our plans this weekend consist of getting together with the three gals mentioned below and their husbands so I thought I’d start there.

Before I get started, I have to share that I’m actually pretty shy when I don’t know someone. I get a bit of social anxiety so I’m not great at making new friends. All of the gals below initiated the friendships for the most part, but I reciprocated by putting in the effort. Something you have to do with new pals! I’d follow up with texts asking about their days, meet up often, and ask the questions that really count. You have to think of your new friendships almost like dating and try to get to know the other person, however you meet them.

Amanda (pictured above)

How we met: We went to the same nutrition school

Our plan this weekend: Saturday movie night at their house. Popcorn, wine, and PJs are required.

The story: When I first moved to Stamford, I received a ton of emails from readers and Instagram followers who wanted to get together. While I so appreciated the kind gesture from you all, I was so overwhelmed with working around the clock with my job and blog at the time that the thought of working on new friendships sounded impossible! Amanda, however seemed awesome and when I realized that we both went to the same nutrition school and knew a few people in common, it was a done deal.

Plus I loved what she had to say on her website about her relationship to food and happiness so agreed to meet. I had know idea that we’d hit it off so quickly and become so close in a matter of weeks. We were lucky that our husbands also happen to get along so we do a lot of double date with the Morgans.

Takeaway: Find people in your town or area that you went to school with or may have worked with in the past. Do a search on LinkedIn or ask friends if they know anyone who might fit the bill.

Stefanie

How we met: We’re neighbors. She introduced herself.

Our plan this weekend: Friday evening BBQ at our house.

The story: Stef and her husband Andy bought their house around the corner from us shortly before we did.  A few months after we moved in, Stefanie introduced herself and, because we had just picked up Boots, we decided to walk the dogs for our first date. Since then we’ve become more than just neighbors, working out together and always following through on our weekly walk. Her pup (Zoe) and Boots are madly in love which helps.

Again, we got lucky in the spouse department with Andy, her husband. He and Anel really hit it off and we have BBQs at each others’ houses on Fridays (like this weekend) every so often. It’s also nice to pop by and say hi if we see them in their yard or vice versa. If you had asked me three years ago if I’d be saying that, I would have laughed in your face but hey, suburban life is just different!

Takeaway: When looking for a home, think about the people (literally) surrounding you. We fell in love with our house for a lot of reasons but we really loved the quaint neighborhood, full of young families, dogs, and friendly faces.

Gabriella

How we met: Walking our dogs in Mianus State Park.

Out plan this weekend: Fish taco and margarita pool party at their house on Sunday.

The story: Boots’ second girlfiend, Kuda (he’s clearly a player), was the catalyst for my newer friendship with Gabriella, who I met when our dogs fell in love on a hike in Mianus. The pups started playing so we started chatting. What I thought would be a quick walk turned into an hour long conversation and exchanging of numbers with a promise to meet up again the following week.

Gabriella left her job in fashion to start her business as a personal chef in Greenwich. She was talking about how she wanted to build an online following and it was magic. In another small-world turn of events, her best friend was referred to Anel that same week when looking for a new personal trainer.

We haven’t met her husband James yet, but are heading to their house on Sunday for a BBQ/pool party so will report back on how that goes.

Takeaway: Get a dog… or a baby. Whatever works! Since we seem to be having some difficulty with the latter, we got Boots who I now know is more than just a cute face. He’s a friend matchmaker.

Shop my dress in three colors (all on sale):

Comments

  • Love this! I think i need to push myself to be more outgoing…..we have a dog….and kids….and it’s still hard….especially because we are out in the country ….way past even the suburbs 🙁

  • Dana Mannarino

    So cute! So glad you made friends, generally it just helps with overall happiness! Plus, your weekend plans sounds AMAZING 😉

    Pink Champagne Problems

  • Great advice! It took us a while the settle into our neighborhood and meet other neighbors. Making friends as an adult can be difficult, but these are good tips. Thanks for sharing!

  • Lauren W

    Love this dress – after seeing this post I just purchased it for a wedding. It’s actually on sale at Lord and Taylor in this color ($29.99)

  • Leigh Ann

    FYI, this exact dress in the pink is on super sale at Lord and Taylor. Looks like all sizes are available too!

  • Brittany Cerminara

    Love this article – such a true struggle for young adults in the ‘burbs. Thanks for sharing.

  • Such a cute ending and idea, that Boots is a friend matchmaker. Maybe he needs his own show, Patti Stanger-style. 😉

  • I love this post! So cute!

    Kalina | Simply Semisweet

  • I really like this post. I have found, that now I have left university and am starting my adult life, that it is becoming more difficult to make friends so this is very helpful.

    http://ohduckydarling.com

  • Katie

    I love that you admit to having some social anxiety, and I’m able to connect with you on that. Great article. Check out my newly launched blog at conflictedhealth.com