Like many women, I have moved enough to experience seasons of settling in and making new friends, and seasons of having to move away from them and start over. Connecting deeply with other women is not always easy, but it is well worth the investment. Here are a few strategies that have helped me when I’ve been faced with the challenge of building new friendships:
- Get involved in kid’s activities.
- Volunteer as a team mom, coach, teacher’s aid, etc. You get to know your kid’s friends and mentors…and possibly make a new friend for yourself.
- Talk to other moms and be a good listener. Eventually you will connect with someone. Invite them for coffee or a glass of wine.
- Join a small group with other couples. It is important for you and your husband to connect with like-minded couples. Groups come in all formats: social, date nights, game nights, study groups, common life stages, etc. (bonus: many times childcare is provided).
- Most important for me is to join a small group of women in the community or in your church who meet and share life with one another. This is a community of women who over time, I promise, can become your dearest friends.
Steps toward deeper investments:
- Allow others to know the real you: take off your perfection mask and be vulnerable, sincere and honest.
- Meet together outside the group socially, both individually and as the larger group.
- Do not compare your new friends with your old friends.
- Make yourself available.
- Be an extra set of ears when a friend needs to vent. Just listen, you don’t need to fix! Remember, sometimes we need a safe place with no condemnation…no matter what.
- It is imperative to keep these conversations confidential.
- Always remember, trust is a key element in any friendship investment.
Developing lasting friendships is an investment of time, tears, sweat, heartache, work, disappointments and triumphs. Along this pathway, many friends walk alongside us for a little while, and some walk with us for a lifetime and into eternity. They become the biggest return on our “Friendship Investment Fund.” Nothing, not even death, can take way the unconditional love and joy we receive from a true forever girlfriend.
Developing lasting friendships is an investment of time, tears, sweat, heartache, work, disappointments and triumphs.
I am blessed to have a very special friend from childhood into adulthood. We grew up together since third grade. We were in Girl Scouts, played sports, double dated, told each other secrets, went our separate ways, became adults, got married, had kids, reconnected, enjoyed our families together, went on camping trips, attended small groups, helped one another, survived teenagers, prayed together, cried together, held each other accountable and told each other the truth even when it hurt. We lost connections and reconnected many, many times through the years. Each time we reconnected, we picked up where we left off without missing a beat. We were invested and the return has been ongoing.
Although we frequently did not live near one another, we kept in touch through the years. On December 20, 2014, I received a call that my best friend thought she had indigestion, went to urgent care, and was rushed into emergency surgery with an aortic aneurism. As she was being rolled into surgery, she looked up at her hurting husband and said, “Honey, I don’t know how to pray, either way, I win.” We lost her that night but I know, without a doubt, I will once again reconnect with my forever friend.