When I first moved to Montreal about four years ago, I was excited to begin a new chapter in my life and thrilled by the thought of living and experiencing life in another city. I consider myself an outgoing person so I thought making friends would be a walk in the park!
Unfortunately, it wasn’t so simple.
I was even in a better position than most people moving to a new city since my boyfriend lived in Montreal and knew lots of people. Whenever we went out he always introduced me to new people, and I still had trouble making friends.
I’d go out, see a familiar face or two, strike up a conversation, and maybe even exchange contacts, but that was about it. The interactions didn’t seem to evolve past that point. It felt like people were already content with their circle of friends and it was hard to become a part of those circles. I felt lonely and discouraged.
One day I was feeling a little extra lonely so I called my mom. She told me that finding your group takes time. I definitely found this to be true. I met my best friend in my second year living in the city. Although I had met lots of people, it didn’t feel like I’d established the kinds of genuine friendships I needed.
For the first two years I lived in Montreal, I missed my friends back home, but I knew I had to hang in there and give things a chance to work.
Sometimes you can feel lonely even when you’re surrounded by people in a big city. Try getting involved in local events to build a stronger sense of community for yourself.
We all meet people, but it doesn’t guarantee we’ll have strong ties with those people. Strong ties are extremely important because they make us feel like we belong to a small, tight knit community, which can make us feel loved and accepted.
But if you’re having trouble cultivating those close connections, don’t lose hope! Getting involved in your community can also give you a sense of belonging.
Try going to a reading at a nearby library, a fundraiser at your school, or an outdoor festival in your city, and you’ll start to feel a connection with your community even if you don’t necessarily have strong ties with any of the individual people at the events. This can definitely help keep loneliness at bay while you’re waiting to meet your group.
What’s important to remember is that sometimes it takes time for people to warm up to strangers, so finding your people may take time, but it will happen eventually. Keep doing the things that you love, keep smiling at new people, keep being kind, and you will meet like minded people you can connect with eventually.
Be patient and have faith that good people are out there looking for friendship just like you are.
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