Monday, April 29, 2019

Moving To Denver

Moving to Denver

Oct 15, 2018

Written By Lauren Whalen, LPCC
Moving to a new city is challenging. You leave friendships and the comfort of living in a place you are familiar with. You cannot step foot outside of the house without plugging directions into the GPS and suddenly even getting to the grocery store feels overwhelming. There are street names you are unfamiliar with and not a single recognizable face in sight. 
If moving to a new city isn’t hard enough, you now must navigate the challenges of adult friendships. A common problem people have, when trying to form friendships, is how to move from acquaintance or co-worker to friend. As an adult, it is difficult know how to engage with people beyond interactions at work and group happy hours with co-workers to ultimately asking a person to get together outside of the comfort of a group setting.
So, how do you know how to move that acquaintanceship to a friendship? Often, when working in my private practice as a therapist with clients, I hear people tell me that they think everyone else in Denver has friends and no one else is looking to expand their social circle. I am here to tell you that’s simply NOT TRUE. Humans are built for connection, meaning we are not made to keep to ourselves. No matter if we are introverted or extroverted we all need companionship. With this in mind, I encourage you to take the leap of faith and invite that acquaintance to get coffee, go for a walk around Cheeseman Park or host someone over for dinner. I would bet that they are looking for a friend as well and they would be relieved to get an invitation from you. That first interaction may be uncomfortable and even a little awkward, I have been there my self, but the more time you spend with a person the more comfortable it becomes.
Denver is such a unique city that attracts people from all different backgrounds. Most people in Denver have moved here from another state and can relate to the transition of a move. This city is filled with activities to do and people to meet. The challenge can be that it is intimidating to attend these events alone. There is an app called MeetUp that is intended to bring people together who have similar interests. I would encourage you to check out this app and see if any of the categories interest you. Take a leap of faith and go to an event. I remember my mom’s advice when I started high school and I only person knew one person out of a class of 1,500. She told me “everyone is in the same boat and everyone wants to make friends”. This advice was relevant to me in high school and still relevant to me as an adult. Everyone wants to make friends, but everyone feels intimidated to take that first step.
If there is one thing you can take away from this blog it is to acknowledge your braveness as you enter a new chapter of your life and embrace the challenge of navigating the unfamiliar. Be patient with yourself. Creating a community of friends will take time and even if you have lived here for over a year, you have not failed there is still time to meet people. Creating deep friendship takes time but it is certainly a worthwhile investment. Welcome to Denver!

Lauren Whalen is a contracted therapist in private practice with Insight Counseling Center.  If you would like to schedule an appointment with Lauren, you can reach out to her at or 224-374-3609.

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