Monday, July 20, 2009

Newlywed Sociality

When we first got married making friends was difficult. Not because my husband and I aren't outgoing or social, we are. We were just starting from ground zero all over again. We moved to a new apartment complex where we didn't really know anyone. It was something I had done several times in my adult life (move to a new apartment complex where I didn't know anyone). But this time the technique to making new friends was not the same. When you're single you get to know and really bond with other girls often through late nights of pillow talk. Now that I am married, the only person who I share pillow talk with is my adorable husband. The conversation at night is wonderful, but it wasn't necessarily contributing to my bond with others socially.

The first few months of marriage we were really motivated to get to know our neighbors and members of our church, who are also young married couples. We would have people over occasionally, and always showed genuine interest in others. Meanwhile, our busy work and school schedules were hindering our opportunities for social networking and bonding. The occasional hang out just wasn't making the cut. We were forming acquaintances, but there wasn't enough time invested to foster true friendships.

Since classes ended last semester--and both my husband and my schedules have lightened up--everything has started to change. We have started to have time to hang out with others more frequently, and the increased exposure to our acquaintances is really beginning to transform them into deeper friendships.

I had 6 bridesmaids at my wedding, and each one was one of my best friends from a certain time in my life: childhood, junior high/early high school, later high school, early college, and later college. I have been looking for the best friend that I would make at this point in my life, early marriage. It is the best feeling in the world to start becoming closer to these new girls. I'm excited to see what these new friendships will turn into as we continue to put time and energy into them. What makes it even better is that my husband and I get to make these friends together. It is so rewarding being able to have friends over, or go over to their place, or go out together and be creating new bonds together. Often times, these friends we are making are going through the same thing we are. Each of us are trying to figure out how we fit into this new identity, "newlywed," and what that means for our social lives.

This is a unique time in our lives. All I can say is, now that we are catching on to "newlywed sociality," I couldn't ask for any more. In the last two weeks we have done so many fun things with our new friends, and it just keeps getting better and better. We have been invited to a BBQ with two couples; had one couple over for dinner; had a campfire in the mountains with several couples; gone to Seven Peaks water park with another couple; had a game night with a few more couples; then were invited over for dinner and games with one couple. The best is that the attendees of many of these events have overlapped, which is what is making our new friendships grow deeper. It is getting to be so fun having more time to cultivate these friendships from this time in our lives.

Do you have different friends from different times of your life? Have you noticed if the way you made those friends changed as your identities did? I'm curious about your experiences.

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