Looking for a Senior Friendship
There is no age limit for making new friends. After 50, though, opportunities to meet people can seem few and far between, even more so when you retire. Perhaps you already have a nice group of mates, but what with all of their family events (for instance, their grand-kids' birthdays), their travelling plans and their hobbies, your old acquaintances’ lives tend to get a little busy. You don’t have to be alone, though. There are many ways to change this situation and to find a senior friendship.
Why should I look for a senior friendship?Meeting new people has many benefits. It can break the gloomy feeling of solitude, give you a fresh perspective on things or even teach you something you didn't know. A new acquaintance can even help you to feel more confident in yourself and can brighten up your life. Additionally, you could find yourself a travelling partner, someone to go shopping with or just someone with whom you can have fun. Social relationships are essential for your health and your well-being. According to studies, close friendships can also help individuals to live longer!
Unfortunately, some people find it hard to meet men and women of their own age, while others are not even sure where to look. However, it's still perfectly possible to maintain a rich social life when you’re over 50, and you are certainly not alone in your search. Many other people of your age also want to find a close confidant.
How can I break the pattern of loneliness?After a certain age, meeting new faces becomes more difficult. This is even more the case when you retire. As you get fewer opportunities to encounter people, your instincts, as well as your skills to mingle or start a conversation tend to get a little rusty. Nonetheless, many other seniors of your age want and need more friends in their life too. You can break loneliness by opening up and getting out in the world. It may be difficult at first if you’re out of the habit of meeting people, but you will gradually get more confident.
Where can I meet new people?You can find senior friends in many places. The important thing is that you put in a little work to multiply your chances of meeting new individuals.Joining a club that suits your interests, for instance, a gym, a book club, a stamp collecting society or a group of walkers, is an excellent way to break free of the loneliness of your home and meet interesting personalities who share the same hobby. It will also be easier to start a conversation with the other members, as you will already have something in common and therefore, also, an ideal ice breaker. Taking classes is great for creating a bond with others as well. Why not try out group dance or cooking lessons?
Additionally, many other seniors decide to volunteer. Joining an association can help you meet interesting individuals of your own age. It is also a great opportunity to help those in need and feel useful to the community.
Accept a maximum of invitationsAnother great tip for meeting people is to say yes to as many of the invitations that you receive as possible. It could be a barbecue with friends, a wedding invitation from seniors buddies who are getting married, or simply drinks with an old mate. Attending all of these events will help you expand your opportunities for making connections. Who knows? You might meet funny and friendly people during the barbecue. The person sitting on the table next to you might start an interesting conversation with you. Moreover, being in a good mood makes meeting new acquaintances so much easier.
Where can I find events dedicated to seniors?Some associations and certain city councils organise events for seniors. Dances, games and bingo nights, as well as cruises for men and women over 50, are a great opportunity to meet new friends while having fun.Online, you can find Facebook groups which you can follow or join that arrange events of all kinds, for instance, a Sunday brunch or a dinner. Certain websites specialise in organising parties for seniors. You’ll also find tour operators that offer cruises or trips especially for people over the age of 50.
Can I find friends on social networks?Yes, for instance, on Facebook. Why not contact those friends you have not talked to for months or even years? Start off a conversation by sending them a message and then, later on, when you feel more at ease, ask them for their number so you can continue the discussion by phone.
You can also find groups that are dedicated to seniors who are looking to meet new people. You will be able to chat with the other members about your feelings, your interests or any other subject that takes your fancy. The founders of these pages sometimes organise social events to help everyone get to know each other.You can also go to alumni websites or pages where you can search for your old classmates at school. Why not arrange a little meeting to see everyone again and catch up with everything that's happened in their lives since you last were together?
I am a bit shy. How can I meet new people?If you want to meet new people, you must be willing to take risks and get out of your comfort zone. Starting a conversation with someone sitting next to you on the bus or with the person queuing behind you in the supermarket, as well as any social interactions, can be a little scary if you are shy. For this reason, you might prefer sometimes to stay at home or not to attend certain events.
However, mingling with people, starting or joining a discussion are all essential if you want to break out of your loneliness. It’s important that you fight against your shyness and that you interact with others wherever possible. Why not try enrolling in a group that helps timid personalities to overcome their shyness, or even joining a theatre class in order to help with your social anxiety?
A great way to meet people when you are shy is to use dating sites for those over 50 to find a friendship. Online, you will feel less nervous and this will make it easier to start a conversation with strangers.