Dear Annie: I moved to New York City for work just over two years ago. Though I grew up in a smaller town in the Midwest and stayed close to home for college, I really love the pace of the city, and I’m starting to feel that I have my place here.
About a month after moving, I was introduced to my now boyfriend, “Josh.” We instantly hit it off and have a great, loving relationship. He is from New York originally and has a huge community nearby. Given all his family, co-workers and friends — childhood to college — there’s a vast network of people whom I now feel connected with. NYC can be a difficult place to make friends, and Josh opened up a lot of doors for meeting new people.
Yet I still feel as if I’m “Josh’s girlfriend” to most of them rather than my own person. True, we mainly see each other when Josh is around, but I’d like to move past that. Josh’s work is sending him to London for three months, and I don’t want these friendships to disappear during that time, too.
— Big Apple Blues
Dear Blues: In many ways, socializing becomes more challenging once we’re “fully grown,” as our lives fall into the routine of work, sleep, repeat. It’s hard to make friends in the rat race.
But as you’ve recognized, your current network is an invaluable starting point. Try spending some time, sans Josh, with a few of his friends you feel you have the most in common with. They in turn can introduce you to other friends and groups, until you’ve branched out into your own space.
And get active in your community. I would also recommend joining a site such as Meetup, which connects people with similar hobbies and goals — for example, running a marathon, writing a book, learning a new language or learning to cook. Visit https://www.meet up.com for more information.
Dear Annie: I’d never felt compelled to write until today. The letter from “To Be or Not to Be” made me cry. My parents died within 13 months of each other. My father died from a lengthy illness, and my mother, who was several years younger, died suddenly a year later. I remember receiving checks from life insurance, annuities, the sale of her house, etc. Every time a check came in the mail, it reminded me of my loss. I would much rather have my parents than any amount of money.
So, “TBNB,” if you’re reading this: Don’t do it! Your children and grandchildren don’t want your money. They want you to be a part of their lives for as long as God allows. This is what your two grown children would tell you if you asked. Look at it from their perspective.
— Still Missing Mom and Dad