Starting a new relationship (a non romantic relationship) is quite hard today, and is often a difficulty in our lives whether we believe it or not. There are many factors that go into starting a new relationship:
- Finding someone who you want to actually have a relationship with (when the world seems full of nasty people)
- Having the courage to start a conversation
- Having the courage to take that conversation past friendly chatter
First off, finding someone who you actually want to have a relationship with is hard. Seriously. Not only does it often seem that we are surrounded by people who don’t share our same values, but often they don’t share our same morals. Like, you finally find someone who goes to the same school as you (high school, college, etc) and you start to think maybe this person could be my friend? Until you get a glimpse at their private life and you see what type of person they really are outside of school, and you realize that this person really wouldn’t be a good influence on you. I found this happening to me a lot! Living at a college near home where although there was a Christian group there were very few people in that same group who really followed the same morals as I did. Outside of the group, it was even more difficult to find someone that I felt would be a good fit. So, it took a while. And that’s okay.
It’s important to know that even though you may be really yearning for a friend, that moment might not be the time to find one. Here’s my advice: don’t force friendships. Finding a friend that will last a lifetime is hard to do. And oftentimes, we find ourselves going for the “next best person” or someone who isn’t quite a good match for our lifestyle. We write it off as an okay thing to do, but in reality, if you’re not where you need to be with God, finding a friend who isn’t a good influence on you could really put a strain on your relationship with the Lord.
I know all my readers are thinking “Is this really that important?” and I must say Yes! It is! This is not your husband or wife that you’re looking for, but for the friends who will be there when your boyfriend dumps you, or when your day just needs a pick me up. These friends are vitally important to your life!
Now, one last thing I have to say on this is that people don’t have to share your religion to share your morals. As I stated in my last post from this series, my two best friends are an atheist and a Muslim. We get along swimmingly and I can call them whenever! Also, they haven’t affected my time with the Lord at all! Because their morals are very similar to mine, even though their religion is not!
Alright, moving on. Once you have found someone that you realize might be an ideal friend for you, the hard part (at least for me) approaches…..starting a conversation! Being an introvert really doesn’t help my cause in making new friends I’ll admit, but somehow I find myself with a ton of friends, non the less! I’ll admit, introducing yourself to someone seems like a perfected and practiced art, I promise it’s not! It’s super simple. Just say hello! If you’re shy like me, the easiest time to introduce yourself to someone is when change is happening. Whether you’re starting school again, or moved to a new place or starting a new job. When things are fresh and new people are ready and expecting new friendships, and new relationships to happen. It’s much easier to introduce yourself then. If you want to introduce yourself and it’s not a time of change, that’s okay! This is a perfect opportunity to create a time of change!
When I was in 8th grade I didn’t have many friends as I had moved to the school at the beginning of the year and didn’t take the opportunity for those new friendships at the beginning of the year. So, right in the middle of the semester when everything was settled I saw a friend that I wanted to make and I walked right up to her and said, “You know, someday we’re going to be best friends!” and walked right back out. She was pretty stunned, but was even more stunned when my prediction came true later that year and is still pretty true to this day. (Although we’re not still “best friends” we still are very fond of each other and keep in contact).
Although it doesn’t take a crazy, bold act like that to make new friends sometimes it takes a bold and crazy amount of courage just to say hello!
The last step to really gaining a new friend is making it past friendly conversation. I can say that this is one of the hardest parts of friendship. Many people are willing to take part in friendly conversation with you but aren’t always willing to change their current lifestyle to fit for a new friend. And that’s okay. If they’re not comfortable with making new friends at the moment….then that’s their loss!
Once you do get past that first polite conversation, extend a hand a little. Say something along the lines of “Maybe we could hang out sometime?” or “I would love to have lunch with you”….the list goes on but those second ice breakers are very important in creating that friendship. It seems awkward at the time, but I promise, if you can find that true friend then the awkwardness is completely worth it!
Starting into a new friendship can seem hard and scary but realizing that in the end that friendship could really change your life is totally worth it! So realize that it’s okay to put yourself out there a little, and know that God will direct you to a friend worth having!
Read the rest of this series!
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