Gransnet forums


Making new friends!

(59 Posts)
blueangel Thu 08-Sep-22 11:59:04

Until July and throughout the summer holidays, I have been steadily involved in the care of my grandchildren. My daughter is now more able to look after them with her husband and I am now at a loss! I have dear friends, who, for one reason or another, are not as available as they were. My husband is still working and to be honest, we don't share the same interests. I now have to motivate myself, with somewhat limited funds, to find and enjoy, new activities and make new friends. I'm 71 , healthy and active. Suggestions please.

Mandrake Thu 08-Sep-22 12:04:02

I think people do move on quite quickly when lifestyles change, quite often. This probably happened a bit when you were busy with the grandchildren, so people have adopted new patterns of socialising than they had when you were more available yourself.

I'm sure they can again adopt a new pattern, but it might take time. Can you invite them for coffee or lunch somewhere? Get the ball rolling?

Otherwise, groups driven by interests seem to be good places to meet others. Gardening, books, exercise, for example.

FannyCornforth Thu 08-Sep-22 12:09:41

Hi BlueAngel this is an oldish thread that I’ve been ‘watching’ which has some good suggestions.
I’m at a sort of turning point in my life too

HowVeryDareYou Thu 08-Sep-22 23:19:46

FannyCornforth I posted that! I now do aqua aerobics 3 times a week, go to a day centre for 5 hours one day a week, do a telephone befriending thing once a week (I ring an elderly lady), and I've reconnected with a few people from years ago, so meet them every month for lunch and a look round the shops. I tried U3A but found it wasn't really for me.

Lathyrus Thu 08-Sep-22 23:42:17

Well if OH is anything to go by, the local bowls club.

I hardly see him since he joined😬

nanna8 Fri 09-Sep-22 00:22:14

I go to Red Hats and also Probus. I,too, found U3A not my thing though I might re-join if they have a subject that appeals. Probus is pretty big where I live and we do all sorts of different things, dining out, coffee mornings,cards, ukulele, cinema, wine tasting, trips to places of interest long and short. A lot of single ladies join because they like to have a travelling companion on holidays.

BlueBelle Fri 09-Sep-22 07:41:13

I can’t say VOLUNTEERING loudly enough helping others in whatever way is the biggest surge of the feel good factor that you can imagine you get to make friends (you are not using your heating selfish thought but practical ) you keep as busy as you want, you choose your times, do as much or as little as you like, you often get tea or coffee on duty what is there not to like
So many places are crying out for help from working with little kids to the elderly and everything between our parks all have a band of volunteers, if you like outdoor, gardening, Coast guard watch, lifeboat, schools need reading helpers, hospitals need hospitality help, community help needs drivers and of course shops and hundreds more opportunities

I ve been volunteering for 8 years and it has been my total saving in old age

Marydoll Fri 09-Sep-22 08:07:44

I made new friends by going to a meet ups, now I'm very much involved in organising the Glesca Grannies (note to self, to arrange the next one)
The last few meet ups had about seventeen people! Thank you lassies for your gift of friendship!

I have many friends, but they are all now involved in childminding, so very busy. I am amazed that I have been able to make new friends at my age.

Charleygirl5 Fri 09-Sep-22 08:23:34

I am like Marydoll I have also met new friends through meetups. I also correspond by email with two others as both live too far away. Another I correspond with but we also meet up for coffee or lunch. Unfortunately, although we both live on the outskirts of London one is north and the other is south of the Thames so difficult for a meet-up other than in central London.

SusiQ8 Sat 10-Sep-22 11:16:00

You could join your local U3A which has a host of different interest groups. I believe me,Bershka to U3A is £15 annually and then you pay (a small amount) when you attend each interest group. I would pay e.g. 50p to attend Play Reading ( which was held in someone’s house), just to cover the cost of tea and biscuits. Hope this info is of help to you.

Grantanow Sat 10-Sep-22 11:21:53

Groups like U3A and Probus are good depending on where you live, their range of activities and the people they have already attracted. I found one Probus group incredibly cliquish and moribund but U3A very welcoming and interesting. Try them out.

