Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Is it difficult to make friends in Charlotte?

My recent columns about ways to make new friends have showed me that lots of people out there are having trouble forming friendships in Charlotte. (Click here and here to see them).

I’m still getting the occasional e-mail from someone who confesses that she, too, is having trouble finding friends (and yes, it’s almost all women who’ve said this – when I hear from men, more often they’re searching for a place to “hang out,” which I suspect is the same thing).

My theory: This isn’t about how friendly or unfriendly Charlotte is. This is about the same national trends that everyone was buzzing about back in June – a survey found that since 1985, the number of people who say they have no friends to discuss important matters with has doubled, to one in four people.

One culprit: longer working hours that allow for less socializing. Another: Increased solitary TV viewing and computer usage.

But I’ll wager that in Charlotte, where 80,000 people a year are moving to this region from outside the Carolinas, it’s easier to make friends than in other cities that aren’t growing as fast.

With that many newcomers looking for ways to get involved and fit in, every social group, workout gym, volunteer organization, church and neighborhood group has the chance to be transformed by new people over and over. If something was a dud the first time you tried it, it might be completely different when you go back. Or there’s always a new group to try.

To find those friends, you’ve got to keep getting out there.

What do you think? Are there things about Charlotte that make it easier or harder to make friends than other places? Let me know.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a thirtysomething woman, I've found it's hard to make friends if you like to hang out uptown. The crowd is SO young!

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having been here a year, we found several couples to spend time with just in our own neighborhood. It seems like most of the communities are planned and thus attract similar people. Everyone we met has been in Charlotte less than a year or two and so we all have something in common (we also have kids).

Sometimes you have to take the iniative to go find folks.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a 30 year old single chica...and I have no problems meeting people or making friends when I'm out. I have trouble making time to fit them all in. And I don't say this to "wave it in anyone's face"...I just find it ODD that it is so hard for people. I get email addys and phone #'s all the time (from both guys and girls!).

I will say though - I've been moonlighting in a coffee shop the last couple of months and that is HANDS DOWN the best way to meet people. You are in a non-threatening environment, people open up and get to know you and the next thing you know, they are slipping you their business card or making plans to meet up for a movie.

anon @ 2:47...want my email address? We'd probably have a GREAT time!!!

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been here 1 year now. At first it was hard to make friends due to the culture shock and the fact that some natives don't have an appreciation for those from different parts of the world. To them, sweet tea, "bless your heart", and nascar are part of everyday life for all earthlings.
It was not until I start meeting people from other states that I started to make real friends (besides those I already had from work).
I joined a meetup group and that has proven to be the best way to meet people that have some similar interest. From there, the more open minded natives that can show you around, help you get to know your way, and have pride in their city can be found. But the first thing to do, is drop any attitude you have about being better than anyone just because they use phrases like; "y'all, cut it down, or down yonder way, etc..." and open yourself up to appreciating the city.

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come join the Charlotte Jaycees. we have lots of people in their 20's and 30's, single and married, from all over the country. We have a wide variety of activies including leadership and professional development as well as lots of social activities.

Log on to for more information.

Next formal meeting: Tuesday, November 7th at the Gateway Doubletree on Trade Street Uptown.

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For people over 25-30, I'd suggest going to the places in south east charlotte. I live around there and it's a breeding ground for rich newly-divorced men/women. If they're not divorced yet, wait a few weeks. But seriously, there's always 30-40 y/o's drinking and mingling. Give it a shot. the restraunts at the arbouretum, stonecrest, and ballantyne are your best bets.

1:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charlotte is an up and coming town that attracts up and coming people and all that implies -- in other words, accept the fact that you will never have true friends while living in Charlotte. Everyone here is looking for the 'bigger better deal' - if you ain't it, they are not going to waste their time, and if you are it, they are just going to use you. I have never seen such a pretty, empty, calculating place. The saddest part is the women here will blatantly use their children, pushing them to be friends with other kids they percieve to be from families with high status, and even discouraging friendships with children they percieve to be of low status. Terrible, horrible shiny people.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not all both a lot of Southern People have not traveled past their own land; they dont have to because of the Ocean and Mountain sides of the State; Now that being said, Many southerners may thik the end of the world starts Rock Hill. I have found also Southerners are not to really associate to long with Northerners because of the civil war and the attitude that has lingured with that. The Southerners that I have met are afraid they will be "seen as co-operating with the enemy" so to speak and, therefore,More Yankees will emerge upon their lands here. I have found that their are Northern clubs starting to form from New York, New Jersey, and bigger Southern States. Dont feel bad Yankees other Southerners from Georgia and the likes have gotten the snow ball treatment. Its to bad this city is suffering from that image .

