Making the transition to Philadelphia

September 27, 2012 7:34:25 AM PDT
Whether you're beginning a college experience or starting a new job, a change like that often means leaving a familiar support network behind. Your family is back home. Friends are in the place you just left. And you're in a new place essentially connection-free.

We asked psychologist ad Philadelphia Magazine relationship expert Dr. Monica Mandell for her thoughts on making the transition to your new hometown.

First,the obvious. Especially if you're in college, you're not the only new person in the group. Being open and friendly will make it easier for others to get to know you.

Second, realize how much Philadelphians love being here. They're into local traditions. They're among the most loyal sports fans anywhere. So, for example, you can get up-to-date on the local teams playing right now, and watch games in a sports bar or other gathering place.

The location establishes their interest and you have something right up front you can talk about.

Third, let your interests be your guide. In a region this size, there are groups dedicated to just about any activity. You can seek them out online and visit. If you have a dog, just take a walk. That's about the best ice-breaker you can find, and Rittenhouse Square is just one gathering place.

Cooking classes abound, and many programs let you get involved one class at a time. Philadelphia is a cycling-friendly city and there are clubs for everyone from casual riders to dedicated long-distance bikers.

Your college may have an alumni group locally. Research shows that one out of every three adults in Center City is single, and many institutions...houses of worship, for example...program to them.

There are also dating services. Dr. Mandell, for example, is associated with Selective Search.

College students have a network of resources right on campus, but they and other young adults find more via Campus Philly.

Finally, as one expert puts it, it's easier to catch fish if you go where the fish are. Most men are car buffs, so don't overlook the car wash as a meeting place.

It's almost a cliche, but women tend to like sushi, so men might visit a sushi bar. If there's a food court near your office, it's an obvious choice at lunchtime. And many a relationship has been born at the supermarket. As Dr. Mandell told us, learn why people love Philly, be friendly, and be yourself.


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