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What is the best way to start new Social Activities

(123 Posts)
Flossieturner Wed 05-Apr-17 09:06:25

For the past 10 years have been the sole carer for elderly Inlaws and parents. They have all died now and this last year has been like being let out of prison. This phase of my life has coincided with my 4 eldest GKs starting work and the 4 youngest going to full-time school. I am no longer required for child-care and my DCs and partners are busy with their careers.

I have no friends, I do enjoy my own company and I would not say I am lonely exactly. I would like to join some sort of social activity, but I don't know how to go about it. The thought of walking into a group where people already have friendships is a bit overwhelming. I definitely don't want to do volunteering. There is no WI in my area. Has anyone any ideas how a 70 I can get a bit of a social life. Have you ever done it?

Jayanna9040 Wed 05-Apr-17 09:13:34

How fit are you? It makes a difference.

Teetime Wed 05-Apr-17 09:20:08

I think I might start in the library to see what's on offer locally. Volunteering is a good way to get back into the social world but you need to have some idea of the things that might attract you. Don't be afraid to start something and drop it if it doesn't suit you- sometimes it takes a while to find a niche. Lots of people enjoy U3A as it offers a good range of activites. Good luck with it and keep us posted.

MawBroon Wed 05-Apr-17 09:32:41

I can well understand how having all this time to yourself when your time has been devoted to others can be a daunting prospect. It can also be easy to get sucked into things you then find it hard to get out of!
I would start with my own interests, then look at what is available in my area or with easy access.
Do you like being involved with the public? Volunteering in a charity shop or at your local hospital.
Are you physical? Walking groups
Artistic? Art History/drawing/painting groups
Animals? Helping with walking rescue dogs/riding for the disabled
Crafty? Knitting groups -check out your nearest wool shop
Reading?Look in your library to see if there are any book groups listed.
The fear of rejection is probably entirely unfounded, it can be harder to disentangle yourself if you find something is not for you!
Good luck.
If course you could be like me and spend far too much time on GN instead grin

Jayanna9040 Wed 05-Apr-17 09:34:36

And me!

radicalnan Wed 05-Apr-17 09:51:02

I do voluntary work but it isn't what I'd call a social life. I want to be out dancing on tables in the wee small hours, engaging in debates with existentialists, have artists begging me to be their muse / model..........shot dead in bed by a jealous lover.

Alas all the stuff on offer is interest based, forced and pedestrian as far as I am concerned..........

Just filling time until the box.

Eloethan Wed 05-Apr-17 09:53:44

Do a search on the internet to see what is available - put in something like [area] classes and clubs. If there is a Gransnet Local up and running for your area, there may well be some information there.

Over the years I have joined many established classes and groups - choirs, art classes, writing groups, theatre study groups, etc. - and have always found people to be welcoming and friendly.

moobox Wed 05-Apr-17 09:54:15

Adult education is often a good way in to meeting people. Admittedly I was much younger, but at 60 I decided to start a new hobby - in my case photography - and went straight into doing a course. Joining a camera club was an obvious development, and is very sociable.

dollyjo Wed 05-Apr-17 09:57:09

You don't have to go to a WI in your area, you can go to any. I would always suggest going to 3 as a visitor as they are all so different. You can then decide if there is one for you. If you don't like walking in alone give the President or Secretary a ring and they will arrange to meet you. I wish you lived in Derbyshire and then I could put you in touch with someone as I am a W.I. Federation Trustee.

The other group with some good reports is U3A but I am not a member.

Good luck!

BlueBelle Wed 05-Apr-17 09:57:59

Why so against volunteering I ve made wonderful friends over the years through volunteering in fact one of my best friends of 25 years came through us both volunteering She had recently arrived from Bulgaria and volunteered where I was already established, to try and find some company We hit it off straight the way although she was about 25 years younger than me We ended lifelong buddies going off to music festivals cinema shows bbqs together having many a glass of wine and lots of laughs and tears ....about five years ago she and her husband moved to NZ and we miss each other

trisher Wed 05-Apr-17 09:58:29

The U3A has a huge and thriving organisation here with groups that are looking at many things, everything from walking to family history, so you might find something to suit you there. Do you have a hobby? If so look for a group that is centred on that, if not try lots of things and see what suits. If you have a local library they might be able to help with book clubs etc. Age UK often have groups and classes.

LouP Wed 05-Apr-17 09:58:40

Go to Bridge lessons. Bridge is the most fascinating game . It will consume your mind and you will make loads of new friends. It is impossible not to make friends if you do go to lessons.

lizh Wed 05-Apr-17 09:59:28

Investigate the local WI. Ours is a large vibrant one with a huge array of 'subgroups' eg walking, theatre, various crafts, singles, books, singing, coffee, golf ....the list goes on, plus you get to meet everyone once a month at WI meetings. Investigate thoroughly though, there are WIs and then there are other WIs!!

SusieV Wed 05-Apr-17 10:01:58

Find out about your local Rotary clubs. They are always on the lookout for new members and friendship is p art of their philosophy.