8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Yankee from Ohio and have Noticed that Blonde southern women dont seem to be as bigoted towards Northern men as Brunettes. And the Men Southerners dont take the wars of past as serious as the women in general; Maybe the Blondes have less scotch/Irish than the Brunetts and some other race. The Black southern women are really wonderful and dont seem to hold any old grudge. I have heard that Scotch people are not really people persons but they are great when it comes to war, as they are good warriors. Well good luck meeting people everyone. I dont think I could ever fall for a SOuthern women as our cultures have many differences.

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have traveled the US more than some and have found Charlotte a real hard city to become freinds; Many of my freinds from Ohio I have known since 1st grade and still have contact; Since we dont have trusting bonds like that here its hard to really fully trust someone. Why , Charlotte is worse than Washington D.C. as far as it goes with a mix of People. If you line up ten different people from Charlotte not many would be from the same regions. Think about how hard this is for Business and eating places; Why just think about a restaurant having to carry many types of foods like LUPIES off of Monroe rd./7th street. Think about Churches and the mix they may have . Charlotte sounds like the very start of a New Country like New York was for many of our Grand parents and Parents going to Ellis Island.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am from Charlotte and have always found it really easy to make friends. I am still friends with people from elementary school!

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tragic. The Charlotte area is nothing short of complete naivety. What we have become is another southern city that has completely "sold out" to enrich a small minority of people in this community. Think banks and real estate interests here. I grew up here and moved to the Washington, DC suburbs for 5 years. When I returned, having lived through this type of "sell out" growth (there), I vowed never to live in an area like that ever again. Too bad for me, that is exactly what is going on here. What do the natives really get?? Congestion, much higher taxes, over crowded schools, more laws, more stop lights, much less home buying power and a burgeoning psychological and cultural disconnect with the "newcomers". I loathe being in my home city and on numerous occasions some northern transplant says "you are really from here, I thought no one was from here" To say this incenses me is an understatement. I challenge all that make their living on growth here to live a city like Washington DC, Atlanta, Los Angeles, I did, assured your perspective would change forever.

6:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with no stretchmarks...this place is filled with social climbers. My husband and I have one child--we both work. Of course, this makes me the odd gal out at the neighborhood bunko game. (Someone needs to explain to me why bunko is so popular here.) I grew up up north and lived for a long time in Atlanta and on the west coast. I have to say that Charlotte is the worst place for making lasting friendships. People are superficial and shallow. All the stay at home moms in my neighborhood describe fun as getting together with the other moms and trashing their husbands. These women have no depth or intellect and frankly, I wouldn't trust any of them. I really don't get the attraction to this place. Seriously, after the cheap housing, what else is there?

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obviously none of you have lived in Fayetteville, NC, where it's next to impossible to even LIVE by yourself. I dare any of you to go there and try it for a year. You will be begging to come back to Charlotte. I see so many opportunities here; what I see here in these posts is a bunch of unwarranted complaints. The economy here is better by 100 fold compared to Fayetteville, where I lived for a number of years. As for making friends, age should not dictate the people you have as friends. I've had (and still have) friends as much as 40 years older than me. That's what friendship is all about, and not some age-specific thing. I believe that it is your mindset, and I see many bigoted statements here. Not everyone is superficial, or alike. Stop grouping everyone in certain categories, because that is a product of lazy thinking.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am new to the city but I have found Charlotte to be an absolute delight thus far! Everyone I have met regardless of their origin has been helpful with directions and some have ended up walking with me to local spots and drinking a beer. If you think their is a problem with 'transplants' here then live in Florida for a while...thats where I was born and raised. Don't be shy just smile, keep your head up and initiate conversation...if you have to buy them a beer or a cup of coffee.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Frustrated Transplant said...

