• Few or No Friends
Welcome Box
Ask the Friendship Doctor

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


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


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

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Making friends at 60

Comments (1,522)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Ewa says:

    I am 55 active ,in good shape and very very lonely. I have activity and interest in life but still …I am not rich, I pay bills it’s not about money, I need someone in my life.The only problem is I live in Chicago and I don’t have a car. It’s not a commend to the anyone post, just I don’t want to die alone.

    • Jib says:

      I read constantly that love comes from within, that we must love ourselves before anyone else can love us. I did this and it’s amazing if you love yourself because then you do not need anyone else. I am looking at a huge mistake here by many women including myself, that we are looking for somebody else to make us feel better. Wrong, it is wrong to look for happiness outside of you, work on you and you don’t need some worthless abusive man.

      • Janie says:

        Jib, I think many on here are just looking for a couple of friends to bike ride, walk, eat out, movies, theater, someone to talk with that can relate, etc. I think many older women such as myself aren’t looking for a relationsip. Maybe some but I bet many are looking for gal pals.

      • Belinda says:

        You are so right, this is exactly what Ive found. I still get lonely from time to time by I am not focused on finding a mate. Its a great feeling to know I am enough for the rest of my life, its not a have to to find a mate.

    • JOHN says:

      ewa, sorry you dont live in milwaukee, i would love to meet you, and dont worry about the money thing, companionship is better than gold

  2. diane says:

    I’m getting older and its very weird. I divorced after 28 years@! I quickly met another man and now 3 years later I’m wondering what the hell do I want. The man I choose is rich and a big a drinker. I love him and he is soo good to me. but I long for a man who’s more my soul mate? like just more into the same conversation topic’s or maybe I long to be alone? and just do the friend thing? All I know is I just don’t feel right. I feel lost. I feel alone.

  3. sanjiv says:

    My name is Sanjiv from India.By profession teacher age 46 ,married and have two children.I feel lack of friends but why I like female friends because of nice heart,so I tried many many site of friendship but failed then i saw friendship blog.My friends do not like me because i say the bitter truth on their face.love for truth is my weakness.How can i get my best and nice friends.

  4. sazzad says:

    i have no money
    last 5 years i just struggle with my life.
    my mom is so sick last 4 yaers.her diease is MCTD dr. said there is no specific treatment for this diease .
    i just hate my life
    i wanna die

    • Irene says:

      I’m sorry to hear about your mother’s illness and your situation but this blog isn’t really the place for you to look for the type of help you need. You need help closer to home.

      • A free 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) is available to people in crisis (or their loved ones) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Calls are routed to local crisis centers.
      • In the UK or Ireland, Samaritans offers confidential support at 08457 90 90 90.

    • Nancy says:

      I’m glad you are reaching out to someone, even if it’s here. Do try to find a support group. Use local agencies for assistance, food banks, etc. I will pray for you! You are not alone.

    • Ally says:

      I just want to encourage you and let you know that I prayed for you tonight. I too do not have much money and all of my children have nearly left home. I get lonely sometimes but know that God is alongside me always and cares about all my problems. Please know that I am genuine and care.

  5. Rosie says:

    I used to have lots of friends. I didnot marry [looked after elderly person who had raised me]. I was very attractive [so I was told] dated but time went by. I am out of a dreadful relationship [4years] that left me broken. I am 63 but I am very young looking [so I am told] ageing is a natural process – I think where loneliness comes in is, I am slightly disabled. I have bad arthritis in my feet. This makes me tired. I love fun and laughter, but I lost my job and I don’t work anymore, hence my income is very limited, I cannot afford much and live a very simple and humble life. I dress quite well and do my own hair etc., and nobody would guess but I am dying with loneliness. When I hit bad times and lost money, friends dissapeared, I have no kids so thats even lonelier, I have 2 friends who are grandmothers but only see them now and again for coffee. Theyre lives are v different. I can be shy at first and I feel trapped and losing confidence.

    • Ted says:

      I’m a 67 year old male and have similar health concerns, as you’ve outined. I’d like to find a “Female Best Friend”.
      I live in CT and wonder where you live?

      • Irene says:

        Hi Ted,

        Thanks for visiting. This blog isn’t intended to match people, either for platonic or romantic relationships. It’s educational and focused on helping people improve their friendships.

        Best, Irene

    • Natasha Johnson says:

      Hi, Im also 63 and living on SSDI. Currently, just traveling around us. Been living below poverty line most my life. Email if you just want to chatter about stuff. At our age, we are time machines to the past with a lot to say.