Lyndie Wed 05-Apr-17 10:03:23

Hi Flossie. I moved to a new area recently. Joined a group called meetup. It's a website where individuals or groups post what they do and where to meet. It's can be anything from a meal, walks, books, theatre. So many to list. I live just outside Bath and there is something going on every evening and some things during the day. At the moment in this area there is a comedy festival, so people are organising meetup to go to these. You can also post something yourself, if you want to go somewhere and don't want to go alone. Anywhere in the world there are meet ups. Although I look at the uk website. Google it. It also lets you know what's going on in your local area. Enjoy. They are very friendly groups. And often, if you are new, the organiser will meet you beforehand to put you at your ease.

mags1234 Wed 05-Apr-17 10:08:41

I've just joined meet up in my local area Scotland, yet to go, but it sounds ideal. Also the university of third age isn't all intellectual. In our area there are health walks which only last half hour. Good luck, try and do something before the winter, it's easier to go out in summer and spring.

mernice Wed 05-Apr-17 10:09:36

Look out your nearest U3A. They have a monthly meeting with speaker but also lots of separate interest groups which I think might be just right for you. Hope you find something that you really enjoy.

patriciageegee Wed 05-Apr-17 10:10:13

Made me laugh radicalnan and think you should be putting pen to paper to turn those mad longings into a proper book - even if it is only 'fictionfornans' there's a lot of us out there feeling the same! And flossie is there no local food bank/charity coffee shop where you could spend a couple of hours in the week? In the past, i've always got myself a bar job as it's a great way to meet people without the committment of making friends as such and while a bar job isn't really feasible at my age making teas and serving cake is fine at any age lol! Hope you find something to suit

Pamaga Wed 05-Apr-17 10:12:11

My OH and I belong to a local Facebook group that has been very active in terms of raising money for charity and also which runs a variety of social activities from dog-walking to Christmas parties. Perhaps there is one in your area that you could join.
I subscribe to Yours Magazine and that has a regular column 'Find a Friend' through which you can locate others in your area of a similar age with similar interests either as a penpal or to meet up for coffee, lunch etc.

mernice Wed 05-Apr-17 10:13:06

If you haven't heard of it, it's University of the third age but don't be put off by the name. It's a really good idea. If you google it you'll find out all about it. Good Luck.

Flossieturner Wed 05-Apr-17 10:13:18

The reasons why I do t want to volunteer are many and varied and may seem selfish. The 10 years looking after 3 difficult and ungrateful people took their toll on me. Shopping, cooking, hospital appointments, financial stuff that I did for them was never enough. I heard so often ' Nobody visits'. Making me realise that I was nobody in their eyes.Then dealing with the deaths, house clearing, financial things was just as draining. I don't want the obligation that volunteering will require.

I don't drive but do have excellent public transport links. Arthritus means I am a little bit restricted. I can't use my hands very well but am otherwise quite fit.

I think finding something I am interested in and doing a learning course might be the way. I feel that I have totally lost the 'me' and I don't want to turn into a misery. My kids phone and say "what have you been up to Mum? I want say something positive, instead of "Oh you know, this and that". I need a bit of push to get me started though.

Welshwife Wed 05-Apr-17 10:13:27

There are also meetup groups in all areas of the country. When DD moved away from everyone because of work she started a meetup group as there wasn't one in the area and had 100 members in a few months. Now she has moved again to a new area she has joined the one up and running and met new people.

Google ' meet up group' and add the area you are. They organise all sorts of things from meals out and pub evenings or cinema visits. All ages go and the mix is good. There are also rambles and that sort of thing. If a new person was attending a meet up DD would always be on the lookout and meet the person.

Good luck with your quest - I am sure you will meet some nice people. X X

Lynros Wed 05-Apr-17 10:13:58

As Trisher has already suggested - join your local U3A. It opens up a variety of groups that you could join. I moved to a new area and it has proved one of the best things to have done to make new friends.

BlueBelle Wed 05-Apr-17 10:17:06

Just an addition in our area all the adult ed classes have all ceased, funding I guess because in the past I've done art courses pottery and even a painting and decorating course but there's none of them available any more just saying as it could be the case in the OP s area

willia Wed 05-Apr-17 10:19:51

I too like my own company and am seldom bored, but sometimes I feel I should be 'Doing More'! ....

I'm certainly not good at making the first move, but it does help enormously if it is towards an interest - I joined a painting group, where I knew no-one at first, but have made several long term friends. and this led to my going on painting holidays in Tuscany and Greece... on my own.

I read a lot, so I joined a U3A group at the library - the critiques sometimes get heated, try not to take it personally!

I also belong to a very small on-line forum [30 women] and we have had several meets where oddly enough we have become real friends.

Bridge? Not for me, I tried but was hopeless! - shame, because it is a good social skill.

If you meet anyone you like through a social activity, have courage to ask them round for a chat and a cuppa - or a walk - or a meet up on a shopping expedition - say "I'm going into Town on ..... I'll be in John Lewis at 11am ..fancy a coffee?"