No New Friends? How to start over in a new city!
How To Start Over With Friends
In a society that fetishises friendship groups, what do you do when yours collapses? Three women reveal their own BFF break-ups and how they created a new social circle
‘DITCHING MY OLD FRIENDS WAS THE BEST THING FOR ME’
When she outgrew her social group, Giselle Wainwright, 29, made a conscious effort to create a new one
‘Last summer, I was in a bar surrounded by the same girlfriends I’ve had for ten years. One of them was arguing with the other, another was crying into her drink about a guy who “didn’t like her”, and I sat there thinking, “Why is every night like this?” Then it hit me: I had a choice.
That evening made me realise that I needed a social switch-up. The realisation had started as a little trickle of friendship issues and turned into an avalanche of problems that I didn’t want to deal with.
At first, I tried to simply ignore the squabbles, but after another argument on WhatsApp; another he-said she-said about a new boyfriend, I was exhausted. ‘It didn’t help that my personal life had taken a nosedive. Last year, my parents split after 37 years of marriage, and their emotional fallout weighed heavily on me. As I struggled to prop up each parent, I couldn’t take my friend’s ridiculous squabbles seriously. I didn’t care whether Sophie’s boyfriend “looked like he wasn’t going to be a good fit for her, and should we tell her?” I had no time for it.
I decided I would actively try to meet more people. I tried a spinning class with someone I met at a party (fun, but my white-wine habit got in the way of any meaningful meet-ups) and I tried talking to strangers in the pub. At the same time, I changed jobs and cemented a close bond with some of my new colleagues.
I’d always felt like my old friends leaned on me, but with my new work mates, Katie and Alexa, I felt able to talk freely about the stress of my parent’s split. Then I met Sarah, who I was sat next to at an event. We got talking and, as we began minesweeping the tables for alcohol, laughing like teenagers, I realised I was having more fun than I’d had in a whole year with my former mates. Now evenings like that are a weekly occurrence.
Video: STARTING OVER... SHOULD I MAKE NEW FRIENDS?
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