  6. Petra says:

    Although I am only in my 40s, I came across this web site because I feel a bit lonely after moving back to (my native) Germany and I searched for advice.
    Meetup.com was my lifesaver twice: after moving to Canada a few years back when I knew no-one, and again when I returned to Germany and the few friends had moved into different directions (they had families while I am still single).

    What I like about Meetup: you get to meet a lot of people at the same time and find out quickly who you get along with and who to avoid. And there is no obligation to participate in events when you join a group. There are lots of activities grouped by interest, especially if you live close to bigger cities, be it going for walks, dancing, dinner, movies, and groups specifically for the 50+ crowd.
    I met a lot of people in Canada and made some very good friends. If there had not been any active Meetup groups in the area of Germany where I am now, I might not have come back because I had been very lonely before I left for Canada.

    Now I might just be too impatient for acquaintances becoming friends or wishing for more activities in the region where I live.

  7. Kathy Rose says:

    mind set is very important to handle the various situations in life without losing hope even in the last days.

  8. Joan says:

    I have never felt that being divorced, and almost 60, would be a negative for me until recently. I have lived and worked in Europe for almost 10 years and will be coming back to the US next fall. The thought of starting all over again is a terrifying. My kids are off living their own lives, and I have to relocate in an area where I will be without family again. I am hoping I will meet friends through work. I see, through all of you, that there are others that feel as lonely as I do. I do believe that having a pet, that is ecstatic to see you when you get home, is helpful. I was thinking about retiring in two years but it might be better for me socially and financially to retire at 65. I don’t think I am spontaneous enough for internet dating:). I like your suggestion about meet up.com, Starbrite.

    • debby says:

      Hey Joan I agree about the pet getting one unconditional love is the best love.where are you in Europe.There are clubs to join utalian american club or irush american.cooking classes so on.I guess sometimes hobbies help to meet friend.I had a bunch of friends little by little they are leaving passing on.I feel so alone with out them.why dont all of us girls communicate start our own social club? What do you say?? I’m game anyone else?

      • Joan says:

        I am in Germany (moved here in July) and I lived 6 years in Italy. I would love to be part of a social club! What a great idea:). I am not sure where I will be working next year. I am hoping either Fl, WA State or NM.

      • Joan says:

        Debby and Barb, if you search this site under email exchange, I posted a message with my email address.

    • Barb says:

      In case my email didn’t show. I am in MD no family here, divorced, would love to hear from you

  9. pariah says:

    Same here. You are not the only one out there. Good luck getting rid of feeling lonely. My ex kept me isolated from everyone so, when we divorced, I decided to get out more. Tried to get involved in my kids’ activities at school. tried talking to my kids’ friends parents. Nothing. I thought I had made a friend in 2003 but then she sued us and abandoned us. I have been completely friendless since 2006 and I still hate it. I just can’t accept that there is no one out there at all that I could be friends with.

  10. Margy says:

    turned 60 last year , had moved home, retired and then husband walked out one day after returning from a month in Australia! I can’t get used to being on my own. How do you meet people when you sit alone day after day in the house. Most of my friends live too far away just to pop for a cup of tea or a drink

  11. i hear what you lonely people are saying. it has just been terrible the past few years , im attractive , 61 years old and financially set, but dates with women im attracted to forget it.im either too old or they want the moon from me, what the hell happen to decent people who want a normal relationship without all kinds of selfish wants. i seriously think many women in their late 50’s and 60’s just dont care about relationships anymore. maybe it is hormone deficiency

    • Julie says:

      I’m not lonely, I have my pc. But we ladies aren’t all the same. Some of us are nice girls, I might be 57 but I don’t take the mick out of people specially because of peoples situations. Only started coming on here about 3 weeks ago, and sent messages, but no replies.

