It’s Research Wednesday! Where I share the latest, or most fascinating, in the science of friendship.
“It is estimated that 40 million Americans will be moving this summer.” (“5 Things to Consider Before Moving Away From Your Friends” by Shasta Nelson; Huffington Post, 5/26/2011)
No matter how many reasons people have for moving, friends almost never factor into the picture. “We will move to have an extra bedroom, a bigger kitchen, a cheaper cost of living, a neighborhood with other kids, a better job or more sunshine,” Nelson says. So why not for friends?
I’d argue it’s because we’ve become such a culture of individualism that staying (or moving) somewhere “just” so you can be close to friends is considered weak. Which, of course, is silly since one’s happiness is derived so much more from friendship than it is from owning a big home or living in a nice neighborhood.
Nelson is very specific in her argument that women should seriously consider friendship when contemplating a move. It sounds touchy-feely, sure, but having no local friends will significantly diminish someone’s happiness factor.
This summer, a couple of my new friends are moving. “But we just met, ” I want to say to them. “How could you be leaving so soon??”
I joke all the time that I can never move again. What am I going to do, MWF Seeking BFF: LA Edition? The sequel? No thank you. I’m finding the people I need and I’m staying put. End of story.
But for those 40 mil who are moving this summer–or are considering a potential move in the near future–I’m curious. How much thought did you give your local social network while you were in the planning phases? Any?