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Old 08-07-2008, 08:11 AM
 
Location: somewhere
3,667 posts, read 5,252,234 times
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I have read several posts where people say it is hard to make friends when moving to NOVA. If that is true what would be your thoughts on why that is? I don't want my kids to be treated poorly, we live in a military town where people are used to transplants and everyone is relatively friendly. I find for the most part kids tend to mimic their parents in regards to how they treat people and while the job opportunity for my husband is great and there will be so much for my kids to see and do, I don't want them to be unaccepted. I am not trying to upset anyone just curious as to why it is hard to make friends. When we were there last summer it just seemed as if everyone lives a really fast paced life and maybe that is why it is hard to make friends.
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Old 08-07-2008, 08:54 AM
Status: "Fire Roger Goodell!!!!!!!" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Arlington, Virginia
15,124 posts, read 17,653,999 times
Reputation: 15789
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajzjmsmom View Post
I have read several posts where people say it is hard to make friends when moving to NOVA. If that is true what would be your thoughts on why that is? I don't want my kids to be treated poorly, we live in a military town where people are used to transplants and everyone is relatively friendly. I find for the most part kids tend to mimic their parents in regards to how they treat people and while the job opportunity for my husband is great and there will be so much for my kids to see and do, I don't want them to be unaccepted. I am not trying to upset anyone just curious as to why it is hard to make friends. When we were there last summer it just seemed as if everyone lives a really fast paced life and maybe that is why it is hard to make friends.
I defintely think that the posts that say it is hard to make friends in NoVA are true. Like you, i moved here four years ago from a pretty friendly military town (Hampton, VA with an air force mom) and have found that people here are very wrapped into their own lives (mostly work) and their circle of friends, so that they likely wont pay much attention to newcomers. The fast pace of the area also plays into the civility (or lack thereof as i see it) of NOVA.

It is not impossible to make friends here but it is difficult. Some things i suggest are getting involved into social activites like little league, PTA meetings, church (if you believe). Just dont be surprised if you say hello to your neighbors they look at you like you just shot someone.
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:01 AM
 
Location: UK
298 posts, read 656,421 times
Reputation: 105
I've only ever been a tourist (in DC not NoVA) but I couldnt believe how friendly the people were. I'm used to London so it was very unusual.

Also when we were there we were invited out for dinner with clients of my H and their friends were there too. A good night was had by all (might have been to do with the tequila though - i can recommend a Mexican in Herndon! ).

I think if people put in the time and effort you can make friends anywhere.
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:05 AM
 
2,668 posts, read 4,111,860 times
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People are very friendly. It's just that with long working hours and commutes, plus a busy schedule of "extracurriculars," they're not sitting around killing time on the front porch hoping someone happens to walk by to chat with. Join some activities and you'll have plenty of friends. The fast pace just means that people are doing a lot but who are they doing it with? Other people! So it widens the social circle and the possibilities for friendships. As for your children, they'll be fine. This is a fairly transient area so everyone is used to having new people join their class. Plus the schools all have plenty of clubs, groups, and teams for them to join, along with the neighborhood leagues. As you said, there is plenty for kids to see and do here so I hope you'll be able to relax about this aspect and look forward to your move. Welcome!
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:55 AM
 
2,520 posts, read 4,859,321 times
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It has been very hard for me to make friends but I have made about 3. Two of my new friends are natives and I asked them if they thought people were freindly around here - and even THEY said no - and they have lived here all their lives. I asked them why and the number one answer was that people are stuck up and only like you if you have a power job and a big degree and fancy house and cars - now not everyone is like this but hey I see a lot of it.
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:15 AM
 
Location: DC
3,216 posts, read 7,650,365 times
Reputation: 1133
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajzjmsmom View Post
I have read several posts where people say it is hard to make friends when moving to NOVA. If that is true what would be your thoughts on why that is? I don't want my kids to be treated poorly, we live in a military town where people are used to transplants and everyone is relatively friendly. I find for the most part kids tend to mimic their parents in regards to how they treat people and while the job opportunity for my husband is great and there will be so much for my kids to see and do, I don't want them to be unaccepted.
Your kids will be fine. In college, about 1/2 of the students were from Northern VA, and of those at least 50% didn't consider themselves to be "from" there (i.e. they had moved from other places like Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri, California, Germany, Poland, UK, Colorado, etc). If anything this area is probably one of the best for people who are used to newcomers since it seems like most are from different places.

As far as people being unfriendly, stuck up, etc., that's never been my experience. However, my NoVA time has all been spent within the beltway (primarily Alexandria and Arlington), so I guess that makes a difference. If you get involved with something and make an effort it shouldn't be too bad.
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:45 AM
 
1,227 posts, read 4,192,644 times
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I agree with YankeesFan that one of the main reasons is how much people work here. It is not unusual to find dual-income families and many have a long commute, which adds up to a long work day. I have made many social acquaintances through moms groups on my area. My child and I have enjoyed many day-to-day social activities with them. But we have been fortunate to have established good friendships with other families who share our values. It is not impossible to make friends, but you have to make the effort.

All that being said, one thing I have found a bit unusual here is how many people don't establish eye contact and ignore a "good morning" or "hello" or a simple smile. My daughter is 2.5 years old and she says hello to almost everyone. We've raised her to have, what I consider, simple good manners. I'd say 3/4 of the time people ignore her, including children. She asks me: "Why don't they talk, mommy?" Well, the other day at the grocery store a lady asked me if it was okay to reply to her greeting. I said sure and she mentioned how she got chewed out by a parent before for saying hi to a child. I'm not naive when it comes to the pervs out there, but "what harm is there when it's a parent(s) and a child?" (Sorry I'll get off my soapbox on this)
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Gainesville, VA
1,168 posts, read 3,673,903 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairfax Mom View Post
I asked them why and the number one answer was that people are stuck up and only like you if you have a power job and a big degree and fancy house and cars - now not everyone is like this but hey I see a lot of it.
I found people to be nicer in NOVA, but that does not mean I have a ton of friends either. However I've found it tough to make friends most _anywhere_ because we don't have kids or go to church.

Speaking of what Fairfax Mom said about degrees & power jobs... reminds me of a story the neighbor across the street told me. Our front lawns are small and close together and sometimes it is hard to make the sprinkler the same shape as the lawn. So the neighbor asked their next door neighbor if the sprinkler could water their lawn a bit. The neighbor replied, "No. I have clearances." LOL WTH? Also heard a guy at the pool yelling at someone on the phone and during the conversation he says he has a clearance (stroke that ego). Again, wth?

So as a joke, I sometimes look at hubby and say I can't do such and such because I have clearances. Not that I do, but hubby does... and he certainly doesn't brag about it.
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Old 08-07-2008, 11:03 AM
 
Location: somewhere
3,667 posts, read 5,252,234 times
Reputation: 2051
Thanks so much for all the input, it helps to hear others thoughts on it. I am a sahm, quite content to be at home so if I don't make tons of friends that is okay since I am pretty involved in my kids activities and my husbands life. Definately want my kids to be treated right though.
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Old 08-07-2008, 11:38 AM
Status: "Baby it's cold outside.." (set 12 days ago)
 
Location: Loudoun County, VA
1,142 posts, read 2,335,303 times
Reputation: 396
Quote:
Originally Posted by HEATHER72 View Post
So as a joke, I sometimes look at hubby and say I can't do such and such because I have clearances.
Can't stop laughing! Gotta try that one..
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