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Struggling with friendships.

(81 Posts)
Msdaisy Thu 15-Sep-22 13:35:02

I’m desperate for some advice please… I’m 61 married to dh who works from home. I’m semi retired do a lot of volunteering in different areas. I’ve struggled to make friends with similar mindset to me. I seem to attract older friends who just take advantage such as expecting me to pay for lunches, pick up and drop off take to medical appts etc. I know I’m in my 60’s but I’m young in mind and body I go to gym, run cycle etc but any groups Ive tried such as walking, crafts, are generally old ‘older’ people if you get my drift. I recognise I’m withdrawing more and with winter coming I’m not sure how I’ll get through it. My dh is understanding but he has a busy job and has limited time for leisure and I need female friends really. I’d welcome any similar experiences and support thank you

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 15-Sep-22 13:41:00

Perhaps a big part of the problem is that the people you would prefer to befriend are still working full time and don’t have time for involvement in the activities you mention, so those you meet are mainly older and retired? I’m not sure there’s a solution to that, other than being in paid work yourself and socialising with colleagues.

Razzamatazz Thu 15-Sep-22 13:54:35

I was going to say volunteering, but see you are already doing that.

Can you find any 'solo' absorbing winter hobbies? Make yourself a rag rug, knit rugs for Battersea, do a 'diamond' picture, get all your photos uploaded onto a usb pen? Think of things that you could do alone, that would give you pleasure?

Yammy Thu 15-Sep-22 14:08:34

How about seeing if there is a local book group that meets in the evenings ,there are more likely to be people there who are at work during the day. Then you could suggest a meeting for coffee when you get friendly.
It is difficult I found this when we moved on early retirement the retired people in our village had long been retired and the few I found have left because of your reason. Try the local town library there might be a local history group or some voluntary work that needs help. There used to be something called "the House wifes Register", that had different groups within it but I don't know if it still exists.
Or do it the way it was done when my Dd's were small, someone put a note through my door asking who would like to form a morning coffee group where turns would be taken in each other's houses it was called the "cabbage" club. My DD found a local cafe that ran a coffee morning for women on maternity leave and she made lots of friends her age. Hope this helps it is a peculiar feeling being isolated and surrounded by people who need help rather than friendship.

MissAdventure Thu 15-Sep-22 14:12:15

Have you tried the meetup app?
Their are people who meet up for social nights, pub meals, board games, philosophy - in short; everything.

Esspee Thu 15-Sep-22 14:22:08

I knew that lockdown would make me stir crazy so chose to do a free genealogy course with FutureLearn and started on my family tree. I became addicted and the winter passed in a flash. I am looking for a choir to join for this winter and a country dance class for OH and me in the evenings.
I hope you find something which works for you.

Doodledog Thu 15-Sep-22 14:38:02

When I left work I decided to try to broaden my social circle in my home town (I worked a distance away), and I also found it wan't easy to find people in their 50s/60s who weren't working. I do have local friends, but I am more sociable than they are, and as we are something of a 'group', I wanted to do things with other people as well as with them.

I joined classes, but then Covid hit and they were cancelled. I started a group based on an interest of mine, and it is still going, but is not well attended, and will probably fold soon. We meet monthly, and I think a lot of people just don't want regular commitment. They want someone else to do the legwork, and to have things there when they fancy going out, but are very quick to pull out if it looks like rain, or if they get a better offer. As often as not there are not enough subs to pay the rent, and I can't go on subsidising it forever.

I even did another degree, but that was affected by Covid too, and when it finished the people I'd met moved back to their home towns. I am happy to travel into the city where I worked, but I don't drive, and it's far more of a hassle to do that when I'm coming in from home than it was when I was already there. I wasn't keen to use buses until recently (because of Covid) but I am a lot more confident about that now.

I joined the NWR and a knitting group, and have met some lovely people, but on the whole they are a fair bit older than me. I enjoy the meetings, but so far haven't met anyone I really want to meet up with outside of them, and anyway they are in established friendship groups with other interests. I think it's a case of keeping plugging away though. New people join things, and I am not going to get younger grin. In a while there will be people of my age coming to retirement, although as you say, I am far more concerned about attitudes than age. At work my friends tended to be younger than me, and I am still in touch with ex students who are more my children's ages than mine.

That's not much help, is it? grin. I can say that I empathise though, and that I haven't given up. I do a lot of online things (mostly classes on Zoom - check out Eventbrite to see if there is anything on offer that appeals to you) and have met people through those who share my interests. They are not local, but I have met a few when we've travelled to meet up, and now think of them as friends. the more you do online things the more it feels like meeting up - the strangeness does dissipate.

Do you live near where you grew up or went to university? If so, could you reconnect with old friends? I've done a bit of that, and added to the list of people I can call on to go for lunch or whatever. It's slow progress, but I think that Covid has slowed down social things for a lot of people, and that it will pic up as time goes by. Good luck!

