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Making friends at 60: “I don’t want to die alone…”

QUESTION

Dear Irene,

How does one get over being so alone? I do have a few very good friends, but too few! I am dying of loneliness! I don’t know what’s  wrong with me that I can’t seem to “connect” and make new friends. I don’t want to die alone too! I’m turning 60 this year. Any suggestions??

Many thanks! Signed, Laura

ANSWER

Hi Laura,

Your question obviously follows my last post mentioning two tragic news stories recently published about older women who died alone without anyone noticing for some time. The imagery was chilling and most people would hate to think of dying that way.

Admittedly, there are times when it is tougher than others to make new friends. For example, college students are continually thrown into contact with other people in similar circumstances. Young moms can take advantage of abundant opportunities to make friends with parents of their kids or with other women involved in school committees. If someone’s working, she might become friends with colleagues. You haven’t told me much about you but it sounds like you’re at a place in life where you need to actively seek out friendships because it isn’t occurring naturally.

Making friends is more a matter of circumstances than age, per se. Unless there is something about you that pushes others away, if you follow your interests and remain actively involved with people, you will be able to replenish your stock of friends. The choice is yours: Get involved with cultural, political, or social groups. Join a gym, book club, cooking club, or take a class. Volunteer in your community at the library or hospital. If you have a dog, start up a conversation with another dog walker on your route. Dogs and new babies are always great conversation-starters.

One caveat: Don’t expect too much too soon. Friendships take time but if you are welcoming to potential friends and pursue your own passions, you’ll be able to turn new acquaintances into deep friendships over time. If you come across as desperate or clingy, it might be a turnoff to a future friend-to-be. Being aware of your loneliness and that you want close friendships is an important first step. I hope this is helpful.

Warm regards, Irene

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Category: Making friends at 60

Comments (1,978)

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  1. Ann says:

    There are some online games two or more can play like scrabble, word etc. Id get involved if any like the idea. Im 70 going on 71, just had a huge brain aneurysm coiled and stented. Grateful to be alive, but lonely. Ann in So. WEST Missouri

  2. Francisca says:

    What can I do to make new friends at my age 60. Need spiritual friends.

    • Hi Francisca says:

      It’ nice to meet you!!!! I’m in the same situation. I have two friends but they are all
      out of state. I taught online for many years so I have not even had the option of co workers.
      Many people find church a social as well as a religious experience. I’m more of a spiritual/new age kind of girl and I have no idea where to go to meet folk with similar attitudes. I’m in my 60’s too and I wish I had an answer to the question. I like to play cards and the senior center does have some groups. I’m thinking about trying that but I am a really young thinking 64. We will see,

  3. tracy says:

    Hi Irene, I hope all is way with you since you last posted. I am 46. I have lived away from my hometown for over 20 years. I have three grown sons and Im not married. Im disabled now for 5 years so I spend a lot of time alone. However, I have refocused my energy on the Lord and getting better . I spend so much time worshiping I forget about loneliness. In a world so big my life seem so small at times. I have peace and joy in my heart. I pray that the Lord take the feelings of being alone from you. Im not sure if you are a spiritual person but it sure helps. Sometimes physically you may not be with anyone but look at how many replies you got here. You have friends you don’t even know yet. Be encouraged. You are not alone 🙂

    [LAST NAME REMOVED BY MODERATOR. TO PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST POTENTIAL SPAMMERS, PLEASE DO NOT USE LAST NAMES ON THIS BLOG. THANKS!]

    • Marie says:

      This is something I need a answer to asap my granddaughter is getting married and my daughter invited one of my friends but I have another person who at one time was close to but not so much anymore. But they are arch enemy’s ( the two friends of mine) now the one that didn’t get invited keeps asking if the other is l dont want to lie but I don’t want hurt feelings what do I say

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