This past year my kids started a new school, which meant settling into new routines and finding new friends. My daughter was up for the challenge. She was eager and determined. On the first day she turned to a girl who was sitting beside her and asked her if she wanted to be her friend-to which the girl relied yes. As easy as that, my daughter made it look so effortless. However, as the months progressed the friendship started to fizzle. My daughter was devastated, and was having a hard time accepting that her new friend wanted to move on, to meet other girls.
I encouraged my daughter to do the same-to meet other girls in her class, to reach out to others and make new connections. I did this because I thought there was a lot of value in her branching out, but more importantly learning how to be okay with friends coming in and out of our lives is such a valuable skill in the long run.
My daughter reluctantly agreed-she really wasn’t ready, but at the same time knew she wanted to try something new. As the weeks progressed, she started branching out. Sitting with a new groups of girls at lunch, playing with others at recess, and joining new clubs. I was so proud of her courage.
I realized that my daughter’s whole friendship experience was a ‘microcosm’ for what I was experiencing in my own life. I too have a very small core group of girlfriends in my life, but more recently I’ve experienced a wave of friends coming into my life for a short while.
While I cherish my friendships I also know that something is triggering a desire within to seek new friendships. But I realized that I am struggling with the ‘how’. How do I meet new friends at this stage in my life? If only it were as easy as sitting beside someone and asking them like my daughter did on her first day of school….Do you want to be friends?
The more I got thinking about this concept of meeting new friends as an adult, the more curious I became. How do I meet new women? How do I pick and choose the right women to call my friends? I was also experiencing this new phenomenon where other Moms wanted to be friends with me because our kids were in the same school. Was that the key to making and maintaining new friendships? Does the frequency of seeing each other on a regular basis really matter? I was intrigued, I began delving deeper, trying to find answers to all my questions.