      • john says:

        having a PC is not nearly the same as having a loving man in your life.if you could let me know where all these nice women are I would be grateful.i know alot of people, but having a special spmeone is the only way to go in life

        • Anne says:

          Dear John, There are more “older’ women than men out there. Why don’t. U belong to some association: the over 60, university of the third age, voluntary services etc. if u do notbgetbout u will not find a partner. Hope this has been helpful

          • john says:

            thanks Anne,but im so busy at work its hard to get out and join clubs, etc,i wish i could meet a local woman who has had her flings in life and would be ready to settle down to a slower paced home life with a successful man. the clocks ticking and why some women are still willing to wait for the perfect guy who does not exist beats me

            • peggysue says:

              hi john, I know you dont know me, but I came across your conversation with anne.I must say with all honesty I agree with what you said. where is your area. thanks for the time…

              • JOHN says:


                • Janie says:

                  I love the elderly people on this site claiming they look 20 & even 30 years younger then their age, can’t stop laughing. I was at a trade center this weekend & one elderly lady was telling me she makes $500 a day being an Eliz. Taylor look a like in Vegas, dang was she an old hag with tons of make up on. Then this other old lady was telling me she was an important govt. employee & traveled to the Pentagon alot. Both having junky booths by themselves. I was just shopping & couldn’t believe that strangers brag how beautiful & great they are. I politely excused myself quickly. What happened to humbling yourself. Maybe you make believe you look so youthful but I could bet that a mirror may tell a different story. You may think you look 20 going to a gym but your skin sags & looks old & will never be that 20 year glow again. Please face facts & grow old gracefully, it is really a better way to go.

                  • Mae says:

                    well Janie you can really hand it out
                    can’t you?–who are you to decide who is
                    beautiful and who is not?–if someone thinks
                    they look younger than they are so what–
                    if it gets that person to a gym or just out
                    and about who cares how much makeup they
                    ware?–old hag-junkie booths–grow old
                    gracefully–sounds very judgmental to me
                    –be careful Janie words wound too: Mae

              • john says:

                peggysue, did you read my last entry??

            • Lori Bres says:

              Part of your problem is the amount of time you spend working. How are you supposed to meet anyone if you don’t try. I am 59, divorced, female and there are few men out there and those that think their job is more important than their life are ones I have no use for. You don’t want a friend or a companion, you want a housemaid. Well, hire one then. We have no use for your type.

              • john says:

                lori, its not that my job is more important than some woman i would love to date, its just that the choices one has at 60 are few and far between. i would be happy to curtail my work for the right woman, but so far no luck, and dating sites forget it, there is more incinserity on them than in Washington

  12. Ron says:

    Feel the same. Wanted to get married and have a family, but an accident set me back a few years. Now I’m 50. Left home and moved 2400 miles away, never went back. Since I’m single, no woman will even get close. I go into the back country by myself, bike by myself, live alone. so I ask you; What is the point? Feel like I’m just using the air someone with a future should be using.

    • Russ says:

      Ron i hear you. I have no more family so if it weren’t for my religion i’d bite the bullet.

    • Joan says:

      I am sorry to hear that. Sometimes I forget that there are men out there feeling just as isolated. As for you being 50, single/never married, that might actually be a plus for some women. It is really difficult to meld into a ready made family, if older children aren’t ready or willing for their parent to move on. Some women might find your marital status a relief.

  13. starbright says:

    I am 61 and look I am told like I am 40 this is a problem. the older guys think I am a gold digger (I am financially stable pension). The younger guys look to me for their financial security. I am just sitting here like a deer in the headlights. I exercise daily because it gets me out of the house and in contact with others if only for an hour…I go to concerts with girlfriends…but I am still lonely as hell…I have no clue what to do about this. I do not want a roommate. or a buddy. I want a deep meaningful relationship but I just do not see that in my immediate future..I am tired of going to the traditional meetup places…they have not yielded anyone of worth for me emotionally.

    • 2nd chance says:

      Wow. Who knew this was going to be so hard! It wasn’t that many years ago lady’s wanted to be with me,but I was married. Now can’t find 1 with a bloodhound. I appreciate your story. I thought it was just a man thing.

      • starbright says:

        No its not a man thing. I think the age of texting and being impersonal, not creating face to face talking has taken a toll on our “manners” and personal well being. People do not know how to interact anymore. I met a guy 66 for first time meeting first thing out of his mouth was how he liked sex?????????? well I do too but I dont think that is the way to start a conversation. I mean at 16 with hormones raging that would have been a consideration not at 61 I think you have to talk to me about other things to get me interested and have an emotional attachment first…He told me he couldnt wait 3 months for that attachment…adios …. if he had hung in there he might have found that it could have been less time…but since he didnt even want to try to get to know me why should I waste my time? this is just crazy…ness.. If you want sex go pay for it…I want a relationahip ..friends and sex and the hold 9 yards. If I screwed every person I dated what does that make me? come on guys, duhhhhh. match, eharmony, datehookup it seems to me guys do not know how to “court” someone…time invested is what you get back out of it…zero investment…zero relationship…am I wrong…thinking like this?

