How to Make Friends in Your 50’s Without Feeling Awkward

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Finding Friends Over 50

Are you a woman over 50 looking to make new friends?

Does it feel like you turned 50 and suddenly all of your friends disappeared? Yup, it happens to many women, you’re not alone! Lots of women our age struggle with the social changes that happen in midlife. And sometimes it happens so fast that we end up feeling confused and unable to determine our next step.

Friend, I have been there. After relocating a couple of years ago, I have struggled to make new friends. I am going to share my best advice and ideas that have worked for me. I can’t totally take away your awkward feelings, but let’s try to make finding friends easier!

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Why Do Friendships End?

You might be struggling socially because your kids have left home. It sounds weird, but having kids at home virtually guarantees that you will have friendships! Connecting with other moms over school stuff and sports is the fastest way to make friends. So, don’t be surprised if suddenly you feel lonely after the kids move out!

Leaving a job can cause a huge dent in your friendship circle. It might feel like a great relief to have quit working but be prepared to feel a sense of loneliness after leaving. We often forget how much time we spend with our co-workers. For some of us, it’s like our second family. They might be an annoying dysfunctional second family, but hey, it’s still like family!

And let’s face it, friendships post-pandemic are more complicated. It seems that enthusiasm for face-to-face events has decreased significantly with the over-50 crowd. The appeal of staying home in your pj’s, snacking, and binging Netflix has replaced GNO (Girl’s Night Out).

Ready To Make Friends After 50? I Got You!

One of the biggest challenges that women face when trying to make friends after 50 is the fear of being judged or rejected. It can be intimidating to put yourself out there and make new connections. Additionally, many women feel that they don’t have the energy or enthusiasm to make new friends. Other challenges include not knowing where to look for potential friends or feeling that they don’t have much in common with other women their own age.

Admittedly, it can be difficult to make new friends after life changes. It will require effort and commitment, but it’s not impossible! You might have to get a little creative, but pinky promise, there are lots of ways to make new friends when you are middle-aged.

Whether you’re looking for someone to share a cup of coffee with, or a group of like-minded women to join for a day trip, you will need to start with the basics.

You Must Believe That You Have Something To Offer In New Friendships

Making friends after 50 will take some persistence and a bit of faith. As I mentioned earlier, it will take more effort than when you had kids at home, but creating a bigger social circle is worth it. Research has shown that being lonely is bad for your health. Some studies have suggested that loneliness can increase your risk of death.

Finding friends after 50 can be challenging, but it’s worth the extra effort.

Not only will you have someone to talk to and share your life with, but you’ll also benefit from increased self-confidence, improved mental health, and a greater sense of belonging. Sometimes the most meaningful relationship happen due to an odd circumstance or unplanned event. So don’t be afraid to reach out and make new connections – you never know what amazing friendships you might find!

Feeling Lonely After Moving

Making friends after 50 can seem like a daunting task. I personally know how challenging it has been for me to make friends after moving to a new state. I had lived in the same place for over 50 years and didn’t realize how difficult it would be to make friends. And I will admit, some days I get discouraged. It’s important to remember that making friends later in life is a slow process. Remember the analogy, life is a marathon, not a sprint! It will take time to build new friendships.

When life brings you big changes, you can feel loneliness start to set in. And some days, it feels like too much effort to work on finding friends. The most important thing you will need for this journey is persistence. You will need to be committed to the belief that you will find friends, even if it takes years! Yup, you read that right, it might take years!

Are You Wondering How To Make Friends Near Me?

Let’s start with the simple tips for finding friends after the age of 50.

One of the best ways to make friends after 50 is to join a club or organization that caters to your interests. Whether it’s a book club, knitting circle, or a hiking group, you’ll be sure to meet people who share your passions. Taking classes is another great way to find friends that share your interests.. Not only will you learn something new, but you will also connect with like-minded individuals.

Getting involved in your local community is another great way to make friends after 50. Volunteering at a charity event, church or helping at a non-profit are great ways to meet people and make a difference. You can also attend local events such as music festivals, art exhibitions, and theatre performances. If you feel a conversational connection, try to get a phone number for a follow-up coffee chat.

It’s Okay To Feel Awkward, Do It Anyway!

You will need to reach into your inner strength and be a bit bold. Asking for a phone number can feel awkward, but it’s as simple as telling the other person that you would like more time with them. In a sense, it mirrors the same process of making a romantic connection. You might get rejected, but you might find a coffee date! Like all risks in life, you won’t know until you try!

The gym or YMCA are great places to find like-minded women. Try offering to be a workout buddy with someone new.

Quick List Of Local Places To Look For New Friendships

  • YMCA for scheduled exercise classes.
  • Church/spiritual community for like-minded women.
  • Use social media apps like “MeetUp” or “Bumble” to search for potential friends. Follow this link for more great suggestions!
  • Exercise groups (look on Facebook or Next Door to find local opportunities.)
  • Volunteer at your local Humane Society. You will get a double dose of fun with this type of volunteering. Not only will you meet potential friends, but you can take the pups for a walk!
  • Go to your local bookstore, yarn shop, or running store and ask for suggestions on finding unadvertised groups. Shops focused on a niche hobby often have “pop-up” meetings and gatherings.

Learn How To Make Friends As An Older Person

Let’s talk about some of the obstacles that happen when you are trying to make friends after the age of 50.

You have to be open-minded. It’s a great thing to know who you are, frankly, it is important to understand yourself! But if you want to make friends, you will need to have an open mind. It isn’t likely that you will find a female friend that has identical beliefs and values identical to yours.

