Making friends plays such a major part in adapting to your new life in Spain. Although, they can’t replace those that you left behind, it is good to build a support network whilst you are settling in. It is comforting to find people that we can meet and go out with. You may find people that you have lots in common with and others you may want to run a mile from. It’s a bit like starting school again and having to suss everybody out.
The filtering of friends process is good to distract you from missing your old ones. It helps with the loneliness associated with living in a new place. Eventually, you will end up with friends that you consider quite close. You may even experience a bit of jealousy when you flash your new friends proudly to your old ones when they come out to visit.
However, is it so important not to sever ties with your old friends in the UK even if it means having to put up with them for a fortnight every year. Although, you will have changed moving to Spain, these friends are still very special and know your history. Making new friends in Spain isn’t always so straight forward as you would think in this wonderful paradise where everyone is supposedly happy and dreams come true. This might be the case for you but you have to be careful to guard against befriending people who are going to drag you down whilst you are settling into you new life. When you are a newbie, you are at your most vulnerable to these characters because, naturally, you want to meet people and make friends. The problem is that amongst the expat community, there are those who have brought their ‘issues’ with them and are intent in sharing them with anybody who will listening to the point of off loading and taking advantage.
Some people may have ulterior motives when forming friendships. There are a lot of people desperate to stay in Spain and if they think that you can help them to further their own ends then they may be keen to be friends. Likewise, its hard to know who is genuine and who you can trust because you have only their word to go on. You know nothing about their history and are unlikely to find out so far away from their home. There are people who are running away from all kinds of problems and you may not discover this until they finally go back to face the music and it usually all comes out.
The truth is friends in Spain they come and go. Just because you have fallen in love with the place, it doesn’t mean that your new friends have. So many people end up going back for one reason or another. It is usually for health reasons, they miss their families or they can’t earn a living. Although, people promise to stay in touch it can be difficult for them if Spain was their dream and you are still living it without them.
It is particularly sad for children who are at the mercy of their parents decisions. After having a hard time settling, they finally find a friend that they connect with and then it feels like they are taken away. This is actually really common as so many young families come out with the need to earn a living and when they can’t their only option is to return to the UK taking the children out of school again.
So you may feel like you are meeting more people than you have ever known in your life but friendships can be very fluid and it can be difficult to achieve what you had in the UK without getting to know lots of people over a much longer stretch of time. The thought that this person may go back or move on is always a barrier to getting close as is not feeling that you know enough or can trust people. Nevertheless, it is not impossible to find like minded, decent, honest friend like yourself. It just takes a bit of time and caution. Once you do find good friends, they almost become like your family as only they know what your new life is about and the new you.