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How to make new friends?

(51 Posts)
WW010 Fri 05-Feb-21 16:52:34

I’ve been reading the thread on making a fresh start. I’m considering doing that once LD is over. However I’ve realised I have only one true friend - and I’m going to need some more as she’s wealthier than me and always off somewhere! (Once this is pandemic I ver of course) I’ve always had only a few friends. I’m quite chatty and easy to talk to but I’ve never attracted friends in any number for some reason. This last 2 years I’ve lost nearly all my closest friends. 2sadly died far too young. One moved abroad and hasn’t kept in touch. One I lost as we basically stopped enjoying each other’s company. I’m kind of ok with all that - have to be- but I’m wondering how people make new ‘good’ friends? Is it even possible at 63 yrs old? We wouldn’t know each other’s lives in the way an old friend would? Has anyone any experience of this??

sodapop Fri 05-Feb-21 17:00:12

Yes WW010 it is more difficult when one is older. I moved to France at 59 so had to start afresh. I became a volunteer at an English library as I love books, there I met a lot of like minded people and some have become good friends. We made a point of getting to know the people in our village and helping out where we could so have made some friends that way. It's probably better to join classes or clubs where people have similar interests to you. Volunteering is good as well for meeting new people. Good luck.

Mary59nana Fri 05-Feb-21 17:06:33

I'm 61 and also looking back and realising I have very few good friends
So after lockdown im going to go out and make some new ones through volunteering and making the most ot of life as we know it can be to short for regrets and putting thing of because we feel shy or insecure

TrendyNannie6 Fri 05-Feb-21 17:17:17

Goodness me 63 isn’t too old to make friends, you can make friends in the most unlikely places but it is harder at the moment due to pandemic, you say you are chatty and easy to talk to, well that’s a great start, WW010, never to late to start! Do you own a dog! Great way to start talking to people, do you like reading there is a mag,( not sure if I’m allowed to put the name of it, but I’m going to, “yours” they have a couple of sections in there one is a pen friend one loads of different area, while obviously you can’t go out and about you can get in touch! Where we live we have a forum called the neighbourhood, whereby lots of people introduce themselves I don’t know whether that would be of interest to you, good luck in your search, wishing you all the very best

RulaNula Fri 05-Feb-21 17:21:39

Just about to say the same, TrendyNannie

A dog. The key to good and great friends. Even if you're not specifically looking for any!

Redhead56 Fri 05-Feb-21 17:24:48

I have known my few friends a very long time because of Covid obviously not seen them lately. We do socialise in normal circumstances but don’t live in each other’s pockets. I agree it’s a good idea to volunteer to meet new people.

I live by a park its disused railway line stretches for miles. There is (usually before Covid) a walking club that meets there for a coffee chat and a walk. Maybe try and find out if there is one near you. Often in the local shop people put cards in the window looking for a walking companion. That might also be a good idea for you.

When things settle down maybe try to find if other Gransnetters live near you and you could meet up. Everybody needs friends and I hope you find one.

Riverwalk Fri 05-Feb-21 17:25:24

I'm lucky that I still have friends from early days of nursing, various jobs, and mums from the school gate. Nothing to do with any skills on my part, that's just how it turned out!

Is it even possible at 63 yrs old? We wouldn’t know each other’s lives in the way an old friend would?

It certainly is possible.

Eighteen months ago I joined a dance class for the Over 60s - it's quite rigorous and a lot fun. Of course for the past year it's been on/off and currently it's via Zoom. Had Covid not happened I'm sure we would have continued our pub meetings and general chit chat. I don't need to make new friends but it's lovely to do so and surprising how interesting new people can be!

grandmajet Fri 05-Feb-21 17:32:27

Hello WW010. I think making friends does get harder as you get older. We moved to a new area 6 1/2 years ago, and I am now 71 - we wanted to be nearer to two of our daughters and grandchildren. We made an effort to meet people in our new area. Do you enjoy walking? Ramblers groups are extremely welcoming and everyone chats to everyone - not so easy at the moment I realise but hopefully the lockdown will end soon. Is there a local branch of the U3A? They have groups which cover all sorts of interests so something for everyone. It takes a bit of courage to first walk in, but when you join an interest group, say if you are feeling nervous and you will be put at your ease. I found inviting a group of neighbours for tea and cake is always nice although again a bit hard at the moment. Good luck.

