Life Advice



Ask Amy: Newcomer needs to find a ‘third place’

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I moved to a semi-rural area for a public-facing job.

One way I am trying to meet people is by hosting small dinner gatherings where I invite a group of people whom I think might make for interesting conversation. These people may or may not already know each other.

This almost never works out. I've had people ask if I will invite so-and-so. I've had people call me during dinner to say they would not be coming.

Once, I had an expectation of 11 people coming and ended up serving five.

Truth be told, in this new town and new position, I am lonely.

I want to get to know people better and this consistent weirdness (to me) has been frustrating and saddening.


Is this just how it goes in the country?

– Confused Host

Dear Confused: I shared your question with Richard L. Kyte Ph.D., director of the Ethics Institute at Viterbo University, whose new book, “Finding Your Third Place: Building Happier Communities (and Making Great Friends Along the Way)” comes out this spring (Fulcrum publishing).

He and I agree that instead of inviting strangers in, you should find a “third place” to go to.


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