Before we moved to Dallas, I joined meetup groups, installed friend-finding apps and decided that I needed to get a dog, pronto.
When your young making friends comes naturally. My earliest friend making moment (that I can remember) was when I was four years old. I saw a girl in preschool playing with things I liked and promptly started following her around all day. Our parents noticed and set up play dates for us. We are still friends nearly 25 years later.
But making friends as an adult is harder. People are more guarded and schedules are jam packed. Unfortunately, if you move far from your childhood and college friends you are basically left with two choices: put yourself out there or live in solitude.
As a trailing spouse I was really nervous about making new friends. My husband would be working long hours and traveling frequently so I knew I would need to fend for myself and not rely solely on him for comfort and friendship.
While I have always enjoyed watching Netflix and eating delivery Indian food alone on the couch I knew it would soon start to feel isolating in a new city.
Thus in an effort to prepare myself for friend-finding before we moved to Dallas, I joined meetup groups, installed friend-finding apps, and decided that I needed to get a dog, pronto. According to Google and some family and friends owning a dog is the key to making friends. I’ve been wanting a dog anyways and thought a furry companion would be good for both my mental health and the stress of a new job for my husband. And if human friends don’t materialize at least I’ll have a dog to keep me company.
I can say without a shadow of a doubt that owning a dog, while difficult at times, is the secret to making friends as an adult.
Now, three months in to our Texas adventure, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that owning a dog, while difficult at times, is the secret to making friends as an adult. A certain comradery forms when you see the same people, multiple times a day, sweating along with you in 100 degree Texas heat while their dogs goes to the bathroom.
I must warn you though, dogs alone will not secure friendships, you also need to take an active role in getting over the “sidewalk talk hump”. Exchange numbers, arrange dog play dates, get a drink! Dallas is a city of transplants and everyone wants to make friends. So put yourself out there and text that dog mom to see if she wants to get a glass of wine, chances are she will.
I’m happy to report that I’ve made some wonderful friends this way. Also, looking up who you know in the area on LinkedIn to rediscover old college friends or colleagues in your area, and befriending your spouses work friends on your own terms (ladies brunch, anyone?), are great ways to connect.
What do y’all do to make friends? Let me know in the comments below! And if you are wondering who my friend making buddy is I’ve attached a picture of our puppy, Manny!