Making friends is possible at any age. Of course it’s essential to have a great relationship with yourself, but if you find you’re spending too much time alone, it’s up to you to make new friends. As we get closer to retirement, knowing how to do this becomes even more important. Our work relationships fade away, friends move or become too busy for that weekly coffee date. Or worst-case scenario, members of our circle develop health problems that preclude the daily walks or monthly shopping sprees.
While the mere thought of reaching out to meet new people can be daunting or even fearful, here are three suggestions that are guaranteed to work.
- Go to Meetup.com, select “All Meetups,” and scroll through the list in your area. The possibilities are varied and abundant, so join the ones that interest you. This week, meetups within ten miles of my home include Shut Up & Write, Social and Dinner (for senior social singles), a hike on the Deer Creek Tribute Trail, Monthly Meditation and QiGong. There is also an announcement of the upcoming speaker at the Entrepreneur Network.
- Join a women’s club or organization in your area and participate. Clubs like the American Association of University Women and the National Association of Women Business Owners are packed with interesting, active, and educated women. A simple Google search on “women’s organizations” will yield many more options including NOW (National Organization for Women) and LWV (League of Women Voters) with local chapters around the country.
- Volunteer to work at local events. If you love theater, music, or festivals, offer to usher, pour wine, serve beer, or help staff a booth. Your services will put you smack dab in the center of the action and save a lot of money, as well. As a bonus, you’ll meet other volunteers who share your interest, and while you’re waiting for the event to start, you’ll have time to chat and begin cultivating new friendships.
If you’re tired of going it alone, it’s easy to make new friends. All you have to do is find a group that interests you, show up, and once you get there: smile.