One of my earliest memories is attending a kids’ disco at age 9. At the start of the evening, the girls were pressed anxiously against one wall and the boys stood nervously against the opposite wall. Everyone wanted to come into the middle and dance together, but we were all too shy to be the first one to step forward. Eventually, encouraged by each other, we got a little more confident, edging forward until the two groups finally met. The rest is dance history.
Isn’t reaching out to our neighbors for the first time a similar situation? We’re social creatures. We generally like knowing our neighbors and coming together is usually fun. Yet, who among us wants to be the first to step forward, to experience that nervous feeling of putting yourself before your neighbors face to face, not knowing what reaction you’ll get?
Starting is always the most difficult part. I’ve been there: Standing on a stranger’s doorstep on a chilly night, nervously ringing the bell, hoping that the answer won't be hostile. But, as I’ve discovered from my early doorbell ringings at age 8, the majority of neighbors are happy to open their doors to good intentions.
Moving is a stressful life event in more ways than one, and making new friends is one of the scariest parts of a big relocation. When I moved across the country from Iowa to Oregon, my first big scare was when I realized I didn’t have my best friends to lean on anymore– I was all alone (cue sad music).
What I came to realize, though, is that there really are a lot of easy ways to meet new people in your neighborhood, whether you’ve just moved or you’re simply looking for some new friends to hang out with– it just takes courage, determination, and a few motivational pep talks in the mirror. Here’s how to meet new people in your neighborhood...
Do you really want to feel like a criminal on your own turf if things go bust?
Dating a neighbor can be tricky. While there are advantages to dating someone who lives within such close proximity, a certain amount of risk is involved. If and when things go sour, avoiding the other person will be difficult.
When the Relationship Goes Bad, There’s Nowhere to Hide
So before you do something rash tonight ask yourself these five questions:
1. Do you really want to worry about how you look every time you leave the house? 2. Do you really like your alone time? 3. Do you really want to see them with somebody else? 4. Do you really want them to see you with (or hear about you being with) someone else? 5. Do you really want to feel like a criminal on your own turf if things go bust?