Devoted to all my friends
Latest events in my life made me writing this article:
Recently I found out that two of my best friends in Italy are moving to their “home” country. And even though I have seen them only couple of times since I moved from Rome to the North of Italy due to my job, and we were not in touch as often as we wanted to be, I still feel sort of loss. Another issue is to keep all these friendships I made during these years in different countries alive.
While moving from one place to another, living abroad, making new acquaintances and friendships is the part of the game.
Overall, there are three possible situations you might find yourself into:
- You constantly liv
e in one place for a long time (i.e. years), you have your own circle of friends and new friends can just refresh it and bring some new, positive insights. You keep your established friendships and make new ones time to time.
- You have just recently moved to a new place, then you have to be active in making acquaintances and meeting possible new friends.
- You are constantly travelling, using your home just as a “base” to change luggage, then there is a double task – to keep your old friendships (i.e. actually finding time to meet all your “old” friends at least virtually) and making new friendships/acquaintances in new places you visit.
Here the trick is to find the right balance. If you only continue meeting new friends, then your old friendships might deteoriate. Good friends will not disappear, but this definitely won’t make your friendship stronger. However also if you continue only meeting your “old” friends from other places, you might face the situation, when you go to a new place, and in the evening you are alone and do not have anyone to share a dinner with.
So, how to avoid such situations?
First of all, accept that people come and go to/from our lives. Certain person might have been your best friend while you were in school, but now you even cannot find any common topic except remembering your old good school times. So let it go. Do not force yourself to meet someone “because you have to”.
Second, if you have changed several places in your life, like I did, it makes sense to make a list of all your “best friends”, with their contacts and birthdays in it. You do not have to write to all your friends every week, but if these people are still important to you, it makes sense to keep in touch and write to each other time to time. For example, I have a friend from my student time in Germany – we took the same French class (Hi, Ole! J). We write to each other literally twice a year – but very long letters, several A4 pages long (typing).
Third, make an effort. If you can, go and visit that friend of yours, or invite them to come to your place. If you are living in different countries, that should be double – exciting.
Regarding making new friendships:
- In the beginning it is important to meet many new different people, however it does not mean that you have to keep in touch with all of them.
- Choose the ones, with whom you feel some kind of connection, or you have common interest (for example, you both like diving or skiing) – in this way it will be easier and more interesting to bring the friendship to a new level.
- Nurture your new friendships, invest in them.
- Keep track of where you are. It is easy to get to know hundreds of new people, but in the end you can end up without having anyone to have a dinner with. Meeting new people is not a goal in itself. Creating new bonds and friendships – is. Choose quality vs. quantity.
- And remember your old friends, too!
And how do you keep in touch with your old friends? Or may be you have a tip as to how to create new friends? Share with us! 🙂