Friendships in the City

Do you find it hard to make friends? Are you among those fortunate people who have really good friends?

If you’re like me, you probably made incredible friends in college, but now that you’ve entered the land of adulthood, gotten a full-time job, and maybe moved away from where you grew up, it’s harder to connect with people, and harder to find friends. Can you relate?

Moscow has its own unique set of challenges to finding friends. Being an expat means that you’re sometimes thrown together with other, equally bewildered foreigners, and you bond really quickly over registration paperwork, immigration frustrations, and laughing about your shared fear of Moscow’s overabundance of militantly cranky babushki.

On the other hand, the Moscow expat community is a constantly shifting whirlwind of people on the go. You make your friends when they show up in September, but then they all leave in May. I remember one woman here describing Moscow as one giant summer camp where friendships form quickly, but then are torn apart just as fast, when everyone leaves.

I regularly struggle with and am frustrated by this aspect of Moscow life. As with many things Russia-related, it seems to go in extremes. I’ve made some of my dearest friends in this city, but also had some of my loneliest, most home-sick moments here.

It’s now one of my constant prayers that God would keep bringing friends into my life, and so far, despite the majority of my friends regularly disappearing to various corners of the globe every May/June, He has always brought new ones. And I’m continually learning about how to make friends and keep them.

What about you? Do you find it difficult to make friends? Is there something unique about where you live or your stage in life that makes it difficult for you to find and keep friends?

I’ve been thinking about friendships a lot this summer, and I would like to introduce a new series to Breakfast in Moscow on the subject. For the next few weeks I’ll be taking one blog post a week to talk about friendships.

I’m really excited to blog about this, and I’m so interested to get your input, advice, and comments.

Do you struggle with making friends? What about your situation makes it difficult to find and keep friends? Work schedule? Geographic location? Family responsibilities? Do you have any advice for the rest of us?

P.S. a great article on why it’s hard to make friends as an adult

P.P.S. The fantastic old Soviet photo’s in this post were all found here.

PPSS. Really, though, I wanted to use this photo of Anne and Diana to illustrate this post, but then decided that probably not enough people shared my LM Montgomery passions. Did I make the right decision, or do you agree with me that there is never too much Anne of Green Gables?? 😉

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8 Responses to Friendships in the City

  1. Phyllis says:

    No, there can’t be too much Anne, but I like the photos you used instead.

    Yes, I am in a stage of life where it is VERY hard for me to have any friends. My little children take up all my time, and I am fine with that. I wish there were other mothers of little ones around to share life with me, though. In Russia there were two other mothers that I walked with every day and several young families in our church. Here, there aren’t young families active at church, and for some reason the neighborhood people out with children are all babushki and dedushki. (I enjoy talking to them, but I haven’t found a real friend in any of them.) Also, I would be perfectly happy to be friends with others who don’t have children or are at some other stage of life, but they don’t seem to have time or patience for that.

    I’m looking forward to what you have to share about friendship.

  2. Suz says:

    What a good subject! I look forward to reading. As I contemplate another move, I think about this as well.

  3. Never too many Anne of Green Gables moments. 🙂

    I enjoy YOU, and have always enjoyed our coffee or tea breaks, whether they were on rooftops with views of the city, inhaling flower-infused teas, or hunched over coffee tables in ivy-covered shops. They seem to be once every few years, but are lovely then.

    Friendship conversations can vary too depending on circumstances, I’ve found this year. Sometimes limitations are there, sadly…

    Jennifer Dougan
    http://www.jenniferdougan.com

    • Thanks, Jen. I still remember that rooftop tea in Dinkytown – so lovely! What do you mean by friendship conversations varying? Have you found that the quality of your conversations also varies depending on what stage you’re at in life?

  4. Hi there. I found your blog when you left it for Amanda to take a look on Chip MacGregor’s website. I LOVE the pictures/photos on your blog. Your content is interesting, and I can really relate to this post as a military wife. We too have lived in other countries and loved the uniqueness of our experience all the while missing what has been left behind. Every year our good friends would move away. So hard and I found myself so grateful. Thought you might be able to relate to this post: http://gingerharrington.com/?p=516. Anyhoo, happy to meet another globe-trotting bloggy friend.

    • Ginger,
      Thanks so much for the encouraging comment. Chip MacGregor’s blog is such a great resource, isn’t it? I enjoyed your blog post. Do you find that constantly moving around as a military family helps you make friends, or makes it more difficult?

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