I hear from women over 50 about how they feel lonely. The conversation often arises when women enter a new chapter in their lives. Children leave the nest, close friends move away, women retire and with retirement comes the loss of longtime relationships. Divorce and widowhood come into play, a move to a new community and the longing for a new tribe of female friends–all of these events can lead to an uncomfortable, occasionally lonely lifestyle. However, my darling, you do not have to be lonely. You hold the cards in your hands. Remember, everyone is busy with their lives. It is up to you to escape the loneliness syndrome.
The very first notion I want you to put into your pretty little head is that there are thousands of people just like you. Men over fifty who retire, women over 50 do as well and let’s not forget younger men and women of all ages. Loneliness is not confined to a certain age range. There are people around the world who are lonely. Therefore, my darlings, the first bit of advice I would like to share with you is that you are really far from alone!
Let’s Do Something About It
For many women, it’s a challenge to make friends after 50 because past social connections from high school, college, work and parent organizations have faded. But, my darlings there is something wonderful that has taken its place–you! You are older, wiser and definitely at the stage of life to know exactly what makes your heart sing. You have bloomed into a woman of wisdom and with wisdom comes self-assurance and you know exactly who you are.
True, the problem of finding the right social circle or several social circles is real. I will not dispute that. On the other hand, no one promised any of us a rose garden. We have to plant our own garden and reap what we sow. A new passage awaits us and I think it is absolutely essential to find your niche to ward off loneliness and boredom. There is not a human being alive that does not yearn for companionship.
Do You Prefer to Run In a Tribe or in Several Tribes?
Personally, I think you will be happier trying to open up your world to women who don’t want to confine themselves to one social group. But that, my darling is your choice. I will give you my thoughts on the pros and cons and why I choose not to live within the confines of just one singular group of women friends.
This morning before my ultimate concierge, my dog America and I left our home in California for the airport to fly back to my beautiful Chicago, I heard from four of my friends all independent from one another.
The first was a Facebook comment from Cassie, a friend from my past. We were and always will be girlfriends. We met when my family and I moved to the Hawaiian Islands. Today, she is visiting friends on the Island of Kaui and sent me photos on Facebook. An email from Jane was also in my inbox, mentioning she enjoyed reading The Story of Ben on the blog. She wanted to arrange a dinner date with our guys. Maria reached me on my cell as I was boarding the flight to Chicago. We live in the same building and she was taking a chance we might be free that evening. Cassie, Jane and Maria do not know one another. Lastly, I received a text from my friend Cass, who sent me a comic strip because she knew it would make me laugh. She wears my red string on her wrist and I wear her evil eye bracelet on my wrist. They’re four girlfriends from different walks of my life.
Some of you will prefer belonging to an art group, a movie group or a social group. Some of you will find the comfort of a few good friends preferable.
By the time we were at 37,000 feet, I was pounding away on my MacBookPro thinking about how to avoid loneliness.
Women Need Women But In What Capacity?
You know, darlings, a multitude of wonderful women over 50 beside yourself are similarly looking for friendship. As I previously stated, you know your passion and your comfort level and probably remember me saying, “Women need women.”
Start By Making a List of Your Priorities
What are you looking for? A casual group that meets monthly, such as a movie group or an art group? A tribe of women whose lifestyles match yours? Or possibly the diversity of different women from varied walks of life, in several different tribes you can enjoy for a multitude of reason? Maybe all you need is one lovely friend.
I think your first course of action when you are looking for friendship is to join a casual group of women whose love for an activity or two matches your own. This will give you an opportunity to share the same interests while at the same time meeting other lovely women. It’s a great starting point to greener pastures of long-lasting friendships. And long-lasting friendships can last after the age of 50. I know; I have them and I cherish them.
The Second Course of Action is ‘The Biggie!’
Ask yourself, Would I be comfortable with women within one group or tribe? Do I prefer spending time with the same women in my company 24/7? A tribe provides security. Your new friends are a phone call or text away. They share with one another. I strongly suggest joining a group of women with varied interests and experiences. I don’t suggest finding a group of women who talk about the same thing, eat the same foods, shop at the same stores and rarely reach out to new people. Obviously, having the group around you is extremely comforting. A varied one hits the nail on the head.
- Ask yourself: Do I want girlfriends who are not carbon copies of one another? You can have a multitude of interesting women friends from different social groups. My friends go back to the time I was six years old. They come from different walks of life. We are not clones of one another. My friends have different religions, different nationalities, different careers, they are different ages and have different economic lifestyles, different interests and taste levels. I have friends who teach me and support me.
- Ask yourself: Am I introverted? If you are, that is just fine. You can join a group meetup or several groups that have a project of some sort that excites you. And then go home. You have satisfied yourself, you are learning and having casual conversations. You will not be lonely and eventually, I bet you will have new friendships.
- Lastly, whether you choose one social group or mingle in different groups or prefer groups that meet monthly, you should align yourself with the types of women who mirror you. Don’t join a group to be a social climber. I observe these types of women and I know they know they are kidding themselves. They choose their female friends to make themselves feel more important, not because these women mirror their values. They will never have a sincere and close bond. Darlings, please choose women who make you happy, the ones who really add an important dimension to the ‘you in you.’
Make Friends During Everyday Routines
Darlings, I dearly treasure all types of friendships. I love being treasured friend for years and even meeting happenstance strangers who turn into friends. A woman standing next to me in the market asked me for the name of the perfume I was wearing. I told her if she gave me her cell phone number, I would text her the name and manufacturer. And I did. She sent back emojis of praying hands and hearts. A once in a lifetime encounter between two strangers turned into a few minutes that brightened my day. You see, when you give, you reap happiness within yourself. And for one short moment in the pasta aisle, this occurred. I am still seeing her thank you text to me and the emojis, which bring a grin to my face.
I also treasure my alone time. Being alone with my thoughts always helps me. However, I am not lonely because I have made a life for myself outside that suits my fancy and you can, and should, do the same. Open up the door and walk into the world of women and groups. You will not be sorry, I promise.
Would any of you like to see a private social network to help you connect with other Honey Good readers? Would you find something like that helpful? Darlings, I would love your advice here! Please let me know below if you have any feedback.