We’ve been moving to a new city every year. But on top of that, living in the married-but-with-no-kids is a strange phase. Just like it’s hard finding friends in a transient city, I think it’s hard to find friends in this stage of life. It’s a transient stage. We spend a good portion of our lives being single and a good portion of our lives taking care of children, an 18+ year commitment.
In between (for most), there might just be a few good years where it’s just the two of you. It’s not that we don’t like making friends on our own, because we do, but we’ve found that it’s especially challenging to find couple friends. It’s hard enough having a good dynamic with TWO people, now you have to worry about the dynamic between FOUR! I’m always reminded of the Friends episode.. the one with the challenges of finding couple friends. I don’t remember the title, but it makes me laugh because it’s SO TRUE! (I might have to restart that whole series) Anyone else experience this?
I guess each phase of life has its own purpose, gifts, and challenges. While I remember having a ton of fun being single and how nice it was to always have a crew to hang out with, we’re learning how to have fun and appreciate the life we have now in this phase. Sure, adventures will look different, but they are still adventures. I always love the scene in UP (one of my fave movies of all time) where Carl sees Ellie’s note in their memory book, “Thanks for the adventure, now go have a new one!” Makes me cry every time!
How to Make Friends in a New City
Making friends in a new city can be challenging, but here are some tips to help you get started.
- Join clubs or groups related to your interests. This can be a great way to meet people who share your hobbies and passions. We’ve done this in the past at church and now at climbing gyms.
- Volunteer for local organizations or events. Volunteering allows you to give back to your community and meet new people simultaneously.
- Attend local events and festivals. This is a great way to immerse yourself in the community and meet new people.
- Connect with your neighbors. Introduce yourself to those who live near you and see if you have any common interests.
- Take classes or workshops. This is similar to clubs or groups, but it can be a great way to meet new people and learn something new.
- Use social media to connect with people in your area. Join groups or attend virtual events to meet new people and make connections.
Remember, building relationships takes time and effort, so be patient and persistent.
10 good things about marriage / married life and why I’m grateful:
- Deeper relationship. It might not be as exciting as a first date, but you learn a lot about each other and get to know each other at a much deeper level. I don’t know about you, but I can only handle so much small talk.
- Having someone to depend on. In the case of an emergency, I know who to call. GHOSTBUSTERS? :D
- Sharing the bad times. When things get tough, you have someone to share your burdens. You don’t have to go through it alone. Although Jacob didn’t understand the depression I was going through last year, he was still there for me.
- Sharing the good times. There’s someone to celebrate with you. Someone to laugh and smile with you. Someone to travel and take in all the world’s beauty with you.
- Acceptance. Even though he sees my flaws up close and personal, he’s not packing his bags.
- Fighting isn’t futile. It’s not a bad thing at least for us. It just means we’re two different people working out the kinks. I learned there are three types of couples when it comes to fighting from 7 Principles of marriage (a great read for married folks btw)! You might think one looks worse than the other, but it really depends on the couple.
- Sharing household responsibilities. If he cooks, I clean, and vice versa. Also, it’s always easier to cook for two!
- Two can be better than one. We’re very different, but we complement each other. Where I am weak in one area, it’s Jacob’s strength. An example would be, I’m a starter/startup person. I have big ideas and like to start them up, but oftentimes I can’t manage and execute them. Jacob is a finisher. He is organized and likes to get things done. Together, we are UNSTOPPABLE! :P
- Learning to enjoy each other’s hobbies. It’s not always about finding common ground. Eventually, you can learn to love something for the sake of the other person. Jacob joins me when I get in these obsessive moods with a project. Right now, it’s Project 333 and he’s participating with me. I’ve learned to enjoy movies and watch more TV.
- Growth. The challenges of marriage ultimately made me grow and made me a better person than when I only had to worry about myself. The growing continues…
How do you make couple friends (without being overbearing and weirding them out!)?
This is week 28 of practicing gratitude on my blog. You can see all my other gratitude posts here.