There’s one thing I’ve struggled with here in St Louis …making friends. I have lots of acquaintances but really only a few true friends. And at first, I thought it was me. I’m from the South, we’ve lived all over the country, and maybe I had too much “baggage” from all the places I’ve been. Maybe I wasn’t “midwestern” enough. But then I started hearing the same from other people, some who have lived here their entire lives and some who are transplants like myself. But they all echo the same sentiment. It’s really difficult to make FRIENDS in St Louis.
St Louis is a small, big city. Everyone is closely intertwined. Most people are from here, and there are very distinct social circles. We’ve lived all over the country. From California to Massachusetts. From New York to Florida. And everywhere in between. And I’ve never before been asked “where I went to high school” until I moved to St Louis— ha ha. I’ve quickly learned it is the standard “St. Louis question.” But asking about someone’s high school only opens the door for conversation if you are native to St Louis. I’d love to see that question shift to “what do you do for a living?”, “what are your kids’ names?”, or “what’s the coolest place you’ve traveled to?”.
St Louis has so much to offer and is such a great city. Let’s help welcome a new friend and show them how great it is!
Here are a few ways to welcome a new friend to the “neighborhood”:
- Bring dinner or a bottle of wine as a “welcome to the neighborhood.” But leave a card with your cell number on it for those last-minute questions when trying to learn the area.
- Put together a list of your favorite local spots: grocery stores, the best Targets, local restaurants, boutiques, and coffee shops.
- Invite a newbie to a small group (or Zoom) setting where they can then make MORE friends. Network. Maybe a book club, a supper club, a bible study, or a mom’s group.
- Invite your new neighbor (and their kids) for a bike ride/walk to explore the awesome nature trails around St Louis. Enjoy fresh air and conversation.
- Arrange a play date with your existing circle of friends to meet your new friend. Let the kids play and let your friends introduce themselves.
- Organize a couples event (dinner on your patio or a trip to a local winery), so your new friend and her spouse can mingle and get to know St Louis and a few other couples.