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Just moved and feeling miserable

Help! I moved from the Dallas to Denver. I keep writing my friends back in Dallas, but they won't answer. I keep writing. Aren't they rude?

Your feelings are typical. Most people need a minimum of two years before they feel at home in a new community.

Your old friends view you in a new light. You're "that lucky person who moved to Denver." If you've retired or changed jobs, your new lifestyle will signal an even sharper break. A few especially close friends may remain in touch for awhile, but you can't anticipate the same closeness you enjoyed in Dallas.

Rather than bombarding old friends with requests for letters, I advise newcomers to embark on creative projects that will enhance their personal growth.

Don't join groups just to meet people. Instead, explore the new community on your own. Choose activities and groups that will be fun even if you don't find friends there.

Lonely people can seek friendship in the wrong places with the wrong people. Your boss, coworkers and new neighbors are not your friends, at least not yet.

Keep your game face until you know who can be trusted. The friendly folks at the PTA may be your boss's in-laws or your neighbor's golf buddy.

Lonely people do dumb things. They make mistakes. Sometimes they give in to the urge to quit a job, when a few more months would have turned things around.

If you're truly miserable, you may have to take drastic steps ­ even move again. If you become severely depressed and stop moving, see a therapist.
Read Making the Big Move for suggestions.

What to do? Go slow. Call a close friend or relative you trust. Call a coach. Talk to a counselor. Long distance bills and session fees will add up, but not as much as losing a job.

And who knows? In six months you might be running for mayor and recruiting your old buddies to come move here. The Moving Lady will not be surprised. She's seen it all.

Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is an author, career coach, and speaker. She works with mid-career professionals who want to make a fast move to career freedom. Visit her site or call 505-534-4294.

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