After age 50, we are often empty nesters, foot loose and fancy free. We may be faced with many contrasting reasons to build new friendships after 50. Whatever the reason may be, allow me to offer some advice on how to make friends after 50.
I suspect the main reasons to make new friends are a move to a new city, no more PTA, old friends retiring and moving away, widowhood or divorce and the emotional need to reach out to new and multiple groups because you desire to expand your horizons. You have entered a new passage of life and are looking to change your life patterns.
Find people with similar interests
So darlings, I have found through my personal experience of moving, widowhood and children leaving home that you don’t put the cart before the horse. What do I mean by this?
Don’t look for friends, look for groups and settings where others share your purpose and passion. Friendships will develop from the groups you join.
You have to get out there and meet and greet others with a big smile and a “hello my name is… what’s yours?” Here’s how:
- Join a gym, a health club, a walking or bike group.
- Take a class at a University. Try the Osher Life Long Learning Institute, available at 100 college campuses.
- Be a volunteer.
- Buy a dog. Take walks or go to a dog park. Your dog will help you make friends. I have met so many people through, Orchid, my pooch.
- There are charities. Become a leader or offer to have an event at your home.
- There are Scrabble clubs, religious groups, book clubs, movie clubs, card groups, cooking classes or one can take an art course. Find your niche.
- And last but not least, spend time with your Grands. They can be your best friends.
Even the most gregarious person is shy and nervous in an unfamiliar situation. It takes effort and determination. That is why a group setting is the easiest way to enhance your opportunities to make new friends over 50.