As adults, making friends is a daunting task and a huge obstacle to overcome to help you feel settled in a new city. Don’t expect it to be as easy as pushing someone over in the sandpit then helping them get back up again. Here, you are the outsider and the fight to get into the inner circle is a long and slow one. This city is full of transients, and almost like a defense mechanism, you need to prove you’re worth and that you’re here for the long haul.
Your attempts to keep distracted by reaching out to your bestie back home will fade as they are not clinging onto any connection that reminds them of home. We all speak the same language, but something that many take for granted is the cultural barrier that you will face. But don’t give up hope, give it some time, warm up and come out of your shell. Sure, trying to engage with work colleagues can often blow up in your face if can’t translate the cultural references from this week’s SNL episode, but there are some great pals out there, some maybe even in the same situation.
It’s harder when you’re in a couple and get used to the bubble of companionship attaching yourself to the one person you all the time. But you’ve got to get there on your own. Your instincts may tell you that you are too awkward, too anxious or not cool enough but after a while, it will become apparent that your instincts were completely scrambled during the transatlantic flight. Say yes to that coffee. Make time for a drink. Laugh through the awkwardness and pull that all-nighter. If nothing else, you’ll have shared experiences with others on which to build on, learn from and laugh about in a couple of months’ time over a coffee with your newfound friend.