By the time we reach the age of 50, we should be able to hold space for differing opinions and viewpoints. When you are making new friends, this is an important skill. The world is full of many beliefs, ideas, and viewpoints, and honestly, you might not align with all of them.

Friends Can Challenge You To Grow

You will need to be able to enjoy a friendship and allow for differences. Some of our greatest growth takes place in the company of those different than we are.

Let go of age differences. I know this article is about making friends over the age of 50 but let me offer an important life hack: Your new friends might not be your exact age. Learn to accept an age difference.

Since our earliest childhood experiences, we have been sorted according to age. And there are good reasons for that practice. Things like safety, learning ability, and building peer support are all valuable experiences.. But the truth is, as we age, friendships aren’t always peer-based.

Making Friends That Are Younger And Older Than Me

My Story

In my personal experience making new friends, I have had to be open to friendships that are decades different than me. When I went to grad school, most of my friends were about 15 years younger than me. At first, it felt frustrating, but then I realized that the age difference was mostly irrelevant.

I have also made friends decades older than me. I am a knitter and yes, some stereotypes are true, knitters are generally older folks! Most of my knitting friends are 15-20 years older than I am. But we have a shared interest that transcends chronological age. I have learned to lean into authentic connection with friends, no matter what the age difference.

How To Find A Good Friend Online

Even though you live far apart, you can build a meaningful relationship. Not all friendships have to be locally based.

Go online to find friends. I know, it might feel weird, but there are lots of potential friendships to be found online. Since the pandemic, online groups have become a reliable way to connect and find friendships. Zoom get-togethers and coffee chats are great opportunities to meet a friend in another state. From the comfort of your own home, you can attend group meetings, join online forums, and even join virtual book clubs.

Whether you’re looking to make a few new friends or build a larger social circle, social media is a great place to start. I have met two fascinating women from online groups, one resides in the US and one lives abroad. Both women are my age and have had similar life experiences, giving us lots to talk about when we get together virtually.

Online Friends Are Real Friends

Admittedly, having a friend who lives in your area is ideal. But it is possible to build a trusting and authentic relationship with someone who lives far away. Like any other relationship, start slow with sharing your life stories. Schedule regular Zoom meetings for chatting and maybe choose a book to read together for discussion. Take time to share pictures of your daily life and routine, help your long-distance friend get to know you.

There are many stories of women who have started friendships online and then scheduled a real-life meet-up. It is possible to make friends with someone who is not physically present but has a caring thoughtful personality.

Flexibility Is Key When You Are Trying To Make Friends After 50

As society changes, we need to be flexible about finding friendships after the age of 50. Letting go of our limiting beliefs about friendships is important. Friendships move in and out of our lives, some are for a time and season, and others might last our whole lives.

Neighborhood gatherings are a great place to find new friends. Most of us can agree that despite being too connected via social media, we struggle to know our neighbors.

Try stepping out of your comfort zone and host a gathering in your home for your neighborhood. Yes, it might feel awkward, but the funny thing is that most women feel relieved that someone else has taken the first step to open her home.

Everybody Loves A Neighborhood Potluck!

The fastest way to organize a neighborhood gathering is to make food the main attraction. Here are some easy themes for hosting a meet and greet in your home.

  • 5 Ingredients or Less – cost-effective and easy to assemble, this will make everyone feel like they can participate.
  • Going Green– A vegetarian potluck featuring meat-free dishes, salads, and casseroles. Don’t forget to add breads, cheese trays, and dips!
  • Roots– Encourage everyone to bring a dish that reflects their family heritage. This is a great way to share those secret recipes that have been in families for generations!
  • Something You Love That You Hated as a Kid -Broccoli anyone? This is a great way to share childhood memories and find out how many people really did hate broccoli!
  • Last Meal– A popular theme is the last meal where everyone brings a dish starting with the letter that begins with his or her last name. Make sure to supply name tags to help make the last name connection.

This list inspired by SignUpGenius

Remember To Be Positive And Open Minded

Keep a positive mindset. One of the biggest obstacles to getting what we want in life is the way we think. Our thoughts will direct our actions, giving us the results of what we were thinking. Choose to believe that you can make friends over 50, it is possible! Be committed to having an open mind, leave room for differences in friendships. Lastly, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and honest with others.

Focus on the goal of finding friends and promise yourself that you will enjoy the journey. Getting outside of your comfort zone will help you know yourself better and it might spark a new interest for you.

A parked car doesn’t go anywhere! Making friends after 50 will take effort and time, but don’t give up!

Remember, a parked car doesn’t go anywhere! It’s time to get in gear, try some of these ideas to help you get started finding your girl gang.

Conclusion

Making friends after 50 can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! With the right approach, you can find meaningful connections with other women in your age group. Try exploring different friendship opportunities, connecting with others through social media, and building friendships through hobbies and interests.

Most importantly, be open to new experiences and don’t be afraid to take the initiative. With a little effort, you can find fulfilling friendships that will bring joy and purpose to your life. So don’t wait any longer, start your journey to make friends after 50 today!

I would love to hear from you on this topic! What are your best suggestions for finding friends after 50?

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Melane Ann is a writer, blogger, and life coach. In 2020, she turned her experience in midlife divorce and creating a new life for herself into midlifeismagical. With a master's in Marriage and Family Therapy, Melane focuses on helping women over 50 navigate their relationships and commit to healthy aging. She and her new husband share 7 children between them. Melane jokes that she has a black belt in blended families! In addition to her writing, Melane works virtually with her coaching clients from her home office.

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