Making New Friends After 40 Might Be Easier Than You Think
Making new friends is more challenging for some than it is for others. People who are more extroverted may seem to make friends more naturally, while introverts often feel that they need to work harder at it. You may be in the latter group, but in reality, most people need to work hard to construct new friend groups following life changes like marriage, relocation, divorce, and many other transitions.
Making friends probably seemed a lot easier in your 20s and 30s, when friends from college and singles activities were available. It becomes much more difficult for many people to maintain friendships once they reach 40 and above. The gang is not together anymore. Some have moved away. Some have gotten married and settled into couples life or are heavily focused on their careers. Some are facing empty-nest issues, while others are still raising young children. You can chat on the phone or keep in touch via social media, but the level of personal interaction and sense of community is often diminished or lost.
Loss of Social Activities
April says that she misses having people to do things with: “I am a social person at heart. It is in my nature to want to be around people and chat. Most of my old friends have moved away, and a few have passed on. I miss them and I need some new people to hang out with. I need some people who like the same things that I do. That gets harder to find when you reach my age.”
Losing Friends After Divorce
Serena spoke about some friends they used to know: “A lot of the people I used to socialize with were friends of me and my wife. That changes when you get divorced. I have heard that they ask about me, but it gets awkward to be with them. A lot of those people represent my old life. Now that I have moved on from that, I need to find some new people. It is rough.”
These are just two of the examples of people out there who are looking to find some new friends. Your story might be somewhat different, but the end goal is still the same. You want to meet some new people and establish some common ground, make friends, and build a social community.
Just Happy Hours
One way to meet new people is through the Just Happy Hours mobile app. It is not a dating app or gateway to a pickup scene. The app helps you find people who, like you, need someone to talk to over drinks and dinner during a fun, casual night out – nothing more. Visit the link to find out more about this new app. It might help you find the way to fun friendships!
Other Things You Can Do To Help Yourself Find New Friends
Join a Community Organization
There are a lot of organizations that need help; select something that appeals to you and make a commitment on a regular day and time for the next few months. Showing up on the same day and time increases the likelihood that you will see the same people repeatedly, a key aspect of developing new friendships. Volunteering is a great way to connect with people who share your interests. When you meet someone you find interesting, suggest grabbing coffee, a drink, or lunch before or after your next volunteering session. This allows the other person to make plans ahead of time. Over coffee, chat about movies, local events, or new restaurants so it will be easy to make plans if you and your new friend both want to go.
Find an Event
Find an event that you want to attend – anything from a book club to a sports event. Perhaps you’d like to work on your autobiography and would enjoy a writer’s group. The idea is to pick something that interests you and go. Practice making casual conversation with the person next to you. Ask them if they’ve attended the event before, what they think about it, and what else they like to do in the area.
Reconnect with Old Friends
Talk to some old friends you spent time with in the past. You probably have a few friends that still live, or have returned to live, in the same area. You might have lost track of one another because of life transitions, but things might have changed again in such a way that you would enjoy spending time together. Why not look them up? Suggest getting together for lunch or drinks to catch up. If they socialize with other friends through a movie club or walking group, maybe you can join the next meeting.
Get Out There
Remember that to make friends, you need to be visible. Staying at home to watch Netflix while eating microwave popcorn is OK sometimes, but it will not make you less lonely, alleviate depression or anxiety, or help you build a social community. Get out there and socialize. Go for a walk on your favorite pathway, take a boating excursion, or head to an arcade and challenge someone to a game of air hockey. Smile, say hello, and show interest in others, and friendships will form before you know it.
Life might have changed over the years, but the basic principles, including a need for friends and a sense of community, are still the same. You want to find someone and connect. You want to form a bond that lasts a long time. Your old friends might not be as available as they once were, but you do have other options. Your new friends are just waiting to be discovered.
What are you waiting for? Time to discover a new life and a new you!
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