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Whether you’ve moved to a new city or country, started a new job, or completely overhauled your life, it suffices to say that it can be a little challenging when you have to make friends in your 50s or at any age. It’s awkward, scary, and slightly uncomfortable.

Here are 11 fairly simple and fun ways to make new friends.

Strike Up a Conversation With a Stranger

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Just start a random conversation with someone at the grocery store, pharmacy, coffee shop, wherever, and introduce yourself. Yes, it may seem weird, but remember, if you are new to a town and have no friends, people don’t know that unless you tell them.

Striking up a conversation is a lot easier than you think it is, and you may find that you have a lot of similar interests!

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

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While it may be intimidating or overwhelming to go out to dinner, a cafe, or an event alone, this is a great way to push yourself out of your comfort zone and talk to new people. You never know; there may be another person alone there too!

Yes, it will be hard, especially if you are somewhat shy, but you must get out of your comfort zone and be brave sometimes.

Join Facebook Groups

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Facebook groups are a great resource if you recently moved to a new area. Find one in your area that speaks to you (like-minded women/men), and join it. Most members in area groups are extremely friendly and welcoming.

Your next best friend could be in one of those groups! So many people think social media is bad, but it definitely does have its benefits.

Volunteer

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This is, by far, a fantastic way to make new friends. Not only that, you’ll be meeting awesome, helpful people with the same interests, heart, and goals as you do: helping others.

Find an organization that speaks to your heart, and sign up.

Join a Church Group

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If this is your thing, joining the choir or a weekly Bible study group is perfect for you. You know there will be hugs and warm greetings here. What a great way to strengthen your faith, too!

Or maybe you’re into new-age stuff. Go back to those Facebook groups or check online in your area and see what comes up.

Pick Up a Fun Part-Time Job

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Why not get a fun part-time job at a garden center or a craft store? What a great way to earn some extra cash (hello, vacation or a new car) and meet some very like-minded people, too!

Many older adults who have long since retired work part-time to maintain social connections and meet new folks!

Find a Walking Group

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If physical fitness (or getting out into nature) is your thing, why not find a walking group in your area? It’s easy to either find groups like this on Facebook or start your own! I’m sure there are at least one or two; if not, why not start one?

Nothing brings people together better than being part of a group with like-minded people!

Join the Gym

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Whether your thing is yoga or aerobics, weight lifting, or swimming, the gym is a great place to meet new people. There are so many gyms these days with a higher population of older adults, making it a great place to meet interesting people and form new friendships.

People in fitness clubs tend to be happier and friendlier for some reason. Maybe exercise brings people together in a different way.

Join a Book Club

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Are you into books of all kinds, love to read, and would love to find a social group with a book club? This actually won’t be that hard to do.

You can either head back online or simply ask at the local cafe, grocery store, or wherever. Surely someone knows something!

Look For Community Gardens

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Do you love gardening, and maybe you’ve recently downsized into an apartment and no longer have a yard? Community gardens are perfect for this.

Ask around or call around to find your community garden. This is a great opportunity for you to continue doing what you love while meeting people who love the same thing you do!

Sign Up For Art Classes

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Pull out the inner Van Gogh in you (I know you want to), especially if you have put art aside for a long time, and sign up for some art classes.

How fun would that be? Gosh. Artists have beautiful minds and great talent. I bet you can form some strong friendships in art class!

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