36 Ways to Make New Friends after 60

by Bonnie

“I find myself in a new house and new area with no friends, and no job. Quiet and lonely all day. I have no clue how to meet anyone. Any ideas?” wrote Jeannie on Savoring Your Sixties Facebook page.

Jeannie is not alone in longing for more friends.

are you living a good life?Missing Your Friendships?

As we age, we may lose many of the good friends we’ve had. We or they move. People die. Changes in us or our friends lead to friendships declining or dissolving.

However it happens, many women at 60 and beyond find themselves with fewer friends. They miss the joy, comfort, love, laughter, and companionship that friendships bring. (Friendships even slow our aging, help us fight illness and depression, and even prolong our lives.)

It’s not too late to make new friends!

If you are lonely, want more friends, or would like some new friends, here are 36 suggestions compiled from the many marvelous responses to Jeannie’s question:

1. Make the first move. Invite a neighbor over for coffee.

2. Pursue your interests such as gardening, knitting, beadwork, crochet, art, or photography in groups, clubs, or classes with others.

3. Check your local papers for events.

4. See if there is a newcomers’ group in your neighborhood. If not, start one yourself.

5. Join a women’s club.

6. Post a notice at the local market: New in town, need new friends and activities!

7. Volunteer somewhere that interests you. It gets you out of the house, doing good, and meeting people. Options include: a local historical society or museum, animal shelter, senior or vet centers, hospice, the hospital, church, the library, soup kitchen, the schools, and more.

8. Go to free events, smile and talk to people there.

9. Teach an adult education class and share your talents, passions, and skills.

10. Introduce yourself to neighbors and ask what they do for fun.

11. Start a readers’ group, or any other kind of activity you find fun.

12. Go to exercise or yoga classes.

13. See what your local Y offers.

14. Don’t sit home, go for a walk.

15. Take up a sport or just go to a game.

16. Go to a craft group at a local craft supply store.

17. Talk to everyone. Neighborhood grocery stores, coffee shops, and the beauty shop are good places to strike up a conversation.

18. Go to church. They often have women’s clubs and organizations.

19. Join an organization that endorses what you believe in.

20. Hang out at a locals’ coffee shop. Some provide lovely music on certain days or night. There are usually people there who enjoy conversing and connecting. Strike up a conversation.

21. Join a gym.

22. Take dance classes.

23. Go to neighborhood watch or community councils to meet people nearby.

24. Take a part-time job, maybe in a near-by coffee shop.

25. Find groups at your local library that do things you’re interested in. They always need people to read to kids. Maybe they need people to help teach reading to adults or maybe there’s a group that meets there for quilting, genealogy, or something else you’re interested in.

26. Join the  Red Hat Society.  If you can’t find a group in your area, start your own.

27. Make a list of your 10 favorite things to do. Then Google different places in your area to take classes, join groups etc. Look at your local community college, on line classes, Living Social and Groupon.

28. Play tourist. It’s fun, educational and a way to meet people.

29. Go to your local senior citizen center and see what classes, trips, exercise equipment, lectures, etc. they offer.

30. Bake something, take it next door, and introduce yourself.

31. Take an adult education class.

32. Talk to a stranger. Be friendly. Be the person you’d like to meet.

33. Meetup.com  is a great place to find groups of people with similar interests and activities. There are always social activities going on. Put in your zip code and some key words of things you enjoy doing and join a group. You can also start a group. You can find walking, hiking, sports, yoga, spiritual, couples, reading, writing, beading, Bunco, bridge, singles, empty nesters, business networking, social networking, boomers, charities, and on and on.

34. Walk a dog (adopt a dog if you don’t have one) to meet your neighbors. Dogs and kids always start conversations.

35. Join neighborhood, library or bookstore book clubs or groups.

36. Smile, smile, smile!


Thanks to the many wise, warm, and wonderful women in the  Savoring Your Sixties community on Facebook  who contributed these great suggestions.

What about you?

If you’re lonely or would like new or more or different friends, try some of these suggestions. Who knows you might make some wonderful new friends and have fun too!

Do you have all the friends you need? Would you like more? What do you do to make new friends? Tell us in Comments below.


Leave a Comment

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nancy March 16, 2013 at 9:02 pm

I recently joined the Red Hat Society and have met so many wonderful new friends. For the first time in years I’m having a blast and enjoying life again!

2 Bonnie March 17, 2013 at 9:26 am

Good for you, Nancy! I’m so glad to hear you’re having such fun with the Red Hats.

3 Catherine November 9, 2013 at 3:01 pm

I am married with a lovely family & grandchildren, just need to meet friends & start living again !want some me time Feeling lonely 🙁

4 Bonnie November 11, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Hi, Catherine! I’m sorry that you’re feeling lonely and hope you will try some of the ideas in this article to create some new friendships. All the best to you!

5 Catherine April 12, 2014 at 11:56 am

I do have a few friends & I’m very loyal to them, however I always seem to be listening to all there problems & trying to solve them. I am very busy with all my little grandchildren which i love & enjoy every minute with them :)) I now, just need some me time occasionally & would love to meet new friends & have some fun !! I’m a very young 66 & love socialising, so if there is anyone out there please get in touch. Thank you for your ideas.

6 Bonnie April 12, 2014 at 9:19 pm

Hi, Catherine! Thanks for your comments. I hope try some of these ideas and find some new friends you can enjoy and have fun with.