FannyCornforth Thu 15-Sep-22 14:40:00

Hello MsDaisysmile
You could have a look at this thread, and it it also links to yet another thread about similar issues

MissAdventure Thu 15-Sep-22 14:44:25

It is easy to slip through the net with friendships, I've found.

I don't fit into any particular group, comfortably.

I'm old enough to be the school mums mother, have to ensure I'm around to look after a teen.
Plus I have no interest in social activities such as pubs and clubs.

Patsy70 Thu 15-Sep-22 14:44:56

I think maybe you need to be more proactive Msdaisy and, as suggested above, either offer to host a coffee morning, initiate a book club or a debating group. When I first retired I joined a Yoga class, started French lessons, met up with fellow dog walkers, became involved with village life by joining local groups, such as the May Fete and Village Hall committees, and generally putting myself out there. I’ve made some lovely friends of all ages as a result.

TwiceAsNice Thu 15-Sep-22 14:45:56

I moved to a new area and met a lot of people by joining my local church. Perhaps that won’t be of interest to you but I met some lovely people and now have several friends that I have coffee or lunch with. A church friend also told me about a knitting group I am still enjoying

MargotLedbetter Thu 15-Sep-22 15:04:46

Could you find groups that exist to learn a new skill or develop a hobby? Or yoga or something that perhaps the older age group aren't as involved in?

When I moved to a new area about 15 years ago I joined a choir, an art group and a history group based at the local university. I found the evening groups (the choir and the history group) much more rewarding in terms of friendships. There was a wider age range than daytime groups that tend to attract older, retired people.

I think wherever you go, whatever you do, voluntarily or not, you'll meet people who will seek to take advantage if you let them. You need to think about your boundaries and then stick to them. Good luck.

Msdaisy Thu 15-Sep-22 17:55:21

Thank you everyone for your responses it’s a help to know others have experienced similar. I’m not giving up I’ll keep plugging away with new groups classes etc. I appreciate as said people with time on their hands tend to be retired so an evening class might prove fruitful.

Lathyrus Thu 15-Sep-22 19:35:19

Look for evening activities rather than daytime ones because, as others have said, your age group is still working during the day.

I did a British Sign Language evening class and met a good group of people.

Rock Choir or Am Dram
Wine tasting evenings
Yoga/Pilates sessions

Look and see what’s on. Much more likely to meet your age group and younger there.

MerylStreep Thu 15-Sep-22 19:43:44

When I did my Pilates class I was by far the oldest person there ( 74) Yoga classes are also mainly within your age group..

Callistemon21 Thu 15-Sep-22 20:39:22

I'm older than you and belong to groups, have friends even older than me and I surprised these older friends of yours expect you to give them lifts all the time and pay for their lunch if you go out.

Let's hope you can find some interesting groups - U3A has interesting activities, are there local walking groups, and perhaps you can find some friends who don't take advantage of your good nature.

Callistemon21 Thu 15-Sep-22 20:40:07

Hope that post is understandable and not gobbledegook!

Mandrake Thu 15-Sep-22 23:26:44

I often find a similar issue, with people being older. They can be good company but I do understand wishing to connect with people more of your own age. They must be out there somewhere. Good luck finding them. Maybe I will too, one day. Meanwhile, I just enjoy the company of those who I come in contact with, whatever their age.

Wyllow3 Fri 16-Sep-22 00:07:19

At 71 seeking new friend currently best bet is long term membership of a gym. You choose the right time of day, (right sort of gym, like the Nuffield mid range type)to meet women of an age you want, usually mornings, and go to classes and the next step is 'do you fancy a coffee'

welbeck Fri 16-Sep-22 00:12:18

pub quizzes ?

Gwenisgreat1 Sun 18-Sep-22 11:09:56

Have you a local U3A? (university of the third age?) you might find a group there that you would like to join and have a similar mindset?

Cossy Sun 18-Sep-22 11:10:44

Hey, sad place to be in. I’m 63 and so lucky with my friends, two are from my senior school, and the others met either on the school run or at various jobs. They are all very different though, different ages, backgrounds and interests, but the best thing is I really like them all smile

Cossy Sun 18-Sep-22 11:13:46


I utterly empathise with you ! I had my first child at 26, then three more at 39, 42 & 44 respectively ! Seemed I’d never fit in anywhere !!

Peaseblossom Sun 18-Sep-22 11:18:08

There are lots of MeetUp groups all over the country and I’m sure you’ll be able to find something suitable. Look them up. Good luck.

Awesomegranny Sun 18-Sep-22 11:22:35

It’s hard making friends at any age, but lucky you having a husband to do things with too. I retired early , recently separated from relationship and moved to a new area. I joined the U3A and find making choices over which groups to join helps finding people of a similar age/ fitness. Yoga and walks over six miles I’ve got to know people of my own age. Could it be doing crafts attracts an older age group? Also local art society there are a good range of ages. Fitness classes again you’ll get to know younger people, it a case of just keep going the longer you go to things the more approachable you become.