Yes, I have lived here for 20 years and I still feel like it is difficult to make friends. No one seems to want to make the time. I very few friends here because of it. I'm very isolated here. They say you should volunteer for some community organization OR go to church. I don't do either and didn't need to where I came from. I'm frustrated as I have been underemployed now for 2 and 1/2 years and having not warmed up to anyone I have no friends to turn to to ask for help. I was told 20 yrs ago that I would have difficulty making friends here but I didn't believe them. Now I do. I've seen it and it definitely exists. Too many people here all at once from too many different places. It's easy to clash or misunderstanding people here. The weather is great here, my house is great, but that's about it. Other than weather and house, I could give a rats about this place. And I'm stuck here. End of story.

7:26 PM  
Anonymous icyorbit said...

As a 30 year old, the only avenue I could think of, that doesn't involve bars, sports or kids, was to volunteer..But most volunteering opportunities seem to have a religious affiliation of some sort..I just find Charlotte very culturally void and lacking any cosmopolitan ambiance to be classified as a 'city'. And if these cultural activities do exist, they aren't advertised very well..

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am 34 soon to be 35 on 2-9. I have lived in Charlotte for 3 years now. As a woman I have found it very hard to meet friends, girlfriends that I can go out with like once or twice a week. Or even just to hang out with.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I been in charlotte for 6 years from ny. I do find it very hard to make friends, i tried everything i can think of work , school, and a soical group. i am 28 year old female. I would also like to meet a guy.

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"One culprit: longer working hours that allow for less socializing. Another: Increased solitary TV viewing and computer usage."

That pretty much nails it. In modern society the number one problem is "busyness". In modern urban societies isolation is a problem, but it seems here it's the WORST.(I wonder if it's like this in other places). But another problem in modern societies is the increasing lack of commitment as in when you give some a phone number and they never call back. People need to take time to get out meet people.

For those trying to make genuine true friends the underlying root is selfishness. They either use you for their own benefit or look to hang out with people that have the same interest just for the sake of enjoyment instead of appreciating you as a person. Other words in both cases they pretend to like you for your character.

1:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, by the way I live in near charlote in Indian Trail next to Matthews. It's the same way here.

1:03 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Im 26 and I'm new to charlotte. Ive found it hard to make friens because there are so many clicks that have been established. Whaat should I do?

3:21 PM  
Blogger Sylvia Cini said...

24/f/in a relationship. I just moved from NYC a week ago and am so lonely I could literally cry...There's nothing like the holidays to make you feel LEFT OUT!

I feel like running around shouting:
"I don't have unlimited funds to spend at the Epicentre. YES, I do have natural hair. WHY was there crushed ice in my Manhattan? and why do neighboring bars SHARE bottles of liquor?!"

Guess I'll just head to Moe's again.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been here since August, I think I a had better chances of making friends in Durham, people seem to be more friendly and will not hesitate to smile. But here, not the same. I actually think the transplants are more friendly than the natives. I love the weather but something is missing. I am 43 years old and I can't find a male or female to meet, and as a stay at home dad it's even harder.

By the way, I am from Michigan and there have been a couple of sweet southerners that have welcomed me to the area....I guess my expectations were too high.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey! i have just shifted here from india. my husband and i shifted here as he came here to work. m looking for work and know a couple of my husbands friends but bring a very social person, i really havent found an opportunity to meet new people. i love charlotte and the US and m looking for work but its a little difficult to do all that when u're miles away from family and friends...

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

No stretch are right. I just told my husband that after living here for 2.5 years I have seen that Charlotte is having an identity crisis. Charlotte doesn't know who Charlotte is and has not established itself as a city with a distinct feel. Too many different types of personalities trying to take over and lots of growing pains. I am a NC native and it is not like this in other parts of the state. As far as making true friends, forget it. I still don't have any and I am a fun loving, active female in my 30s without kids (yet). Actually hoping to get pregnant soon, so I will have an "in" to the community. Does that make me a "social climber" or a lonely girl just trying to fit in and find her place?

