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Starting a new relationship (a non-romantic relationship) is quite hard today, and is often a difficulty in our lives whether we believe it or not. There are many factors that go into starting a new relationship:
- Finding someone who you want to actually have a relationship with (when the world seems full of nasty people)
- Finding someone to have a relationship with when it’s hard to meet people at all
- Having the courage to start a conversation
- Having the courage to take that conversation past friendly chatter
So how can we ever find those bosom friends that we all long for when starting a relationship seems so hard?
Finding Someone to Start a Relationship With
First off, finding someone with who you actually want to have a relationship with is hard. Seriously. Not only does it often seem that we are surrounded by people who don’t share our same values, but often they don’t share our same morals. You may feel like you finally find someone who goes to the same church or group as you and you start to think maybe this person could be my friend? Until you get a glimpse at their private life and you see what type of person they really are and you realize that this person really wouldn’t be a good influence on you. I found this happening to me a lot! Living in a tiny, rural state where there are mainly people who don’t share my morals can make the needle in a haystack search even harder than before!
It’s important to know that even though you may be really yearning for a friend, that moment might not be the time to find one. Here’s my advice: don’t force friendships. Finding a friend that will last a lifetime is hard to do. And oftentimes, we find ourselves going for the “next best person” or someone who isn’t quite a good match for our lifestyle. We write it off as an okay thing to do, but in reality, if you’re not where you need to be with God, finding a friend who isn’t a good influence on you could really put a strain on your relationship with the Lord.
I know all my readers are thinking “Is this really that important?” and I must say Yes! It is! This is not your husband or wife that you’re looking for, but for the friends who will be there when life happens and the ugly valleys hit. These are the friends that you want pointing you back towards God in these times, who will be there no matter what. These friends are vitally important to your life!
Finding Friends in a Social Desert
One of the hardest things in this day and age (Coronavirus, pandemic, and social distancing) is even being able to find someone to talk to, let alone start a relationship with. It’s making the feeling of isolation a reality and the hope of finding support in trying times seem unattainable. So where can we even look to maybe find new friends during this age of social distancing?
- Facebook Groups
- Homemaking groups
- Local community groups
- Homeschool groups
- Bible Study groups
- Church groups
- Community groups
- Many groups have been created since COVID started, whether in person or through Zoom to help those in their community connect.
Have the Courage to Say Hi
Alright, moving on. Once you have found someone that you realize might be an ideal friend for you, the hard part (at least for me) approaches…..starting a conversation! Being an introvert really doesn’t help my cause in making new friends I’ll admit, but somehow I find myself with a ton of friends, nonetheless! I’ll admit, introducing yourself to someone seems like a perfected and practiced art, I promise it’s not! It’s super simple. Just say hello! If you’re shy like me, the easiest time to introduce yourself to someone is when change is happening. Whether you’re starting school again or moved to a new place, or starting a new job. When things are fresh and new people are ready and expecting new friendships, and new relationships to happen, it’s much easier to introduce yourself then. If you want to introduce yourself and it’s not a time of change, that’s okay! This is a perfect opportunity to create a time of change!
When I was in 8th grade I didn’t have many friends as I had moved to the school at the beginning of the year and didn’t take the opportunity for those new friendships at the beginning of the year. So, right in the middle of the semester when everything was settled I saw a friend that I wanted to make and I walked right up to her and said, “You know, someday we’re going to be best friends!” and walked right back out. She was pretty stunned but was even more stunned when my prediction came true later that year and is still pretty true to this day. (Although we’re not still “best friends” we still are very fond of each other and keep in contact).
Although it doesn’t take a crazy, bold act like that to make new friends sometimes it takes a bold and crazy amount of courage just to say hello!
Follow Up with Your New Friend
The last step to really gaining a new friend is making it past friendly conversation. I can say that this is one of the hardest parts of friendship. Many people are willing to take part in friendly conversation with you but aren’t always willing to change their current lifestyle to fit for a new friend. And that’s okay. If they’re not comfortable with making new friends at the moment….then that’s their loss!
Once you do get past that first polite conversation, extend a hand a little. Say something along the lines of “Maybe we could hang out sometime?” or “I would love to have lunch with you”….the list goes on but those second ice breakers are very important in creating that friendship. It seems awkward at the time, but I promise, if you can find that true friend then the awkwardness is completely worth it!
Starting into a new friendship can seem hard and scary but realizing that in the end, that friendship could really change your life is totally worth it! So realize that it’s okay to put yourself out there a little, and know that God will direct you to a friend worth having!