BlueBelle Fri 05-Feb-21 17:54:20

You are either a person who makes friends easily or not whatever age you are I have found some friends through evening classes although the government have got rid of nearly all the hobby courses in my area now now my three best friends come from the past, two I worked with 35 years ago and one I went to school with
U3a and similar can be difficult to ‘get into’ as there are often well established friendships already going on Things like Rock choir , or hobby groups, crafts or art groups, theatre or best of all do some voluntary work that’s a sure fire way to meet others and see if anyone clicks with you
Good luck you can never have to many friends

Hejira Fri 05-Feb-21 17:59:21

I don’t now that we ever make then kind of friendships that we made in childhood with all those shared experiences but, yes, you certainly can make close friendships in older age and they can come from some unexpected places.

Almost everything we write at the moment come with a Covid caveat but once we can get back to some semblance of normal life and are able to meet freely again, I predict many people are going to keen to try new things. Cafes pubs and other meeting place will be equally keen to attract new business.

My advice is to be proactive. This is the perfect time to be doing the groundwork towards starting up something new in your area. Look at how MeetUp works and consider starting a new interest group. or just do the old tried and tested method of putting up some posters.

Walking groups and book groups all attract plenty of people looking to make new friends. See what U3A has to offer and think about adding something of your own to their list of activity groups.

Volunteering is another avenue. Find out from your local volunteering agency what’s on offer and seek out something a bit different that could bring you into contact with people who have shared interests. And when you meet new people, again, be proactive. Be the one who says: Fancy going for a coffee, lunch, a walk, to the cinema?

What things interest you WW010?

Madgran77 Fri 05-Feb-21 18:00:37

Volunteering with something that you enjoy, want to do is an excellent way of making friends and feeling useful

avitorl Fri 05-Feb-21 18:11:33

Definitely check out your local U3A and if you are able to lead a Group in a subject you know well it will make you very popular.Otherwise just join a group that interests you and make sure you introduce yourself to other members in the group.
My local Library runs Reading and Craft Groups so check what is going on in your area.
Some WI Groups are worth looking into to see what they do where you are.

cornishpatsy Fri 05-Feb-21 18:27:46

When LD is over you could ask on here about a meet up, arrange to meet for a coffee or walk in your area or if you would rather travel to a meet up in another area.

WW010 Fri 05-Feb-21 19:06:27

Thanks all. I am a U3A member but the sessions I went to pre Covid were quite cliquey. I live in an affluent area thanks to my OH and there was a lot of snobbery there. I was asked where I was born - which was a very industrial part of Sheffield- and there were definite turned up noses. One guy actually said something like ‘Oh not one of us then’’. I’m quite confident but that really knocked me back. I haven’t got a dog and not sure I’d want one but I can see it’s a potential friendship route - and company too! Walking groups are my best route I think. I did it before when I was single and I liked that. Hated getting up for 10am meet on a Sunday of course but I was working then. Wouldn’t bother me now.
I saw a post on our local Facebook recently where someone asked for a walking mate. She got quite a few yes pleases. It wasn’t near me so not possible right now but maybe something I could do for future. I’m not nervous or over worried. Just looking for tips and other experiences I guess. I do like people which is a good start! 🤗

Urmstongran Fri 05-Feb-21 19:17:38

I think if it were me I’d try a scattergun approach. Join one or two clubs/meets ups one week, go along for say 4 weeks then assess how it’s going. Rinse and repeat.

Good luck WW010 I’m sure with a smiley face and the positivity you’re showing you’ll find friendships this year!
😊

M0nica Fri 05-Feb-21 19:19:05

I made a new good friend through GN. I knew she lived in my area and I pmed her offering help after she reported a domestic disaster. It has just gone on from there.

I am sociable but self sufficient and a peripatetic childhood left me very good at making aquaintances, but little experience of cultivating good friends.

I have found the best way has been joining groups associted with things that interest me and then getting involved by volunteering assistance when needed and being prepared to join committees.

WW010 Fri 05-Feb-21 19:28:14

Thanks again all. I’m fairly new to this site and it’s been fabulous so far. Such a great support. It’s great to know there’s people out there! Which sounds weird - but it’s true. Lots of good advice. Thanks.

