Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

How do I start to make friends

(58 Posts)
eileen66 Wed 30-Aug-17 09:46:16

I'm 67 and looking for friends in my area . I'm not confident find it hard some days to even go to the local shop ,,,

GrandmaMoira Wed 30-Aug-17 10:11:47

Try joining something like adult education classes, where you will have a shared interest to discuss, or the WI or a pensioners' club or volunteer. Even if you don't make close friends, you will have someone to talk to.

grannylyn65 Wed 30-Aug-17 10:14:40

Join U3 a, its marvellous!! Something for everyone And the groups are just starting up.!

Oriel Wed 30-Aug-17 10:30:08

I agree with the others - adult learning is the way to go. You might not make friends there but it will get you out and you'll have the opportunity to meet people with a common interest.

Friendships may follow but it's probably not the best thing to sign up for a course solely for friendship as you may come across as too needy. Sign up for something you're interested in and enjoy it for its own sake.

Lindylo Wed 30-Aug-17 10:40:08

Do you have a WI or Townswomen's Guild in your area? Both groups are a very friendly bunch and welcoming.

Humbertbear Wed 30-Aug-17 11:17:10

I joined an art class and made two good friends. My sister has a busy social life based on her gym. I think it's important to join groups according to your own interests and U3A has loads of interest groups.

Jennieantliff Wed 30-Aug-17 11:17:49

The WI is a great way to make new friends.

frue Wed 30-Aug-17 11:18:40

It is hard later in life. Suggest you do things you want to do - U3A, classes, volunteering and Hope to make friends as a result. I joined U3A and love the group but have not made a friend that way but volunteering you're doing something and get to know people at the same time
Good Luck - it is hard as other people seem to be so "busy"

Granpe Wed 30-Aug-17 11:31:19

Do you have to have been to University to join U3A ?

jansuffolk Wed 30-Aug-17 11:32:54

I moved last year and have found it difficult. I'm still working so you'll have more flexibility if you're able to do things in the day. I'm finding with my age group...mid very hard but think it will be better for you. Good advice from everyone! Any tips for me would be helpful...I work out of the area so can't make friends there.

Applegran Wed 30-Aug-17 11:33:03

I agree that U3A is a great way to meet people, and I understand how easy it is to feel unsure of yourself, especially if you move to a new area. I hope you will understand what I want to say now - I have in my life had depression and what you say about its being hard even to go to the local shop rings bells for me. I wonder if you may be a bit depressed? So many people experience this some time in their lives but I remember feeling embarrassed about it and not wanting other people to know, so I didn't ask for someone to help. I have recovered and I now know it would have been a good thing to find someone to talk to - a trusted friend, or maybe a counsellor. This can help greatly. And if you can find a way to volunteer to help others, that too over time can hugely help your own mood. But you may also like to do something else - there is a lot of evidence that regular walking can lift depression and many people recover from it entirely with walking, and without medication. You would need to work up to walking at least 30 minutes a day, (more if possible - say 40 minutes or an hour) some of it brisk walking so you get a bit out of breath, and at least 5 days a week. At first you may be reluctant - but if you do it any way, I am betting you will find it helps a lot. Just being out of doors, in the light of the sky, is good for how we feel. Walking and talking to someone can make a huge difference to your life. I wish you well eileen66

Applegran Wed 30-Aug-17 11:36:37

Granpe - no you don't have to have been to university to join U3A. It is not a university in the usual sense - it doesn't ask for, or give, qualifications. It is a way for older people to meet and learn together, and well worth joining. I hope you will join it and enjoy what it offers.

Coconut Wed 30-Aug-17 11:45:30

"Over 50 Meet Up" Groups are very well spread now, search on line and see if there's one in your area. I go to shows, Jazz nights, meals out, seafront walks, cinema trips etc Others Meet Up to go dog walking, " come dine with me " groups, keep fit, yoga, choir groups, and even belly dancing .... there really is something for everyone. You will meet loads of new people in the same position as you. Also, research single travellers groups.

Crazygran Wed 30-Aug-17 11:47:32

What is your area ?

mumofmadboys Wed 30-Aug-17 11:54:30

U 3A groups can be practical interests. I do table tennis, cycling, walking and water sports with our group. We have 42 different groups so something for everyone

Lindajane Wed 30-Aug-17 11:59:46

My aunt was widowed a few years ago and most of her friends were couples. Someone suggested WI. She didn't think it'd be for her she says it's the best decision she's made! She's made lots of new friends and even been on holiday with a few!

jansuffolk Wed 30-Aug-17 12:00:25

Thanks Coconut, I did look at some 'Meet up groups but couldn't find much. Most of it was in Norwich and I'm South on the Norfolk/Suffolk border near Diss. I shall look again.

Tweedle24 Wed 30-Aug-17 12:03:58

You ask how you can make friends. If you area widow, try "Jolly Dollies". They are on line. I had them pointed out to me by Cruse when my husband died.
You will see contact details for widows in your area who are looking for companions for visits to theatre, cinema etc. or just for a cuppa.

Some areas have events organised.

harrysgran Wed 30-Aug-17 12:13:36

I still work full-time but as I live alone weekends and bank holidays can be lonely the thing is the longer it as gone on the more it is starting to become difficult to make the effort to change I looked at a few things online including U3A but most of the activities are during the day

Magrithea Wed 30-Aug-17 12:21:35

As a WI President I can certainly recommend joining a WI, there may be several in your area so have a look here -

There are lots of other organisations that want volunteers and are very welcoming. I've been involved with Riding for the Disabled (RDA) for many years and most groups welcome new help with open arms! You can find your local group here -

We have a community shop which is always happy to have new volunteers - you don't have to serve, you can help in other ways often.

good luck!

NameChange2016 Wed 30-Aug-17 13:05:45

My late mother always used to quote Enid Blyton, who said if you want to have a friend you have to be a friend.

BlueBelle Wed 30-Aug-17 13:57:30

It's Easy to tell Eileen to join a group which is of course the most obvious way to make friends but for some people walking into an established group can be really impossible to do I know I find it incredibly difficult myself
I think volunteering maybe a better way to start with anyway as it's not quite so obvious you are doing it for company and you do get a good feeling knowing you are helping

midgey Wed 30-Aug-17 14:02:26

Is there a local school near? They are often very grateful for people to help with reading, basically you sit with a child who will read to you, you may need to help them with one or two words but no more than that. Try -it's always worth it!

grandtanteJE65 Wed 30-Aug-17 14:10:58

Do you like dogs? If so, taking your dog for walks can be a good way of chatting with neighbours who also are dog-owners.

I agree with BlueBelle, volunteering might be a good idea, either in a local charity shop or at some cause that interests you.

SueDonim Wed 30-Aug-17 14:32:10

Volunteering is a great idea. Around here they'd snap your hand off for your services!

On a social level, there's NWR, which I've always found to be very friendly.

You could also ask in your library if there are any book groups, if you like to read.

Good luck!