Is Philly Too Closed to Newcomers?

Plus: How to handle your girlfriend flirting with your boyfriend

I moved to Philly because my husband is from here and he wanted to return. I find that the social community in Philly is really tight. Is it me? — D.F., Blue Bell

It is not you. You are absolutely right. Philadelphia is not known as a city that transplants flock to. This is a city where the population is generationally engrained. The typical Philly scenario is to be best friends with people from elementary school, go to Penn, marry a girl from Philly (or move one to Philly), raise your children here and have them go to Penn as well.

Here are some ways to integrate yourself. Consider getting involved with a group that appeals to you such as the American Red Cross, the Philadelphia Art Museum, or perhaps an animal welfare charity. If you have a faith affiliation, religious organizations most often have social groups. Many neighborhoods have newcomer clubs, so try joining one of them. Hopefully your husband’s friends married non-Philly girls that you can commiserate with. The silver lining is that we are a loyal committed bunch. Remember Philly is the city of brotherly love, so give us a chance.

I just started dating a guy and whenever we are around one particular girlfriend, she constantly flirts with him. He hasn’t said anything, but it is making me uncomfortable. What can I say to her without ruining our friendship? — Bugged in Bala

It seems to me that she is the one testing your friendship by being so flirtatious with the new guy in your life. Of course your boyfriend is not going to say anything to you. He is a man and is probably loving the attention. You need to have a conversation with your girlfriend ASAP. Express the vibe that you are feeling when the three of you are together. Either she is really comfortable with your boyfriend or she has other intentions. By you being honest, you are showing her that your friendship is important and you want to make sure it continues. A true friend will respect your feelings and be extra aware of her actions moving forward. If “the too close for comfort” behavior continues, she’s not a true friend.

Monica Mandell, Ph.D. is the Director of the Philadelphia office of Selective Search, the premiere (off-line) upscale matchmaking firm for the most eligible singles. Please send your questions to:

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