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What are your tips for meeting new people and making new friends? £200 voucher to be won

(115 Posts)
IzzyGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 19-Apr-22 12:39:14

This sponsored discussion is now closed. Thank you to everyone who posted below.

Created for Ourtime

Building new friendships later in life can be challenging but extremely rewarding. Whether it’s a simple tip or life changing advice, we would like to hear how you have met new people and made new friends.

Have you found confidence in retirement or later life and taken up a new hobby? Perhaps you’ve joined a club and found new friends through a shared interest? Or maybe you have recently started dating again and you can share with us your ways of meeting a potential partner? Whatever it is, share it on the thread below - you might even help someone else in the Gransnet community.

- Post your advice on the thread below to be entered into a prize draw
- One lucky GNer will win a £200 voucher for a store of their choice

Here’s what Ourtime’s in-house dating expert, Kate Taylor has to say:

“Over-50s have so much experience in meeting and talking to new people, but still, many of us have a fear of the unknown around making new connections and starting over.

If you feel nervous about meeting new people or dating again, take it slowly – you can use a site like Ourtime to chat and meet with likeminded people, and you’ll quickly realise that you never lost your power to connect, laugh, or flirt.”

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw!


Insight T&Cs apply

travelsafar Tue 19-Apr-22 15:43:16

If you are still mobile find your local bowling club. It's perfect,especially if you are on your own. Most clubs have an open day in April offering taster sessions for new players. It's great fun, and you play against other teams so it's defo a good way to meet like minded people, make new friends, keep fit and have fun. When I retired it was the first thing I did and I never looked back. smile

Aldom Tue 19-Apr-22 16:17:24

National Women's Register is a good organisation to join later in life (or for that matter, at any time in life). Members meet in each others homes. The groups are smaller and it is easier to get to know each other. Every topic under the sun is up for discussion. There are many off shoots too, such as walking group, Language group, craft group etc. A monthly coffee morning at our local museum. Something for everyone. I heartily recommend National Women's Register as a way of finding and making new friends.

Jaylou Tue 19-Apr-22 16:27:19

I would highly recommend joining your local U3A or University of the 3rd Age. The range of events and groups that are on offer are so diverse, there is something for everyone. Kayaking to extreme crochet, talks, cooking, conservation. You know if you join a group the others in it will have similar interests to you. And from that group, friendships grow.

Jaxjacky Tue 19-Apr-22 17:00:14

Volunteering, whether it’s in a shop, driving people, helping out at local events, a myriad of choice. I’ve made two very good friends since I started, I’m happily married, but it’s extended my circle, my knowledge and makes me happy.

Pittcity Tue 19-Apr-22 17:14:35

Look for a Gransnet meetup in your area.
If there isn't one planned then suggest one on the meetup threads, but remember to put the place name in the title.

Calendargirl Tue 19-Apr-22 17:26:57

Over 50’s swim sessions at your local pool.

A bit of gentle exercise, and some socialising in between.

Then maybe a coffee afterwards.

Kate1949 Tue 19-Apr-22 17:34:46

I met a lot of new people after retirement by volunteering in a primary school helping 5 and 6 year olds with their reading.
I was asked to assist on school trips and got to go to theatres, castles etc and got to know my fellow volunteers.

biglouis Tue 19-Apr-22 17:39:32

All these suggestions are for members of the community who are still mobile and/or who can drive/have transport. There are people with moblility issues who cannot easily get out but who still have a lot to give in terns of interesting conversation, memories or communication skills. You can look at opportunities to be a "telephone friend" to others through various organizations.

SecondhandRose Tue 19-Apr-22 18:10:24

Join a local organising committee for an event.

Maggierose Tue 19-Apr-22 18:39:44

I joined the Labour Party when I retired at 66. My partner died suddenly and I had a mastectomy and moved house, all within six months. I started out delivering leaflets and now at 73 am finishing my first four year term as a local councillor and am standing for re-election in May. It’s great being involved in helping the community and I have made many friends. So whatever party you support, if you get involved you will meet like minded people and maybe start a new career as a politician!

Pythagoras Tue 19-Apr-22 18:43:30

Join a local community choir - there are paid ones and free, informal ones in my area, no audition necessary. And it is suitable for people of all abilities. I've made many new friends in this way and singing in a group is naturally sociable.

Kandinsky Tue 19-Apr-22 19:26:18

I recommend the women’s institute - so much going on:
book clubs, theatre clubs, arts & crafts, a really great way to meet new people.

