“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.
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.