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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Dear Annie: Struggling to make and keep friends in a new city

By Annie Lane Creators Syndicate

Dear Annie: I have a friend, “Donna,” who lives in another state. We’ve been friends for three years. Due to past trauma of being cheated on, I have trust issues, not just in relationships but friendships as well. I’ve damaged and even lost a few friends because of these issues.

Donna is an introvert and doesn’t want to talk all the time. I’m more extroverted. When she says she can’t or doesn’t want to talk, I have doubts about our friendship and it causes fights between us. It hurts because I know she’s a true friend, but I struggle to bring myself to trust her because I think about what I’ve experienced before.

Truth be told, ever since I moved, I’ve missed having a true friend who’s close by. Making friends where I moved to has been a struggle. I’ve tried counseling, but it is expensive. I want to go, but affording it is a challenge. I dislike where I moved from but miss the hell out of my friend. Please help. – Lonely in Wyoming

Dear Lonely: Don’t take Donna’s introversion too personally. Everyone has different communication styles, and just because yours don’t exactly match doesn’t mean she doesn’t still love and value your friendship. Let her know how much you miss her and how you’ve been struggling in isolation after your move. Suggest that you set a standing date – once a week or every other – for a phone call or FaceTime to catch up and keep in touch.

As for settling in in your new city, put your extroversion into volunteering, joining a club or hitting some local scenes to meet people who share your interests. There might also be online therapy or low-cost counseling near you that’s more affordable than the options you’ve already looked into. Remember that growth takes time. Be gentle with yourself.

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