It seems the older we get, the harder it is to make new friends. I guess that is not overly surprising, since as a kid we are around new people all the time at school and through other family activities. As time goes on, connections become fewer and fewer as people get involved in careers and starting families, and social circles start to shrink.
Then, all of a sudden after retirement you have all this time on your hands, but making new friends at that age can be a daunting prospect. But, it doesn’t have to be. There are many options and opportunities for older adults to take advantage of, to get social and meet new people.
Making New Friends as a Senior
Social activity is a very important aspect to maintaining a good level of overall health, and that is true at any age. Keeping up with old social ties tends to be a bit of a struggle as we get older, but is easier than ever to look up old friends and re-establish a connection. There are also plenty of social activities that can be joined to make some new acquaintances.
Some useful tips for making new friends as an older adult, may include:
- Look up old friends
- Put yourself out there
- There are others in the same position
- Extend and accept invitations
- Take a class
- Follow your interests
Look up Old Friends
Social media has made it easier than ever to find just about anybody you have ever met in your life. It can be fun to meet up with old friends you haven’t seen in years. For those living in close proximity, it can provide a new friend to do things with on a regular basis.
This doesn’t always work out perfectly mind you, as people you haven’t seen in decades are likely to have undergone some changes, and you may no longer feel like you have anything in common. So, while this is a good option, it is important to remember it is not the only one, as there are many other ways to meet people with similar interests.
Put Yourself Out There
A lot of times people say they want to meet new friends and then do nothing about. It is not likely to happen without extending a little effort. Making yourself mentally open to the idea of meeting new people and not shying away from conversations when opportunities arise provides a good start.
There are Others in the Same Boat
Thinking everyone else your age in the community already has enough friends is an unconstructive attitude, and most likely it is simply not true. There are many other people out there in the very same position as you, looking to meet new people with shared hobbies and pastimes.
Extend and Accept Invitations
You can’t complain about never getting to do anything fun if you are always turning down people’s invitations for social gatherings. Accept that invitation to a friend’s party even though you don’t know a lot of the other guests. It can be a bit stressful at first, but the more you try the easier it becomes.
Also, invite friends over for a meal or to a new restaurant in town. Sharing a meal is perfect opportunity to get social and reconnect.
Take a Class
Learning something new is excellent way to keep the brain sharp and meet new people. Cooking classes are always a fun way to meet new people. Technology classes can be social and practical. Also, classes that involve physical activity are an excellent way to improve health and social prospects at the same time.
Yoga and tai chi classes are great way to loosen stiff joints and muscles while meeting new people. Swimming classes and pool exercises are a trend that is also good for overall health.
Community gardening is a fantastic social activity as well, albeit a seasonal one.
Volunteering can be a rewarding experience and a good way to help others. You are bound to meet some like-minded people in the community, wherever it is you decide to volunteer your time.
Follow your Interests
Remember those days when you would pretend to like something in the hopes of making a new friend? Luckily those days are long gone, and by following your interests, wherever they may lead, you are likely to meet some new friends with shared amusements along the way.