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When You're New in Town

Dear Philippa,

I just moved back east after three years on the West Coast and I can't believe how hard it is to reestablish myself socially. Even my closest friends have either moved on or away. Maybe that's why I really feel the need to meet a guy right now. Do you have any ideas?

�Jeannie, New Jersey


Dear Jeannie,

Someone should start a matchmaking service for people who want to make friends. As we get older and busier with work and family, it becomes more difficult to find time in our life for new people. I meet some great women that I could be friends with but our lives never seem to be in sync and the mutual promises to get together for lunch just don't see to happen.

Being new in town isn't the only time that you can feel socially out of sync. After a divorce you can feel uncomfortable around the old crowd. Sometimes our friends relocate or move into new relationships that exclude us from their lives. And sometimes friendships just simply run out of steam�we change, they change and there's no commonality anymore.

Realize that the ebb and flow of friendships is a normal part of life. This is not a reflection of your like-ability. But, it is an opportunity for you to meet new people, people who have space in their lives and a desire to spend time with you.

Have you noticed that when we're on vacation, we're more open and fun loving? Then we come home and become more closed again. The same goes for being new in town. I think acting like you're new in town is an excellent state of mind for anybody who is seeking new relationships�romantic or otherwise. When you have that new in town attitude you appear more interested in others and in turn others find you more interesting.

The new woman at the office, the new guy in the apartment building, they all seem to be more attractive because they're new to us. Take advantage of this special time. Ask people for their advice where the best places are to meet people. People love to give advice (I should know) and some also like to play matchmaker.

When my husband and I recently relocated, we ran into people that wanted us to get together with an acquaintance of theirs because they saw commonalties and a potential friendship.

How do you meet a new man? There are several ways you can take to make this happen. If you have access to the Internet (or have a friend who is search engine savvy) there are some amazing matchmaking sites that are designed to bring very specific types of people together. Whether you are a book lover, animal lover, community activist, etc., there are sites that can help you meet people with whom you share a passion.

The best way to make new friends is to be involved in an activity where you meet regularly. It seems to take most people a little time to let down their guard and get to know someone. Be patient and positive and show interest in others.

If you're inclined, try volunteering. It's a wonderful way to get to know others. You can do this through a religious organization, a civic group like Rotary, a specific charity, or an organization for the arts. You'll meet people of all ages and walks of life. The older folks will share their wisdom and want to adopt you. You'll make wonderful friends and maybe meet the man of your dreams.

Jeannie, when your social life starts to fill and your love life takes off, remember to always leave a space in your life for new friends. People are a gift to which we should always open.




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