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Friends enjoying a backyard BBQ

15 February . 2019

How communities like Elyson make it easier to find new friends

If the idea of moving to a new city and community stresses you, because you think you’ll need to start all over again making friendships and meaningful connections, we actually have some good news.

It can actually be easier to build new relationships when you move to a new community like Elyson, because people living in suburban master-planned communities tend to stay longer, and they have more resources, such as activities and amenities, that help newcomers build new friendships. And because everyone more or less moves in around the same time, especially within the same neighborhoods within a larger master-planned community, everyone is a relative newcomer.

“In cities, residents have much less opportunity to forge long-lasting bonds and establish a strong sense of community,” according to the Housecalls blog from RIS Media. “This is hardly the case in the suburbs. Historically, suburban children have the chance grow up together given that many suburban homeowners retain their properties throughout most or all of their lifetimes.”

One thing we hear over and over from Elyson residents is how quickly they make new friends here, and how they soon discover a feeling of “community” that had eluded them in their previous neighborhoods.

Before they moved to Elyson, B.J. and Amanda Horton said they hardly knew anybody in their old northwest Houston neighborhood, despite the fact that they had lived there for five years.

“In our first two months at Elyson, we met more neighbors than the entire time we lived in our old neighborhood,” said Amanda. “Our kids have met many wonderful new friends their own age, and B.J. and I have met lots of fellow parents.”

Read more stories about Elyson residents making meaningful connections.

Wherever you may find yourself to be a newcomer, Harvard Business Review offers these simple tips for building a new network of friends.

Rediscover old ties. Think about people who used to be in your social circle years ago, but who you’ve lost contact with. Check them out through social media, alumni databases and professional resources such as LinkedIn. If you find that an old friend is living in your new city, reach out and reconnect.

Ask for help. Reach out to existing friends and colleagues to ask, “Who do you know in _____?” Most people will be able to think of at least a few names and will be happy to offer an introduction.

Share an activity. Research shows that events designed just to meet new people are often not successful. A better way is to sign up for an activity such as a class or sports league. Your chances of meeting new and diverse people are much greater when there’s a bigger reason for taking part in an activity.

Keep it well rounded. When you meet a new person, avoid the temptation to talk exclusively about the most obvious thing you have in common, such as your employer or alma mater. Look for other commonalities you share as well, such as hobbies and food. Experts call this a “multiplex” connection. It’s stronger and will give you and your new friend more reasons to keep in touch.

Explore Elyson’s events and activities, which bring residents of all ages and from all walks of life together throughout the year.