Chardy Tue 19-Apr-22 19:52:37

If you're feeling bold, start something. With the Jubilee coming up and a 4 day weekend, put a note through your neighbours' doors asking who fancies getting together for a buffet (stand, chat, circulate) street party. Able or disabled, bring a chair, something you like to drink and a food contribution. We did it last time round, and I rarely leave my house without meeting one of my neighbours.

Or start a group if there's not one near, or a choir, whatever. A poster up in a couple of local shops might be all it takes.

Happiyogi Tue 19-Apr-22 20:02:16

For an easy first step … every time you’re about to leave your house - double check that you’re wearing a smile! It makes you look friendly and approachable, and puts you mentally in a sociable frame of mind. That way you’re more likely to have pleasant exchanges with those you encounter, which in turn is confidence boosting and will make the next step of joining a group or organisation less daunting.

TwiceAsNice Tue 19-Apr-22 21:36:44

Join your local church. I moved areas and now have several friends and many pleasant acquaintances from joining my church. A member put me in touch with another agency and I now volunteer there on one day a week and have met other people there too

TheodoraP Tue 19-Apr-22 23:06:54

I think that you should think about what you really like to do and what makes you happy, for example photography, cooking swimming etc. Then join a group that love it as much as you do because then you will be with like minded people and you'll feel understood and you'll fit in and most importantly you'll feel like you belong somewhere smile

mumofmadboys Wed 20-Apr-22 05:48:09

We moved house and county when we retired. We joined our local church, u3a,bridge club(me) and local choral society (DH) and we have made lots of new friends through these activities.

glammanana Wed 20-Apr-22 08:59:54

I find I always made friends walking my dog,everyone used to stop and chat a dog is certainly a good starting point.
Taking DGC to library for story time,you will meet other GMs every week.
I have also made many virtual friends on GN since it started all those years ago and we keep in touch via PMs every week.

nanna8 Wed 20-Apr-22 09:32:08

Probus clubs are good but being a person who is good at listening to others is a good start wherever you are. I mean really listening and making appropriate responses rather than just faking it. People are interesting, especially older people with lots of memories and experiences !

MacCavity2 Wed 20-Apr-22 09:50:33

Whatever you choose to join go on your own, don’t go with a friend. It may seem intimidating and frightening but it is the best way to meet new friends. Going with a friend unfortunately means no one will bother to chat to you. Be brave and go on your own. This works!

Juno56 Wed 20-Apr-22 10:50:23

Join your local U3A branch. There is bound to be a group that appeals to you. I am part of an "Any Good Music" group where we discuss folk, classical, C&W, choral, pop etc depending on who is hosting that month. I have met new people and been introduced to music genres I wouldn't have considered.

muse Wed 20-Apr-22 14:38:27

Meeting others with the intention of finding new friends face to face depends somewhat on where you live and how much time you have when not working or have other commitments.

I used to live in large village but it was very close to local towns. After retirement, I was spoilt for choice of volunteering jobs and the potential of meeting new people. One I did was to help at a local primary school and also become a governor there. Another was in a community park. I joined the committee after seeing a poster on the board. I helped with fund raising and also activity days for families. Through both these places I gained friendships and we visited each others houses many times.

I met my now DH in my mid 60s and decided to move to where he lives. I still keep in touch with a very close friend from the park group. However, I am now in a very rural, isolated part of another county. Beautiful, tranquil and peaceful though it may be, the countryside also has the potential to be a lonesome place. Our social life is us two.

My commitments are about to lessen as we are close to finishing building our new home. I left all my friends behind in my old county some 300 miles away and those lunches, theatre trips and garden visits with those friends have gone.

Already, I have my name down to volunteer with Cornwall MIND but have had no luck with the two fairly local schools. My walks with my dog mean I stop quite often to chat to other dog walkers. I am more a listener than a talker.

I have found friends through GN. Virtual ones. One avenue I want to explore are road trips and group dog walks.

fishnships Wed 20-Apr-22 19:55:06

Go on a coach trip solo! To avoid single room supplements and make friends at the same time you might be able to find a company that will allow two singles to share a room - this was definitely possible pre-covid.

BigBertha1 Wed 20-Apr-22 22:15:13

Of its intellectual challenge as well as meeting people several charities are looking for Trustees. I am a Trustee of the local hospice. As a retired nurse I missed the companionship fellow nurses and the job satisfaction but as a Trustee I can offer my help and feel useful.