Friends. Who needs ‘em? Me, actually..
We’ve just moved our little family across the country in pursuit of new adventures (and more time with crazy fun relatives). The practical stuff was all amazingly, miraculously smooth and thankfully our boys (6, 4 & 2) have thrown themselves into their new schools with gusto. Phew. Quite the relief all round.
But there’s still one fairly major outstanding item on mine and my wife’s to–do list; “make friends”.
how does a grown man make friends?
Admittedly, my wife is currently doing better at this than I am.. When we left Newcastle, we left wonderful people and well-established friendships. Although we’ve got some close friends in our new town, it’s far from being a ready-made social & support network.
So, how does a grown man make friends?! As we ‘put ourselves out there’ to show people what lovable legends we are, it feels a bit like the awkwardness and vulnerability of dating:
1) Do we have any common ground?
2) Do we click?
3) Do our spouses / kids get on?
4) Do they even want new friends?
Unfortunately social etiquette states I’m not actually able to ask these questions out loud without people thinking I’m a maniac.
we’re figuratively and literally back in the playground
So, our current strategy is slow & steady perseverance in being sociable, hospitable & generally making ourselves available. Trickier for introverts like me & consequently I’m drinking a lot more coffee than usual in an attempt to come across as a vaguely normal, functioning human. What could possibly go wrong?
So, it’s a vulnerable time for us at the moment as we’re figuratively and literally back in the playground asking the question “will you be my friend?” (albeit in our heads; I mean, we’re not crazy people after all).
We’ve got an advantage in that we’re part of a friendly church and I’m sure the simple passage of time will help with all of this. Hopefully though, we’ll remember what it’s like being the new kids when we’re a bit more established so we never close ourselves off to the joy of making a new friend.
By Si Cook