Many women after 50, and under 50 for that matter, have lost contact with friends and acquaintances over the last two years. The shutdown and restrictions caused by the Chinese Virus have been a huge culprint; causing a forced loneliness and lethargic epidemic. On a positive note, those hours of alone time have givem women the opportunity to reflect on their joys, sorrows, and how they wanted to move forward after, and one of those natural questions has become: how do we make friends again in a changed world?
What the pandemic has done to women and friendships
First, you’ve likely questioned your current relationships, ultimately deciding to make changes for political or health reasons. I know I learned much about my friends personalities during the last two years. Did your friends choose to totally self-isolate? Or did they choose to follow the guidelines but live their best life possible outside the box? And which was more attractive to you?
Second, though no fault of your own, lethargy has likely set in with your current relationships. A new and unpleasant sluggish and apathetic feeling for every woman in the world whether over age 50 or younger. I bet you’ve thought to yourself, “I want friends but I don’t want to work at friendship. I have lost my get up and go!”.
And, lastly, women over 50 are finding they no longer have the building blocks they once had as younger women. The empty nester syndrome, retirement, moving, and widowhood are all in the mix; all of that coupled with the isolation caused by the pandemic, relationship changes, and general lethargy, I find it no wonder that women are asking themselves how to find new friends after the age of 50! Never despair, darling. When you have a will, you will find your way!
Let’s be honest, it is both easier and harder to make new friends at this stage in life. The ball is entirely in your court. Gathering women into your life is easier on one hand because time is in your favor. On the other hand, it is harder because you have to make an enormous effort. Forming new relationships is a job, but it is ‘work that is worth it’ because WOMEN NEED WOMEN.
Why women do not have friends
Ask yourself why you do not have friends? Every woman has her unique reasons but here are a few maybe you…
- Are shy, a loner, or avoid social situations altogether
- Move often
- Can’t find women with the same interests as you
- Try too hard
- Can make friends but you’re not good at maintaining them
- Don’t let women get too close to you
- Feel life is too busy with other commitments
- Don’t know where to look!
Darling, it is time for you to see the social benefits of having new women in your life!
Let’s take the lucky woman. She has her same friends from childhood and young adulthood. They likely car pooled together, went to each other’s children’s birthday parties, attended weddings, anniversary parties, traveled, gossiped, laughed and grew together like the roots of trees. They are entwined for life and this is just the cat’s meow!
But what about us! What can we do? We must realize the benefits of having women in our lives. It is a proven fact that friendship increases happiness, personal development, reduces stress, and even reduces the risk for illness!
How to make new friends
First, ‘commit’ yourself to a plan. And, stick to it. Period!
Don’t worry about rejection. You are not going to connect with every woman you meet. It is OK, darling. More relationships are temporary than life long. I have heard this saying,“A woman knows within seconds when she meets a ‘new face’ if there is a special rapport.” I believe that to be true. When your heart instantly tells you ‘to go,’ go darling! Pursue her.
The best thing you can do to build relationships and be yourself; be authentic, open, and honest. Most importantly, just be a friendly face! Making new friends can feel awkward for all women – so decide to be the smiling face in the crowd that compliments other women and makes them feel good. Start with a smile and a nice hello. You never know which acquaintances may turn into friends.
Where to Meet New Women
It is the same ole same ole, but it never hurts to constantly reinforce where to meet other women.
Take a class or join a group and strike up conversation
Take a class then reach out when in need. The others in your class have the same interest you have. There will be someone in that class that you can connect with!
I recall I had to take a History 101 in a huge lecture hall. Graduating from high school in Kankakee by the Sea left much to be desired. I had no idea how to take lecture notes, but the girl next to me did. After class I asked her if she would mind teaching me how to take notes. She said yes, and though we were opposites, we became best friends!
Join social circles other than online. A mixed bridge club, art class, movie group, wine tasting group, gym, dance class, etc. You will have something in common with the others in the circle.
You can even consider joining a private Facebook group. Mine! Celebrate Life for women after 50. The women really engage and some have met in person.
Explore new things
Get out of your comfort zone. Leave your house and explore museums, restaurants, local parks, the Opera and Symphony. You can introduce yourself to a vast pool of women by doing this. What about taking a solo travel vacation? How fun! This is the venue that would peak my fancy, seeing the world and making new friends.
Now, that you have met a few people, how do you keep the friendship burning?
Work. Work. Work.
Be with them consistently. Make dates for lunch, dinner and events. Work on the relationship. Be a better friend by being a good listener. Women love to talk. Talk less and listen more. Share your authentic self. Show your vulnerable side. Stay connected with friends who moved and reconnect with old friends.
Be a social minimalist
REMEMBER: you do not have to be a social butterfly. You do not need more than one or two good friends. It is very important to feel connected with others for your mental and physical health, but you do not need an army of women in your life.
In other words, you can be a social minimalist, darling. Find your niche with a few fabulous women and think of their value as important as food and shelter, and think of yourself as their food and shelter.
Be selective in who you choose and you’ll find you have a strong network of women you can really count on. Personally, I want to be with women who light my fire; they must be warm and kind, not self centered, give back with joy, authentic (hard to find), and say what is on their mind. My friends must also be loyal, engaging, and live outside the box.
I am asking for a lot, I know, but that is my mantra. I prefer to be a social minimalist with lots of acquaintances! As the quote says, I’d rather have four quarters than 100 pennies.
How do you find friends after 50? Share your tips with us in the comments section!