Making Friends As We Get Older
"Time doesn't take away from friendship, nor does separation." — Tennessee Williams
Have you noticed the older you get, the fewer friends you seem to have? Suddenly you're wondering where did everyone go?
When you were raising your children, your social life included neighbors and the parents you interacted with through school events. Maybe friends from college or high school.
Now your kids are grown and raising their own families. And you suddenly realize that you are not spending much time with friends anymore.
If you were employed outside the home, you probably had work friends, some that you occasionally spent time outside of work. And if you have retired at some point, you find yourself thinking, what happened? No more dinners or movies after work. Maybe you are still employed, but some of your friends have retired, and you miss spending time with them.
But all is not lost. You could always try to connect with some of your old friends from high school and college. Maybe you have even kept up with some of them slightly on social media. Reach out. It certainly couldn't hurt to suggest a lunch or dinner date. You might be surprised at the response. You might even be able to arrange something with several of your friends from school. A mini-reunion.
And it wouldn't hurt to pick up your phone and call one of your long-lost co-worker friends. What do you have to lose? There is a good chance they will be thrilled to reconnect. And you might end up with a lunch date and some conversation with an old friend.
How about making some new friends. It's never too late to make new friends. What are your interests? Reading, fitness, gardening, knitting?
Sign up for a club or even start a club.
Join a walking group. Socialize and get fit at the same time.
Take a class. Learn a new skill and open yourself to the possibility of new friendships.
Join a Senior Center that organizes events and arranges trips.
Get to know your neighbors better. Invite them over for a BQ or a game night. Arrange a block party as a way to meet and mingle with the neighbors.
And don't forget family members. Yes, a family member can be considered a friend. They know you well and they can be lots of fun to hang out with. Plan a family potluck. And you can always tell them to bring a friend.
Volunteering is an excellent way to meet people and help your community at the same time. Get involved with a food bank or a women's shelter.
Strike up a conversation in the grocery store's check-out lane or while having your morning coffee and muffin in the local coffee shop.
If you receive an invitation to something you may not be all that interested in, why not just accept. Maybe you'll like it more than you thought, or perhaps you will meet someone new that does share some of your interests.
If you want to make some new friends, you have to put yourself out there. Try new things.
"A friend is one of the best things you can be and the greatest things you can have." — Sarah Valdez
“When the world is so complicated, the simple gift of friendship is within all of our hands.” — Maria Shriver