I’m standing outside my cramped closet at the moment, having a mini panic attack. What the heck am I gonna wear tonight?
We are just getting drinks at a local bar, so I shouldn’t dress up too much. Ok, I’ll go with a sundress and wedge heels. Shit, that’s too dressy. What about a crop top and mini skirt? Ugh, too revealing to wear when meeting for the first time.
I give up. *Panic Washes over Me Like A Tidal Wave and My Pits Start to Sweat Profusely* Who cares about clothes? What in the world are we going to talk about? What if this person doesn’t like me, or thinks I’m stuck up. Oh God. I can’t go. I’m texting her right now to cancel.
I bet right up until this point you thought I was talking about a guy. Gotcha! I’m not. The conversation you just read is a sample of what I go through every time I go to hang out with a new friend.
Three months ago when I moved from Ohio to Florida, I didn’t know a soul. Ok, well technically I knew my boyfriend and his friends. And, I’ll give a quick shout out to his Navy buddies-they are great guys, and a blast to be around, but I’m in some serious need of estrogen in my life.
I thought it would be easy to make friends in a new city. I’m outgoing enough and love meeting new people, can’t be that hard right? I was shocked to discover that it’s a bit more difficult that I originally thought.
Let’s start with meeting new girlfriends. Like I said, I’m surrounded by dudes like 90% of the time, so this makes it a little intimidating for girls to approach me. And in a bar scene people aren’t out to make friends. They are usually out with friends they already have, or they are looking for a hook-up.
So, what next next? If you’re lucky you can meet new friends at work, or networking events. This has actually worked in my favor. I’ve been very lucky. I have already met a few wonderful girls, who I know I’ll be friends with for a long time.
But, much like dating how do you get a new friends number? It’s so awkward! Do you wait until you’ve know the person for a few weeks or months? Once you get their number do you ask them to hang out first, or is that needy?
Do you ask them to get drinks or coffee? As you can see, this world is not easy to navigate at all.
For me, it all boils down to being a little insecure. Back in Ohio, I’ve had some of my friends since childhood. They know everything about me. My dysfunctional past, my extreme awkwardness in most social situations and so on.
My new friends don’t know about any of this stuff, and it’s scary to open up to so many new people. What if they don’t like me? What if they don’t like the way I choose to dress or talk? I often worry that the new people I meet won’t understand me.
I think that to some extent, this is what we all go through when meeting new people. It’s hard. It’s awkward. And sometimes painful to open up your life to people you barely know.
But, despite all of that, I’m here to say-IT’S SO WORTH IT. In the few months I’ve been in Florida, I’ve met some incredibly awesome people, I’m happy to call my friends.
So, be awkward, meet new people, open up. You’ll be amazed to see what happens.