How Do I Meet New People?

 By Nina Atwood

Dear Singlescoach: My boyfriend of 8 months and I recently broke up. It was the best thing, as he had some major alcohol and addiction problems and had no real goals. I know that it was the right decision for me. My problem is, I’m just a year out of college and the people that I chose to surround myself with were all his friends – his life. Now that it is all gone, I have no idea how or where to meet people. I’m essentially friendless right now, which is tough because I’ve always been a people person and always had friends around. I don’t know how to go about meeting new people, and am getting to that point where I’m wondering “How am I ever going to meet someone again?” Kellie

Dear Kellie,

First of all, I want to give you a huge high five for getting out of a toxic, nowhere relationship. I just want to reinforce what you already know – it’s the best thing for you in the long term, although it is painful right now.

Your question is one that I’ve heard thousands of times over the years, but it points to an even bigger question: How do I build a network of supportive friends to see me through all of the phases of my life? This is the more vital question, because as you are discovering, we all need people we can lean on in tough times; we all need people we can support when they go through tough times. The give and take of healthy, long-term friendships is vital for joyful living.

The other really big question is this: What kind of friends do I really want in my life? Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes said, “[sic] Tell me what company you keep, and I’ll tell you what you are.” As you have recently discovered, surrounding yourself with people who are into alcohol and drugs is just about the worst thing you can do to negatively impact the quality of your life.

Here’s my coaching for you: Take a big step back from dating right now; focus on you and the bigger picture of your life. Counseling would probably be a good thing. Take the time to sort through your past choices – the guy you dated, the friends you spent time with – so you can make better choices in the future. Now is the time to re-set your inner compass so you attract healthy people, not just for dating, but for friendships.

As you focus on the inner work of re-setting your compass, begin looking around for organizations and groups of people who meet to share common interests. There are all kinds of organizations that focus on the arts, on sports and outdoor events, on spiritual, religious, and personal growth – the list goes on and on. Yes, it is a process to search for the right venues (don’t focus on bars!) to meet people. While you do so, think of it as practice: you’re building emotional muscle by getting out and meeting new people, even if they aren’t always the right people for the long run.

Be sure and get a copy of Temptations of the Single Girl so you can better understand re-setting the inner compass. Find out more today!

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