By: Susan "Honey" Good
After age 50, we are often empty nesters, foot loose and fancy free. We may be faced with many contrasting reasons to build new friendships after 50.
I suspect the main reasons are a move to a new city, no more PTA, friends retire and move, widowhood or divorce and the emotional need to reach out to new and multiple groups because you desire to expand your horizons. You have entered a new passage of life and are looking to change your life patterns.
So darlings, I have found through my personal experience of moving, widowhood and children leaving home that you don’t put the cart before the horse. What do I mean by this?
Don’t look for friends, look for groups and settings where others share your purpose and passion. Friendships will develop from the groups you join.
You have to get out there and ‘meet and greet’ with a big smile and a hello my name is… what’s yours? Here's how:
~Join a gym, a health club, a walking or bike group.
~Take a class at a University. Try the Osher Life Long Learning Institute, available at 100 college campuses.
~ Be a volunteer.
~Buy a dog. Take walks or go to a dog park. Your dog will help you make friends. I have met so many people through, Orchid, my pooch.
~With the election coming up consider joining a local political group. You will make like-minded friends and have stimulating conversation.
~There are charities. Become a leader or offer to have an event at your home.
~There are Scrabble clubs, religious groups, book clubs, movie clubs, card groups, cooking classes or one can take an art course. Find your niche.
~ And last but not least, spend time with your Grands. They can be your best friends.
Even the most gregarious person is shy and nervous in an unfamiliar situation. It takes effort and determination. That is why a group setting is the easiest way to enhance your opportunities to make new friends over 50.