        • starbright says:

          then their is this on a dating site…this is just what the hell I want to do (sarcasm) be a sisterwife, “I’m seeking another woman to join our family who believes a relationship should be equal with the man as head of household and able to provide for his family whether it be financially, emotionally or physically. Unfortunately in this day and age where most men need to be taken care of by the women they’re with, has forced women to take on the role of men. And it’s rare to find a woman with traditional values. We live in a monogamous relationship, and we are seeking another woman to join our family long term. We are down to earth, and have a no stress no drama relationship, we have no problems and have a very laid back home life. We are seeking more than just another woman, we are looking for a sister wife who is not bi-sexual, because what we seek is not about sex, it is about a committed life long relationship. I’m retired from the military, emotionally, and financially secure,and would like to find a woman who is free-spirited, and enjoys a variety of interests, and knows that with honesty and communication we can share a lifetime of unconditional love.”

        • Laura says:

          No, I have heard exactly the same experience from my friends who use those sites. Seriously, go get a hooker. If that was the first thing someone said to me on a date, I would be up and gone at that moment.

        • Joan says:

          No, you are SO right about this. I had a man tell me that if I would not comply, he could easily find a younger woman. I, in my “older years” should be grateful for his interest. Really????? I still get a laugh from that. I would rather be friends first, that would weed out the players.

    • greta says:

      In the same boat… what to do??.. just enjoy yourself…. concentrate on You… I Just do it!. GO dancing.. GO to Movies, Concerts, Travel.. Restuarant..ALONE… if a friend wants to come along… fine.. I dont rely on ANYONE anymore to make my life work….
      I belong to cycling groups, music, reading.. and art groups… BUT these people are Not friends… they are people to chat with… and it breaks up the monotony of being alone.
      My family are IN OZ… Im intouch with them… kids in London… have their own lives, and programmes… and I certainly dont want to interrupt things there. SO in a nutshell… this is the New World..
      Everyone is alone… even married people…. who are trapped…
      Consider your self really Lucky… you look good,feel good, healthy,no money problems.. Just BE….
      btw find me on Twitter….

      • Janie says:

        Greta, I don’t know anywhere to go dance, don’t dance so well. I am afraid of traveling alone, could get murdered if my older SUV breaks down. To sit in a restuarant alone is no fun & I would prefer carry out instead of looking bewildered. I don’t belong to any groups, for one thing I don’t believe there are any groups in my area. I ride my bike alone in spring & summer. I walk my dog alone in summer. I sit in my kitchen alone. I sit on my porch swing alone. I rarely visit my grandkids that live close by cause I don’t feel welcomed by the wives of my sons, so don’t bother, they seem happier that way anyways. After retirement no one prepared me for this complete isolation. Maybe I am responsible for this but I think the older pals I had abandoned me totally & are very short & unfriendly towards me when I do see them. I do agree with you that health is very important along with money stabilty so I feel somewhat at ease today. If I can only get over the lonely feeling & accept it like you have all will be well.

        • JOHN says:


      • pariah says:

        I’m really glad you have the money to do all those things. I don’t. So what do people like me do? Just deal???

        • STARBRITE says:

          this is what I found out…meetup.com ENTER YOUR ZIPCODE they have events that say its 8 to get in they have a special code you only pay 4…you look for ‘outings” that cost nothing…they go to the festivals…which is free…as a group, they go to bike riding or hiking for evening walking …I just say that one…they walk miles around their neighborhood…volunteer..but you have to have gas to get there..but I guess you see what I mean..there are “free” activities…they even meet at peoples homes for card games like Euchre…or some other game..there is always somewhere to go…I just get tired of going ALONE. going dancing tonight, and I can dance alone if no one asks me and no one thinks its weird…they have places that have free learn to dance classes for an hour or two then mix and mingle after…i was learning the two step qqss…? quick quick slow slow

        • Nadine says:

          Volunteer… get a pet and go on long walks… share your expertise with a group or children or a church
          I know it’s easier said than done, I am still working and I don’t know what retirement has in store for me. I hope I can find a job and be active forever.
          Be strong, put a smile on your face and go for it no matter what it is.
          Good luck

          • Janie says:

            I love when people say just do this or just do that & everything will be fine & dandy. Why are we on this site if we haven’t already tried everything humanly possible. I’m sure it may be easier in a retirement home or something but many of us live in single family homes all alone. I get out & ride my bike alone, I walk the trails in the park alone, I shop alone, I sleep alone, except my 3 dogs that I do love, eat alone, etc. I don’t even run into anyone that has a single word to say. I pretend I am in solitary confinement except am free to move about & have to survive alone, it does seem to help.