11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just Moved here from Minnesota, and I need a friend to hang out with lady or gentleman.I'm 34 and I don't mind older or younger. Just friend to hang out with.if you just moved here or need to chili out, Email me, i live by Matthews NC. kiaa2012@G

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

charlotte is a difficult city, small town big hell

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had trouble making friends in Charlotte. Real friends that is. There does seem to be a lot of judgemental religious people running around that don't like you if you aren't a church person or don't come from the same culture. I came from South Florida where I always thought all the different cultures made it fun and an opportunity to learn Different attitude here. I think it will change as the world opens up for the natives and they have a chance to enjoy different cultures. I did find a new site that I think might help me find some good friends. You might want to give it a try.

3:29 PM  
Blogger asafshani said...

The blog topics is very helpful. Recently I was visit aboutconflict resolution strategies related topic. You can also read here.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just moved to charlotte from California and my wife left for an internship in Texas for 3 months . I don't know this place nor have friends here. I'm not trying to hook up or anything just want a friend to hangout with

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The list of advice is endless on how to meet the perfect or just acceptable boy friend, or girl friend. The only advice should be; to never take other peoples advice. Including mine. It is said that if you meet the Buddha along the way you should kill him, because no advice is good for anybody else. Like meeting people, thousands of books are written every day on social ‘Band-Aids’ that sell and do well only for those that WRITE THE BOOKS. Match makers, advice columns, the good intentions of others, or marketing schemes, pander to those with cats to feed, and blind pointless ambition. When there does become one system that works, there will not be any discussion about it, it becomes the way, the path, the truth, the method. Falling in love is the magic, the accident of randomness, chemistry between two people that is rare and special. What works for one person, yes, only works for one person. Like finding a penny on the street; that particular ‘Penny’ will never be there again, nor will you pass that way again. Please don’t fall for the Lottery adage that; “you have to play to win,” that only defines hopeless desperation, and exemplifies the fact that the ‘dating lottery’ is luck and accident. Your chances actually diminish by planning the encounter; the bar, the club, the school, the social perfect network, section of town, the sports venue, the restaurant, because it withdraws you from your life. Find something you really like to do, do it for yourself, be happy in your own personal social setting, and the accidents will happen with the same frequency, however you will not have to wade through, and interpret the results. You bait with glitter and you attract the s/he that knows only glitter. The more you become you the better your life becomes, so work on you, to being at ease with yourself, and when you start getting close to the real you, magic starts to happen and the universe aligns to push you along, and then “Eureka,” you will find that true love. No it is not a vacuum cleaner, but it does plug in. If you have any other thoughts send me a letter at: God, POB 1936, Matthews NC 28105…. If you want a reply include a return address, post paid envelope.

2:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm 26, met a really nice guy about a year and 1/2 ago. Decided to move to Charlotte from the Caribbean. I have been here 6months now and am getting bored out of my mind. We have a nice home in the Steele Creek area where I spend most of my time due to the fact he works so much. I am in dire need of some girlfriends to do girlie stuff with but am finding it very hard to meet people as I don't get out much. Is their anyone out there from South Charlotte looking to hang out. Take walks with or excercise with.... or just come over to watch movie and chill??

12:09 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

im a 22 year old female with two small children and i never get to get out the house so yes its very hard to meet new friends. ive lived in charlotte for 8 months now and have yet to meet anyone to hang out with

5:25 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

It all depends on how much one wants to meet a man or a woman, be it Charlotte or any other city, one has to get down to action if they want to make things happen. Take the case of dating site in Charlotte without fee - MeetOutside , if one just joins this website and wants results in a day then may be be mistaken, it takes a few days, sometimes weeks and even months, as our choices can vary from what is available at a point of time. It is about being persistent, to look for different options and situations and then making it work to our advantage. I have laid a hint here about how one can meet a person via simple online dating sites.

8:22 AM  
Blogger Kilika said...

I'm from Texas and went to one of the nation's top five most conservative colleges ( Texas A&M), and it was more diverse and progressive than Charlotte!!!

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi i am from lancaster sc and i find it hars to find a down to earth lady that is just looking for a friend just to talk to i have live in baltimore and when i come back home thangs has chang so much so all i am saying is if you are looking for a friend to chill with and have fun give me a call 18037627757 hope to here from you ladies soon.

9:31 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hey, I moved here as well in March. I work in uptown. I thought I was alone in thinking about Charlotte. I'm I. My late thirties and would love to hang out and make friends. My email

12:22 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home