(That is a real ad for my new best friend.) Shameless.
Moving to a new city as an adult isn’t easy. We see the idealistic perspective in movies, when a moderately+ attractive woman moves to big city for fancy job in large skyscraper and already built-in sassy, like minded roommate. In reality, we move for various reasons whether they be career or personal. Sometimes we know people at the new location, sometimes we’re starting from scratch. I’ve been an observer of this conundrum and I have also experienced it personally. From what I’ve seen, there are three scenarios:
1) You know at least one to two people in your new life, and those people open you up to another social scene built of friends they already have. Boom. Done.
2) You know hardly anyone, but meet (and are somewhat limited to) the people built into your new lifestyle. Maybe co-workers, maybe students in your degree program, maybe other new moms, etc.
3) You are a hermit and spend most days with your TV and a bowl of pasta.
Since moving to Michigan in 2009, I’ve experienced in some way, all of the above. I started with #3, and pasta and I became great friends. Too close, really. I’m still dealing with the fallout of our unhealthy relationship. Then, after entering a Master’s program, I of course, met a group of people. This was a group of maybe 30 people, and I saw them every. single. day. Same ones. This was great at the time, I and I felt thankful for the opportunity (sorry, pasta!) As time went on, I realized that just because I had a new built in “social life”, didn’t mean I actually truly connected with these 30 people, and I wasn’t even sure I wanted to hang out with most of them. I was lucky to pull a handful of friendships from this, and as it was a grad school program, many of these people moved on and moved out. Some of the people I met introduced me to other people they knew and again, I was grateful. Yet, very few of these connections actually clicked.
I’ve met great people since arriving in the Midwest, still I can’t help but yearn for the same kinds of close relationships I have waiting for me back home. Granted, these are relationships I’ve had for years, people who really know me, get me, accept me, and all that jazz. I treasure them. I also know that whether it’s this town or another new town, I want to make new connections that I also treasure.
So what’s a grown person to do? I have quite literally brainstormed an idea for a “dating” style website for platonic friendships only, but then remembered how gross people are, and how that could turn into the wrong thing, quickly! I will be totally honest, in my sampler search, I mostly found weird, creepy people searching for God knows what, under the guise of friendship. Here’s what I can pass along:
Friends Meetup Near Ann Arbor (meetup.com) – Meetup is a site where you can find things to do with people who have the same interests in cities around the country. This link is for Ann Arbor, which means you’re going to find meet ups for vegetarians and meet ups for a UFC fight. Just your general mixture.
New Creative Social Club Combines Art/Socializing for Fun Fridays (annarbor.com) – Those who aren’t interested on hitting on potential friends in the bar scene might enjoy something like this. A fun activity, potential to meet new friends, and if you hate everyone, at least you get a piece of art to take home.
Ann Arbor Rec and Ed Classes – I’m starting to think the best way to meet people when you really have no other method is just putting yourself out there, getting over yourself or your fear of meeting super weirdos and just doing something. I know people that have joined big-team programs like weekly soccer games or a yoga class and have connected with people there. A local Recreation program may be the way to go. One semester at a time, and generally not too crazy expensive. I plan to partake in a new yoga class. I am planning to leave with at least 4 new yoga friends in the spring.