Updated: Sep 30, 2022
It was so easy when we were younger, when we were surrounded by people our own age. We made instant friends on the playground, in classrooms, as we pursued our interests or at our jobs. We had best friends, confidant friends, activity friends, goofing-off friends and more.
But now, as mature women, we are not automatically surrounded by people our own age, so it doesn’t feel as easy to make friends. Now, we actually have to take action to meet new people. We have to put ourselves out there, which can be intimidating.
It would be very easy to just keep things as they are, not take chances, not meet new people, not make new friends. So the first thing we have to decide is, do we REALLY want to make new friends at our age? And if so, what kind?
It is important to remember that we have many different needs in friendship, and we shouldn’t expect any one friend to fulfill all our friendship needs. That would put way too much pressure on anyone! That’s why we need several different kinds of friends in our lives.
So take a moment to think to yourself “What do I want in my friendships?”
Do I want friends who are going through the same things as me?
Do I want friends who are different than me?
Do I want friends who accept and support my beliefs and choices?
Do I want friends who challenge my beliefs and choices?
Do I want friends who will listen to me?
Do I want friends who need me to listen to them?
Do I want friends who share the same interests?
Do I want friends who will introduce me to new interests and adventures?
Do I want friends who can sit with me in comfortable silence?
Do I want friends who can have intellectual conversations?
Do I want friends who can have have fun pop culture conversations, such as about the most recent TV shows, movies, sports, music, etc.
Do I want friends who can make me laugh?
Do I want friends who can laugh at my dumb jokes?
Do I want friends who live close to me?
Do I want friends who live on the other side of the world from me?
If you answered yes to all of the above, remember, no one person can be all of those kinds of friends for us. If we want it all, we may need at least a handful of different kinds of friends. So where do we meet these new friends? They are most likely not going to just show up at our front doors, so we have to make a move, take an action in order to meet them.
And that can be very, very scary, even at our age.
It’s amazing how much our inner teenager comes out when it’s time to make new friends. We may think whatever happened in our youth will happen again. We may have lost confidence in and think “Who would want to be friends with ME?” We may be afraid we’ll come on too strong, or not strong enough.
And maybe we will. But the good news is, we are senior women now who have experienced a lot of life and we can handle anything! Including making new friends!
So where do we find these friends?
By participating in activities that interest us AND INVOLVE OTHER PEOPLE!!! We all have solitary interests, like cooking, reading or gardening, and these are great. But to make the kinds of friends we want, we also need to pursue interests that require us to be around other people, like…IN PERSON. How? Join a team (even if you aren’t very good), take live lessons, go to live local events. Join a live book club, a live cooking or gardening workshop. Exercise with other people, travel with a group, volunteer where you will be around others.
Join an online or in-person community, such as the Retired Active Women membership website, which has both online and live forums to help you meet other older women. Join your local group within the website to meet other retired women in your own area. Find a woman over 50-years-old across the world from you and become pen/email/phone call pals. Have online discussions and live chats about a huge variety of topics with other women around your own age. Advertise your own side hustle, business or hobby to all the other members. Join the Retired Active Women group trips for mature women and theirs guests, or share about your own trip.
Whatever you do to take the first step to add new friends into your life, know that you are not alone in the desire to make new friends or in feeling uncomfortable about it. We are all in the same boat with you, so while we’re in that boat, let’s make some introductions! Hi, my name is…!