        • Lonnie F. Hamel says:

          Volunteer. The Animal Shelters need help walking dogs, or assisting with adoptions, or working with paperwork at spay clinics or those local Petsmart adoption events. Meals On Wheels could sure use help driving stuff. The local food bank always needs help. Hospitals need greeters to help frightened family locate their loved ones. Instead of praying for God to fix this, try looking for what God is doing and join Him. Did you ever realize that your local cancer center might really appreciate you handing out the snacks and blankets to the chemo patients? I promise, when my spouse dumped me to die of cancer, my friends vanished, my church spent all their time spreading rumors about me…yes…I truly felt like a bulldozer had squished the life out of me. But when you have not one person on the planet who gives a s–t about you, you still have Jesus. And if you just force yourself to be a part of something, God will bring the right people into your life.

    • STARBRITE says:

      John, I am/was beginning to feel that way but then I look at my cousin and she met a guy online and he drove (afraid of flying) from Louisiana to Arizona to meet her. He put himself up somewhere and arranged a meeting last August…then she flew down there….thanksgiving he was driving again…Christmas he drove again with a ring. They will be married this June. So I see their happiness and there is hope. Someone is out there for me. waiting.

      • Nadine says:

        I don’t believe life with someone is the answer. People can make each other so miserable. Friends are much better unless of course you find a gem. I wouldn’t go dancing for the same reasons you mentioned but there are other things. How about joining a book club or all the other ideas mentioned in other comments. I agree that it takes some money but a part time job in a hospital, store, library, school, church, could help with extra cash.

      • john says:

        starbrite, thats a great story,and such a happy ending. i too would travel a great distance for the right woman, and to be married again would be wonderful. the dates Ive had from dating sites were all lack luster, with peole who gave false info on the dating site.maybe you are different??

        • John I am on match for 3 more months, I will not rejoin. I am also on pof.com which by the way is free, totally free for anyone who wants to use that dating site. I am star brite 3219 with no spaces. You can make a completely filled out profile with a picture and contact me, no picture no replies. What I have found is that when you are old (61 soon to be 62 in May), female,intelligent, self sufficient with a pension from working 30 years and black that is a hard row to hoe and a bitter pill to swallow for many men….especially with guys who have viagra and feel as though younger women are all they want and can handle. My ex was white and we were married 13 years before I divorced him. my first husband was black he died of prostate cancer. This is not my first rodeo but I sure as heck hope to find my very last rodeo before I leave this earth. lol Man was not meant to be alone. It says so in the bible.

          • greta says:

            Ha HA HA LOL!!! You TELL Em… StarBrite Baby!!

            • Starbrite3219 says:

              I guess I sound somewhat aggressive, but no, its just at this age I know what I have experienced and have had to deal with in my life. I know what I do not want to do again. Submissive to a man, well yeah I can do that however only if the man is holding up his end of the agreement (trust in each other) we have made. So if you come into my life with something on the table to offer me (either equal to what I have or more)then I can stand by my man proudly, most women would and really want to. Its when men “say” they want to be head of household and then do not”show you” hold up to their personal responsibilities (emotional openness, physically demonstrative and financially able to support themselves first and after a relationship forms,with their significant other/want to be wife. Or at least meet half and half financially). Times are hard out here, we all have had “other” lives/children, our wills/homes are setup to be given to our families. Most men and women do this, so the only thing men have to offer a woman at this age is their mind, heart and body…its not about finance anymore for most and if it is one of us has to accept the responsibility to do it. I am a help mate. I am not a provider. So come knowingly to the table that this is what is expected..I don’t know about other women and most men and women wont even talk about this but should. We are too old not to talk about it. Probably the reason my dating card is not full…lol but thats ok because I am upfront about what I am looking for and b.s. walks/passes me by. Not looking for a “mister right now” looking for a long term. I can wait. He will seek me out when he sees the qualities I have. That’s why I go to functions so he can find me. He can’t find me if I stay at home in the house????? The other thing is knowing when a guy is flirting. I went to a car auction got home and after wondered why someone started talking to me..(which I answered his question and then brushed him off.) So I have to retrain myself to know when someone is flirting and how to speak and act. Oh this is worse than going back to college….training to date/flirt.

Leave a Reply

Visit GirlfriendSocial.com