Why "No New Friends" is a Silly Rule
I can't remember when I first heard the phrase "no new friends," probably in a rap song or something a few years back. Today the phrase remains a popular saying and hashtag on social media. While I agree that there is something very special about the longevity of friendship, the loyalty, memories, and growth together, however, to proclaim "no new friends" can also mean that you're not open to expanding your network and growing as a person.
When I moved to London to join my then fiance, I was lucky to have my BFF/Cousin Sharde for a few months while she was pursuing a graduate degree in London. But once she left, I was in a new city, with no girlfriends. Shortly after, my other good friend Asatu moved to London for a new role which helped soften the blow. I also had a long-time DC friend Susanna who moved to London coincidently with her British partner. However, due to her career in international development, she spent a lot of time outside of the country, and I didn't get to see her as much. All of this pushed me to build new relationships. As I have transitioned into my 30s and in a young marriage, there's a lot of new challenges and experiences that I'd like to share with girlfriends. I'm not one of those women who say, "I don't hang around girls or have lots of girlfriends." I actually enjoy having women friendships. One thing I've learned since moving to London for my relationship or moving to a new city, in general, is that it is essential for you to establish your own life. Instead of trying to plant yourself into your partner's world, try to create your own space within their world. I'm now four years in as a London resident, and I can honestly say that I have successfully established friendships and lifestyle outside of my husband.
Through my first corporate role in London, I've met and developed some amazing friendships. Even though these friendships are not nearly as long as my friendships in America, I am still very grateful to have them. Some of the friendships, I've formed are so genuine that I can't believe we've hadn't been friends all of our lives. They've introduced me to different cultures and helped me grow personally and professionally.
Don't get me wrong, the friendships I've had before London are invaluable but I can't imagine my life without meeting and building new and amazing friendships here in London.