Over 50’s Friendship

If there’s anything more daunting than meeting a potential, new love interest, it is making friends, and this seems to get even more difficult at 50.

When surveyed, most people found that over 50s friendship prospects were limited because people simply didn’t know where or how to meet new people. This is a very similar problem to the one faced by those struggling to meet romantic partners, but at least they have the option of online dating.

The good news is that anyone who is looking to make friends in their fifties can do just that, and there are a few simple ways to go about it.

Getting Out There

Meeting new people and making connections means getting out of the house, so make sure you are prepared to start trying some new things. Remember, if you want to meet people with the same interests, you need to make sure that you are pursuing your interests.

If you love gardening, join a gardening association. If you love reading, become a member of a book club. If you have a unique interest, start your own club. Making friends is just like fishing – you need to be where the fish are in order to catch something.

You Can be Picky

Those looking for over 50s friendship are usually in a place in their lives where they know what they like and what they don’t, and this includes friendship. When it comes to making friends later in life, be picky about whom you include in your life – after all, these are the people you will turn to for companionship and support.

Put Yourself Out There

When meeting potential friends, some people are comfortable initiative conversations and setting up meetings, while others aren’t. If you fall into the latter category, it might be time to start taking some chances. You can’t expect the other person to do all the work – sometimes, you need to be the one to set the stage for a great friendship, whether this includes starting up a conversation or asking someone for their contact details so that you can organize an outing. Sometimes, over fifties friendship will appear a bit daunting, but often, it is the biggest challenges that reap the largest rewards.

Keep an Open Mind

You should be picky about the people whom you choose to include in your life, but don’t be afraid to meet new and unique people. You might find that you really enjoy spending time with someone you might not have thought of as over 50s “friendship material”, but isn’t it great that life can still surprise you at fifty?

Making friends can be daunting for anyone, children and adults alike, but as humans, we are innately programmed to find others who will share our interests, stories, hopes and dreams. The only difference between making friends as a child and making friends over 50 is the amount of effort that you need to put in to accomplish the latter, but luckily it is usually worth all of that effort, and so much more besides.

9 comments

  • MariaGalla

    Since my 50’s onwards I have found and met plenty of wonderful friends that I am sure will be there with me until the end. Getting older doesn’t mean not being able to make new friends anymore. At this point in our lives most of us are more settled, less judgmental, see the world through a better lens than we used to. It makes it easier to see past a person’s flaws, because you already know that flaws exist. For myself at least I have found myself becoming a much more accepting person as I get older, which as given me more opportunities to meet people and get to know them past an introduction. For that reason, I think the most important point on this article is keeping an open mind.

    • blazeC

      MariaGalla, I like your comment about being more accepting since you’ve gotten older. I find myself in that place as well… not so caught up in how people might look, communicate or how socially acceptable they might be, or, probably, I’m not so concerned as to what others might think about my friendship with so-and-so. I believe that twenty-some years as a social worker has finally revealed that people are more alike than they are different.

      My “newer” friends are sometimes older than I am (my mentors for healthy aging, and people with a rich reservoir of experience and wisdom from which to draw). Some of my recent friendships are with adults who are around the ages of my adult children. Talking and laughing with them dissolves that artificial “generation gap”. Sometimes I do pinch myself and ask how I am so lucky to have friends who are so socially ‘with it’ and young when I am definitely in my twilight years with only a fraction of the energy and zest I had even a few years ago. And with the burgeoning Boomer population on Facebook, I have re-connected with old schoolmates with whom I might not have been very close back in the 60s, but with whom I have discovered shared interests buoyed up by that lovely patina of a shared earlier history. Too, I have made a number of other interesting friends on Facebook.

      This is a great time to make friends– the opportunities are boundless. We bring wonderful assets to the table and will meet people who will be with us for years to come!

  • Diane Lane

    There are plenty of places to meet new acquaintances, and as you learn about one another, you can decide whether this is simply going to stay superficial, or whether you’d like to include each of these new people into your life for the long term. By this point in our lives, we understand that not everyone has to be a best friend, but it’s still nice to have a wider circle of acquaintances to spend time with on occasion. Classes and workshops based on interests are good places to meet like-minded people, such as crafts, gardening, cooking, photography, and wherever else your interests lie. There are also many local groups on Facebook based on interests, and if the group is open, you can read through posts, to decide whether it’s a place you want to spend time.

  • CrowdedHighways

    I think that, by 50, you should be wise enough to be able to differentiate between real friends and people who are just pretending to be your friend to get something out of you. When I was younger, I was just ‘collecting’ friends, and the number of friends was the most important, even if I did not feel happy or comfortable around them. Right now, I have a close-knit group of friends that know everything about me, and I know everything about them, and I would not trade them for anything else in the world.

  • sterlingjay0123

    Throughout my life I’ve often falling into the trap of needing to be surrounded by people all of the time, but as I’ve gotten to where I am I’ve realized that it’s more important to make real connections. Although I spent a lot of times with friends going on grand adventures, my favorite thing to do now is invite a couple of girlfriends over to play cards and watch tv. Recently we’ve started going to a local paint your own pottery shop, and have met a couple of ladies who like to come over occasionally as well. Going out to classes definitely can be a good option to meet people, as that’s how I’ve met most of my friends in the area.

  • RetJo

    This can be one of the biggest pitfalls of relocating after retirement. I had a friend who moved to a different part of the country to be closer to her daughter, but the daughter had a busy life of work and school. My friend tried different groups to make new friends, but she found that people in those groups had a history together, and although they were welcoming enough, she felt that she never fit in well with their conversations.

  • Kate

    I agree with that word “daunting” because it certainly can be that! I have discovered something interesting, though… I’ve found that I can form deeper *new* friendships than I enjoy with people I’ve known for years. Not sure why!

    Case in point… I have made some very close new friends over the last couple of years. They are completely trusted and I know that I can go to them with anything.

    On the other side of that, I’m very glad and feel fortunate to still have friends from decades ago, and even from school, but… well, I hesitate to talk with them about much. Maybe it goes back to that old saying that familiarity breeds contempt? Maybe I feel that we “know too much” hehe Not sure, but new friends are wonderful, and I enjoyed this article very much! :-)

  • GemmaRowlands

    One thing that I find really helps is finding a hobby. That way, you know that all of the people there with you have at least one thing in common with you, and that can honestly be an amazing ice-breaker when you’re trying to start conversations. Usually your 50s are when children have flown the nest (or at the very least are independent) and this means that we have more time for ourselves, and we definitely need to make the most of this. I know that I have joined a couple of classes recently, and I have found them to be very helpful indeed with regards to encouraging me to be more sociable.

  • qeylar

    I am over 50…over 60 actually. My friends died. My best friend died. My second best, died. Those that didn’t die moved away.

    I have made friends with people in my circle; many younger than me…and outside of a few acquaintances who have been elevated to friend due to the vacancies, I don’t know if it can be the same.

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