In January of 2011, I moved back to Chicago after a two-and-a-half year absence. I had some friends from college still here, but all of them lived in the city. I felt isolated in the suburbs and made a lot of effort to stay downtown on the weekends. Gradually, my friends all found themselves in relationships and I did, too. With me in the suburbs and them in the city, I began to see less of them.
I recently found myself once again single. All of my friends remain in the city and in relationships, and while they are most certainly still there for me and support me 100 percent, I am still living what feels like a separate life in the suburbs. When I want to go to the city, I have to calculate train times and have extra things packed in my bag in case I need to stay overnight. Planning to go out requires 24-hour notice, since I do not own my own car. Rather than sit and mope about this, I wondered what I could do to change my situation and maybe learn something in the process.
Before I was in a relationship, I frequented Chicago Meetup Groups. While I didn’t have great success in finding dates at meetups, I always managed to meet new people. I thought there had to be other girls in the suburbs like me, looking for more friends in their area. I logged on to meetup and joined the groups that interested me.
My new challenge for myself will not be just about finding the right career: it will be about finding a solid network, about pushing myself to do things on my own and meet people I would not have otherwise met. I intend to do this in the city and the suburbs.
Last Tuesday, I had the pleasure of meeting some awesome women at a Beer and Burger night (anyone who knows me knows I love both beer and burgers). With the ladies of Not Just Another Chicago Suburbs Women’s Group, I realized there are other women out there who want to make friends and hang out in the suburbs. I plan to attend more events with this group and others, and I’ll write about my experiences. My hope is that I can help any other girls (or guys) out there looking to revitalize their social life in a time of transition, whether that transition is from city to suburb or in a relationship to single. Or maybe you just want to meet more people — either way, I hope this helps!