Lonely in a Crowd
Just moved to a new city? Maybe you’ve been here a little while and feel a little lonely. Maybe you’ve been here a few years and are still feeling like a newcomer. Whatever the case, I can tell you, you are not alone. “Everybody” knows that “everybody” is moving here…has moved here, whatever. So if there are so many people, there should be so many people to hang out with, right? Life should be filled with all the amazing stuff people do, right? You know, like snowboarding or going to the beach followed by cocktail hour followed by dinner with a huge group of amazing friends followed by a romantic walk home with an amazing new partner. Right?
You are not Alone
Not necessarily. That’s actually not how it is for everyone. And more importantly, that’s totally normal and okay.
I’ve only been here a few years myself and I can tell you that during this time I have seen several, lots of clients actually, that feel lonely, discouraged and frustrated with the whole thing. Little do they know, that there are tons, TONS, of people out there feeling the exact same way.
So what happens when we feel out of the loop? Well, we typically feel lost, disconnected, lonely and bored. So what can we do about it?
To start, we don’t have to have lots of relationships to feel connected and a part of. Having meaningful relationships is important, yes, but there are things we can do in the meantime to help us feel present, safe and connected.
How do we do this?
We change our perspective
Having alone time in a new place can be refreshing and exciting. Discovering new places keeps us in the moment. We can learn about ourselves through what brings us joy. You may discover that with a fresh pair of eyes, you see something you’ve never seen before.
We hang out at public places, even by ourselves.
Go to a coffee shop and work or read a book. Go to a movie. I go to movies pretty often and I always see people on their own. And guess what? They always look happy! How about a museum? The Botanical Gardens? A wolf sanctuary? Point is, being around others, even if we’re not technically engaged in conversation, can help us feel a part of. Did you know that it’s common to go to a nice restaurants and offer to share your table with another single guest? Yes, it’s true. I spent 10 years in the restaurant industry and I always thought this was the best idea! Single people love it! One more thing on restaurants-it can feel luxurious and comforting to get a nice meal alone. Bring a book, sit back and treat yourself.
We check out meet-up groups.
We can type in any hobby, interest, activity etc. on meetups.com and instantly find a group of like-minded people who are interested in the same things. There’s literally a meet-up group for everything. Many of my clients have found these groups to be beneficial. It’s great because most individuals looking for meet-ups are in the same boat. There’s no need to feel singled out!
We stay in contact with friends and family.
It can get lonely in a new place and hearing familiar voices can remind us of who we are and why we’re here. It’s okay to feel scared and lonely in a new city. There is no need to act as if you are on top of the world. Chances are, however you got here, it was for good reason. Give yourself some time and be patient with yourself. How would you help a friend?
Next time you’re feeling lonely or anxious about your new abode, remind yourself that that this is part of the process. Chances are you’ll look back in a few years (months even) and realize how important this phase of life was. We don’t see growth while it’s happening, but are always better for it. Maybe someday you can be a newbie’s new friend. Show them the ropes and empathize with their experience because, well, you will have gotten through it.
Lindsay Melka, LPC
If you connected with this post and would like to speak with me please call 720-295-5490 or contact me here.