Pantglas2 Fri 05-Feb-21 19:52:34

I think WW010 you have to realise that not everyone you meet and initially get on with, will want to add to their regular friendships.

I’m one who welcomes all new friendships at whatever level, I have one from the age of four at primary school then up through secondary, college, work, neighbours, different countries I lived in etc.

I may not see them more than once a month, year or decade but we keep in touch one way or another and I’m sure the key is not to expect too much from any one friend and enjoy each one for their special qualities.

Unfortunately you’ll come across some people in groups who aren’t as open to new friendships of any degree (they like what they know and they know what they like) so recognise it and move on to more receptive folks 🙂

NellG Fri 05-Feb-21 20:02:27

WW010 - about the dog thing, you could sign up to Borrow My Doggie - it means you get to help someone local by walking their dog but don't have to actually own one.

I moved to a new town just before Covid hit and the first lockdown began. Haven't got to know a soul here! Hence piffling about on GN. I don't think it's impossible to make friends as we get older, but I think we maybe get a bit choosier?

Cabbie21 Fri 05-Feb-21 21:32:22

I think it is hard to make deep friendships later in life. I have a number of acquaintances, people I get on well with, but we are only friends in the context we met, eg choir, voluntary work. It never gets any further.
On the other hand I have deep friendships with people I have known for years. We rarely meet in person as we live far apart, but when we do, it is as if no time has elapsed.

Aldom Fri 05-Feb-21 22:31:25

WW010 I used to belong to National Women's Register in the 1960's when I lived in Cheshire. Life has taken me to different parts of the country and abroad. I lost touch with NWR. But a couple of years ago I discovered there is a group in the area where I live now. I rejoined and I have made new friends within the group. We meet every three weeks in each others homes. During lockdown we have had Zoom meetings. We discuss a wide range of topics, in a relaxed, informal way. We also meet once a month at our museum cafe for coffee and a chat, not during the present Covid restrictions of course. You can find details of NWR on line. It's a lovely way to grow friendships.

Grammaretto Fri 05-Feb-21 22:34:57

Does making a fresh start involve a big move WW010?
It is hard making friends, true friends, at any stage in life but helped when you have shared interests or even hardships.
Volunteering, support groups, U3A (but you've already given them a try)
I met one good friend at a yoga class and together we began to volunteer for a charity.
I met the pal who has been getting me out for daily walks, through the community garden - again a common interest.

Sometimes people are so tied up with their families, they don't have time for making new friends.

It is very true about dogs. Having a dog in tow seems to give every other dog owner permission to speak to you and your dog, to discuss anything from poo bags to politics and the weather, of course. I don't have a dog but act as kennels when my DC go on holiday.

Sara1954 Fri 05-Feb-21 22:53:25

My third child moved schools at thirteen, her school was very big in sport, and the parents were all very involved.
I knew one of the mothers slightly from various competitions our girls had entered, so I approached her when I saw her, to say Hello.
She was with a group of other women, and she said that they had all become really good friends, and she was sure that I’d find some people to be friends with.
I am not especially insecure, but I certainly felt snubbed, no room for me in the elite mummies gang.
Of course I did make friends, but it’s not always as easy as you think.

Grammaretto Sat 06-Feb-21 12:23:54

Sara1954 sad
You reminded me of when I moved to a new area/country and was eager to meet people. My DC were very young, pre school.
I struck up a conversation with a neighbour over the garden wall which was polite but when I spoke to her another day she asked me if I was very lonely!

I felt snubbed too.
However I quickly made nice local friends through the children and through NHR which was a strong lifeline at that time.

Now I would need to make more of an effort but it's a different kind of friendship as we age, I think. I chatted to a woman in the queue for the post office this morning who is always kind when I see her and welcoming to everyone. A true networker type.

polomint Sun 07-Feb-21 01:05:07

Sometimes life and circumstances change as regards friendships. Some I have had and still have through school, others through work but none through any hobbies or interests . Luckily enough I enjoy my own company, which is just as well as we are in lockdown. I enjoy socialising and meeting new people but I dont feel a strong need for more friends. I've been in u3a and open university but they can be clique and if you are shy, it can feel like you are just left out. All the suggestions that have been offered seem good advice to me