Dempie55 Sat 10-Sep-22 11:34:36

I have moved to a new part of the country where I knew nobody. I joined various groups (e.g. book group, knit and natter, over 50s dance, Tai Chi, U3A.) After a year, I now have a variety of acquaintances, but I can't say I have made any new friends. I don't have anybody I could ring up and say, "Fancy meeting for lunch?" However, one thing I have become very aware of is the number of women over 65 who just love the sound of their own voices. On and on they ramble, telling you what they had for breakfast and lunch and what they are going to have for dinner and how they will cook it....... I don't care! Just stop talking about yourself!
So, in many ways, I don't miss having friends that much, I do enjoy my own company!

TerryM Sat 10-Sep-22 11:48:07

Have three very close friends. Two live one suburb over, the other the other side of the world , one pen pal .
Husband and I are both retired. It may sound dreadful but I don't want any more. I am a dreadful friend . Quite happy to have holidays by myself or with friends.
Not sure if being a navy brat , moving often , and also an only child.
However having said all that , the local libraries have many various learning classes. Free or small fee

Granless Sat 10-Sep-22 11:49:33

It’s wonderful to suggest “join this, join that” … but … if you are an introvert, carrying out these suggestions in itself is difficult.

pandapatch Sat 10-Sep-22 11:58:29

Another vote for U3A, I have made lots of friends there and they are very welcoming. We have a quarterly open meeting which welcomes people thinking of joining where you can meet people and find out what is going on.

Nicolenet Sat 10-Sep-22 12:01:13

Used to go to aquarobics classes. U3A. Walking group... Look at local council for groups in your area. Facebook?

Lathyrus Sat 10-Sep-22 12:01:37

I’m not sure joining to make friends works very well.

It’s much more effective to join something you are interested in and then when people ramble on, at least they are talking about something you want to talk about😬

And you are doing something you enjoy even if you don’t make any friends.

ExDancer Sat 10-Sep-22 12:07:15

I asked the RVS (was WRVS) for volunteering jobs, and turned into a 'trolly dolly' taking snacks and newspapers around the wards. I soon made a lot of new friends, we go out for coffees, and sometimes lunches on special occasions. Yes volunteering is the answer.

ExDancer Sat 10-Sep-22 12:08:19

wards being hospital wards!

Ashcombe Sat 10-Sep-22 12:14:19

Local (amateur) theatre companies usually welcome volunteers. You may not want to act, but there are various backstage opportunities (props, prompt, wardrobe, etc) or being a steward to welcome the audience, check tickets, sell refreshments, etc.

I love being involved with my local theatre company (I do a little acting) not least because of the range of ages and backgrounds we have within our membership of about 140. Being part of a team delievering a successful production is very satisfying.

Jackiest Sat 10-Sep-22 12:14:50

I don't know about where you live but here in essex there are several groups on that always have things going on and I found it a great way to make friends.

karmalady Sat 10-Sep-22 12:18:00

U3A is not my cup of tea but I took myself to knit and natter, not expecting much, it was the first meeting, daytime and just a few minutes walk away, in the centre of my little market town. Nine people turned up and I cannot tell you how quickly the 90 minutes flew by. Everyone loved it. We have asked for it to be held more regularly and now it will be every two weeks. More people will come, I am sure

That was an excellent start for me as my activities are mainly solo such as cycling and gardening and it was so lovely to chat with all ages and experiences

KG1241 Sat 10-Sep-22 12:26:30

My daughter is only 25 and has moved to a new area because of work, she’s really struggling to make new friends 🙁

Quaver22 Sat 10-Sep-22 12:37:05

I too recommend U3A. Where I live there are many groups catering for a wide range of interests. The activities take part in the daytime and are for retired people.
I also very much enjoy volunteering as a welcome host and usher at my local theatre. There I meet and work alongside people of all ages and I particularly enjoy mixing with younger volunteers.
It is always difficult doing things for the first time but the benefits are worth the effort!

PamQS Sat 10-Sep-22 12:37:40


It’s wonderful to suggest “join this, join that” … but … if you are an introvert, carrying out these suggestions in itself is difficult.

I agree. The self-confidence that enabled me to join a drama group and make friends in my twenties, no longer exists for me to fall back on.

I’ve also suffered from friends who want to meet up merely to offload! (As a PP describes) I was exhausted last time I met up with someone for ‘coffee’!

Friends do move on, and if you’ve been absorbed in child care, you may have dropped off people’s radar. I’d suggest keeping in touch, for when they remember you exist! I’m sure nobody has decided to move on from their friendship with you, but have you, yourself, become unavailable for meet-ups?