• Making Friends

Making Friends After 60: What Are The Options?

Published: March 24, 2010 | Last Updated: April 17, 2022 By | 10 Replies Continue Reading
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Making friends after 60 can be challenging but there are a number of options to help people connect.

QUESTION

Dear Irene,

At age 66, I lost a very close friend (after a 45-year friendship) when she moved out of state. We talk on the phone once a week but that isn’t the same. I am happily married, but I need a good female friend.

I do have other friends but I feel the need for more. I still work, am tall, slim, dress well, attractive and “well preserved,” but I find that making new friends at this age very, very difficult.

Everyone at work is younger than me, and even people in their 40s don’t seem to want to “hang around” with people in their 60s. I don’t volunteer, because working three days a week and taking care of other appointments, housework, etc., I simply don’t have energy to also do volunteer work. I am religious but do not belong to a church, as I don’t feel a need to. Any good suggestions for making friends after 60 or 65?

Signed,
Claire

ANSWER

Hi Claire:

I’ve gotten numbers of letters from women of all ages who-like you-are craving female friendships. So if it’s at all reassuring, please know that your situation is not unique.

There are so many different times in a woman’s life, when she may feel like she wants more or different friends than she has, for a variety of reasons.

Age can be a real barrier so I don’t want to trivialize that. At age 65, you qualify for Medicare, which is a milestone, but even eldercare experts are coming to realize that being elderly has more to do with someone’s functional limitations and state of mind than their chronological age. On that basis, you may still be young and active.

The best advice I could give you is to pursue your own hobbies and interests so you are an interesting person and can meet people who are like-minded. If church or the regular commitment of volunteer work doesn’t appeal to you, cross those options off your list and find other ways to put yourself in contact with new people.

  • Are there continuing education classes in your community?
  • A senior center where you could drop in (even though you would be on the young side)?
  • A swimming or exercise class, or nearby gym you could join?
  • Are there book clubs or civic organizations in your community?
  • Do you have any interest in connecting with someone from your past (e.g. with whom you went to high school or college)?
  • Might you be able to connect with a younger person at work through an interest you share in common (e.g. knitting, movies, etc.)?

There is an organization called MeetUp.com where people who are looking for companionship can either start groups in their local communities or join existing ones. They are organized by interest and by zip code. Some are specifically focused on seniors, if you feel more comfortable with your age peers. There may other online communities where you can meet people with shared interests.

Unfortunately, there is no simple fix to this problem other than to keep trying and to try different things. One caution: Try not to come across as too needy. Intimate friendships take time to develop.

Based on your life expectancy, you have the possibility of making new friendships that could easily last a couple of decades.

I’ll be so pleased when you post a letter telling of your success.

Sincerely,
Irene

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Category: MAKING FRIENDS

Comments (10)

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  1. Josie Ochoa says:

    I am 66, worked 30 years in the educational field, and promotional to many positions ending in the school nurses health office (unwillingly, but this or be fired) age does not agree with school districts. Worked in Events Scheduling for 15 years, which I loved. Very devoted and passionate, had many colleagues friends. Work friends for 30 years. 2010 retired or be fired. Traveled, family, reconnected with old friends, have 7 grandchildren to keep me busy, am divorced 26 years. Reconnection with old friends gas hit a bumpy road, they have family, high school, cancer survivor or the NeriumAD trend brainwashing….which leaves me with No friends, and a connection only to my grandchildren which is awesome, but adult conversation us not their expertise. My 3 children with whom have blessed me with the 7 grandkids…see me only as a babysitter….something i NEVER wanted to be. So here I am in a ready to have a nervous breakdown nutshell!

  2. Luella Nicholson says:

    Hello
    I know the feeling of being lonely, however,I am not really lonely but once in a while I wish I had someone to go for coffee with. I am 77 years old.

    I have a few hobbies which I truly enjoy, to a large degree I am comfortable with myself for company as I always seem to be busy, no busy busy, but either reading, a simple project around home like completing thorough housework one room at a time. Usually takes me about a week for each room.

    Another plus is that I am so comfortable at home, I like to follow the news on Fox and the Christian programs on tv.

    I just wanted to say how I fill my days. Also have two tuxedo cats, two little darlings named
    “Buddy and Bella.”

    Will talk to you again, in the meantime I am following this blog which I truly enjoy.

    Luella

  3. Gayle kelly says:

    I am in Utah and trying to connect more. Where are you?
    Gayle

  4. JoAnn says:

    Hi Ladies,
    I’m in the same boat. I’m 65 tried everything I know to meet new friends and not much is working. Its like everyone has their own friends, family or spouse and they don’t need me. Even my own family, few as they are doesn’t visit me very often and they live next door. I live in the country and far from everywhere. If you can get your local newspaper they list evens in your area. Go to anything & everything you can.I work part time and still don’t meet anyone.
    Best of luck to all of us.

  5. Teresa says:

    Yes I am 69 with no family and am very lonely. I have 2 friends but they are declining in health. I would like to meet someone who is able to get out and do a few things.

    • Norma says:

      Teresa I am 67 and lonely. I have tried the meet up sites and found them lacking. I engage in hobby interest to no avail. I am involved in my church but the other women (my age) have spouses and don’t seem to need new friends. I never thought I would feel so alone! I am told that I’m engaging, friendly, caring, attractive, and giving. I wondered how others deal with these feelings of loneliness. Glad I found this site. At least I know that I’m not the only one with these feelings. Like Sheila said “I’m looking for new friends-where do you live?”

    • Mary says:

      Bummer. Where are you?

    • Luella Nicholson says:

      Hi Teresa

      I noted your comment on the Friendship Blog and thought that I would answer you.

      My name is Luella, I live in Surrey, B.C.

      I only get out once a week as I had a problem with my back and so I need a type of a wheelchair to go shopping once a week with my son.

      This leaves me a lot of time alone, and with my sweet little tuxedo cats, Buddy and Bella.

      I would very much like to have a pen pal until my condition improves and I won’t need the wheelchair any more and then I would be able to go for coffee with you. Where do you live?

      I walk around my apartment with no supports
      for walking. I also have COPD.

      Bye for now, Teresa, looking forward to hearing from you.

      Luella

  6. Stanna says:

    Yes, I too am lonely for a good friend . I am 64 and find it hard to meet new people .

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