• Few or No Friends

Late-life mom having trouble making friends

November 23, 2016 | By | 6 Replies Continue Reading
A late-life mom asks for suggestions on how to make and find friends.

QUESTION

Hello,

I was just surfing my computer trying to figure out why I don’t have any friends. I have a very different life. I’m 50 and just had a baby. My hubby and I have been married for over twenty years. Late to the game you could say … but not from lack of trying.

Anyway, I’m so happy. My son’s two and I love him dearly. My problem is I can’t make one friend. Even before I had a child I only socialized with my husband. I get along great at work, but I’m kind of a loaner there too with the lunch thing (I feel like I’m still in high school being socially inadequate).

I’m too tired to have anyone over and my house is a mess. I’m just working and commuting and trying to keep my son happy. I’m worried because I can’t make friends (my hubby doesn’t have friends either).

We joke that that’s just the way it is, but I’m concerned that my poor son won’t see any positive examples of friendships. I just don’t connect to people and I don’t know why. Anyhow, if you could please give me a suggestion as to how I might be able to find or make friends (Being an old mom puts other mothers off I’m sure).

My neighbors? I don’t see them. It’s not that kind of neighborhood. Everyone is busy. We have a very small support group, just my brother whom we never see either. Thank you.

Signed, Mindy

ANSWER

Hi Mindy,

It’s understandable that you might feel a little out of sync with other moms who are much younger than you. Yet increasingly, women are bearing children at older ages so you’ll probably find moms of all ages at school and on the playground.

Friendships “click” because two people find they have things in common—even though they may also have many differences. Although a woman may be chronologically younger than you, the common experience of raising a first child may be a more important connection, one that can bridge age discrepancies, if there is an ease of communication between you

Realistically, this has to very busy time for you as you juggle motherhood and your career. I suspect you don’t have a lot of free time right now but if you are truly desirous of making new friendships, you need to set aside time to work at it.

Do you belong to any groups or organizations where you might meet other women? Even joining a gym that you attend regularly can get you out of the house, and place you among other people who might be potential friends. Perhaps, you can arrange for your husband to watch your son one or two evenings each week to allow you to have “me time.”

Do you have any special hobbies, talents or interests that you would like to pursue? You could check whether the focus of any existing Meetup.com groups in your community resonate with your interests. You might even start a group of “Late Life Moms.”

You are right that it’s important to develop a network of support around you before you need it! You didn’t explain why you have had long-standing problems making friends but if this is a problem that has persisted over time, you may want to speak to a counselor to gain insight into the barriers getting in your way.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene

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Category: HAVING NO FRIENDS

Comments (6)

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  1. Mara says:

    Joining a group fitness studio is how I have made the most friends later in life. I know a few workouts that really cater to moms and provide child care. There is a real community, social feel that goes beyond just the workouts. I have made friends both much younger than me and friends much older than me. We are all in different places in our lives, but we still share common interests and goals. Plus you never know the inspiration you may be to someone in their late 30’s or 40’s who hasn’t met a mate or been able to have a child earlier in life.

    You don’t need to be exceptionally fit to start a workout program, but it’s a good way to get out of the house, carve out a little bit of time to yourself, make some new friends, work toward some new goals, burn adrenaline and stress, and leave with some feel good endorphins flying. I didn’t discover fitness until much later in life and it has helped me in all areas of my life. But more than anything it has made me feel part of a social community, be around positive, uplifting people, and meet so many different new people and friendships. I like small boutique studios and motivating trainers, more than just joining a gym and being there on my own.

  2. Batphink says:

    Hi Mindy,
    I’m unsure what country you and your husband are in I am in Ontario Canada.I’d say I’d like to get to know you both as I have the same problem though I apparently have 96 friend’s on Facebook but no-one calls me ever,even when I lived with my last girlfriend for nearly 6 years and ended it last Nov 2015.
    I am just a normal guy of Brit heritage,have a few health issues but mobile etc,no drugs,no drink no.smoke etc no criminal record,just ordinary I guess though very creative.I chat away to people in the shops behind the counter or in line but I don’t get it either.

    Good Luck to you both and others on here if anyone feels like typing at each other a little let me know cheers
    Batphink 🙂

  3. Nancy says:

    Perhaps you could think of it this way: don’t think about making friends, think of BEING a friend when you encounter people, whether it’s in the natural course of what you do (doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, etc.) or if you make an effort to try different groups.

    A sincere smile goes a long way with people and can be very disarming! Don’t be afraid to let people see your vulnerabilities to a degree. You feel like your house is a mess? I think most moms of young children do! You feel awkward socially? Many, many people have social anxiety!

    Try to remember that you are an imperfect human being and that is GOOD! People who appear like they have it all together can be intimidating. You are part of the human family and you have a lot in common with others even though you may not realize it.its just finding the people with whom you feel comfortable and realize you can let your hair down and have a friend over for coffee in your well-lived in kitchen!

    I wish the best for you and your family!

  4. Mary says:

    Creating a meetup group for Late Night Mom’s is a great idea. Those usually meet in a public place; you wouldn’t need to think twice about having people over.

    Apart from the meetup suggestion…I have a few mom’s in my life that make the mistake of making every conversation revolve around their child(ren). If that’s something you do, find other things to discuss.

  5. Amy F says:

    Great that you realize you need to model socialization for your son; insight is half the battle. Don’t discount the value of friendships with women from different generations. Even if you are old enough to be your son’s grandmother, as some only friends and family are, you might enjoy some playgroup time for you and your son. Think about Mommy and Me music, exercise or other classes. You will probably have an easier time finding older parents that way too. You might also check with your son’s pediatrician for suggestions on activities for older moms and kids.

  6. Sandra says:

    It’s really great that you are seeing the need for friends and looking for ways to make that happen. It’s not clear in your letter to Irene whether or not you’ve actively tried to “reach out” to other people. I know many women who wait for others to initiate plans — and get upset when other women don’t. In many cases, everyone’s waiting for someone else to make the first move, or maybe they are afraid of rejection?

    You say your house is a “mess,” but I wonder if there’s another reason why you are not comfortable about having company in your home?

    Either way, friendships need nurturing and care. You might try talking to a couple of your neighbors to see if they are interested in meeting for lunch once or twice a month, on a regular basis. Or find a couple of other women you would like to meet and invite them over for coffee, or out to breakfast.

    Taking evening classes as Irene suggested is another way to meet people — or is there a group of school moms you could meet?

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