7 Andrew Burgon April 14, 2014 at 6:24 am

Hey Bonnie,

I think you have well and truly hit upon one of the most important things. That is reaching out beyond the natural boundaries of our lives to new social groups and individuals for friendship. When it comes to living on a higher strata of satisfying and rewarding friendships we’re not meant to wander through life wearing horse blinders and only traversing an incredibly narrow strip of life.

I think it’s important to consider what your interests and passions are and find people in those areas. Common ground determines to a certain degree how much time you spend with a friend and how often you meet up. It’s more important than I originally thought.

Thanks for the post.

Andrew Burgon
Project Fellowship

8 Bonnie April 14, 2014 at 10:30 am

Hi, Andrew! You are most welcome. I see that your focus at Project Fellowship is friendship so thanks for adding your perspective and expertise here.

9 Rajeswari January 24, 2015 at 5:36 am

I’m happy only thing I’m lonely

10 Bonnie January 24, 2015 at 11:51 am

It’s good you are happy, Rajeswari. Hope you will find a way to ease your loneliness.

11 barb miller July 23, 2015 at 8:39 am

I moved to a new town 8 years ago and although I have several new friends, most are married. My best friend is a widow and she is moving to a new state. I retired 1 year ago and have found I have too much time on my hands and not enough fun things to do. I volunteer once a week at church and joined a group from church that meets twice a month but no relationships that carry over to after the activities. I would love to have friends i could go to movies, concerts, theater, shopping, dining, traveling etc. with.

12 Bonnie July 24, 2015 at 8:23 am

Barb, making new friends can be a challenge, especially in a new town. It sounds like it might be time for you to try some new activities. Things that are fun for you to do that would also give you a chance to meet more people.

Have you checked out http://www.meetup.com/ to see if there’s anything of interest there that’s in your area?

Also, check out this article for some ideas about how to approach this, http://www.savoringyoursixties.com/stuck-stop-pressure/ .

13 beth May 12, 2016 at 5:59 pm

new to area.. seeking new friends but in an apartment its hard.. most are young folk that work…..I’m retired. The older ones have their own families and grand kids to keep them busy.. mine are out of state.. 🙁 Opened up invites to stop over..no one comes. Its 8 years like this. Churches are nice but so far more clicky then I’m use to. Seems at my age they have made there friends already. They have full lives. Nice at church but don’t seem to want to extend friendships outside the church building. :(( Its hard..but if anyone want to email me..feel free. I’m here !

14 Bonnie May 13, 2016 at 10:55 am

Hi, Beth! Yes, sometimes it can be hard to make friends in a new area. Since what you’ve done so far doesn’t seem to be working, perhaps it’s time to try a few different things. Wishing you all the best in finding new friends.

15 Purushotam May 25, 2016 at 3:11 pm

It is great to go through your 36 suggestions to enjoy life after 60. I am 69 and never hesitate to mix up with friends from any walk of society. I go to Temples and join the programs there in addition go for walk and meet new friends.

Good friends make day (s) better.

I seek religious minded friends

16 Bonnie May 25, 2016 at 4:44 pm

Purushotam, it sounds like you have some good ways and a good attitude for making new friends. Excellent!

17 Bonnie June 2, 2016 at 4:15 pm

I am 64, a retired schoolteacher and am in need of new friends. I was used to being around people and children everyday for 30 some years. A group of retired teachers get together once a month for lunch but we seem to be drifting apart. Many of them have grandchildren (which I do not) and talk about them which makes me feel left out. I have other friends who I’ve known for years but again feel we are drifting too. Some have moved away and seem to be meeting new friends and I haven’t met anyone new. My husband is introverted and I am more the social one. The one couple we used to see have gradually been drifting away too ( they have new friends on a lake). My arthritis keeps me from joining a gym etc. Help?

18 Bonnie June 3, 2016 at 9:42 am

Oh dear, Bonnie. Your story of friends drifting away, relationships changing, and difficulty meeting new friends is one I hear often from other women. It seems to be one of the big challenges of this time of life. I wish I had a magic answer. All I can say is keep trying, do things you enjoy doing, and hopefully you’ll find something that works.

19 pat June 7, 2016 at 9:36 am

hi , i am 63 on my own , and want to meet new friends , fam grown up , no friends to go out with , feel very lonely, at time , need me back again

20 Bonnie June 9, 2016 at 12:00 pm

Hi, Pat! If you’ve read the comments here or if you could read the emails I receive, you’d see you are definitely not alone in feeling lonely and wanting more/new friends. I hope you’ll try some of the suggestions in the article. All the best!

21 D August 23, 2016 at 4:04 am

This list does not tell you HOW to make friends, it tells you WHERE you can go to maybe find like-minded people. I already go to several groups, and have generally bonded with the group(s), but as far as making a connection close enough where I could just call someone up and ask them to go to a movie or have them drop by my house to visit (or vice versa) – – no. What is the process of developing a friendship? It was so easy when I was younger but it just isn’t happening now.

22 Bonnie August 23, 2016 at 11:46 am

That’s an interesting distinction, D. Obviously the first challenge is finding someone you might want to be friends with. Then the next challenge is developing a friendship. Maybe it takes spending enough time with someone to know if you’re interested enough to go further. And then one of the people has to take the initiative (to reach out, to venture rejection) to suggest a walk, a cup of coffee, a lunch, a movie, whatever. Hope you do find a way to make friends with the people you’re meeting.

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