Whether you’ve moved to a new city or country, started a new job, or completely overhauled your life, it’s suffice to say that when you have to make friends in your 50’s, it can be a little challenging.
I remember when I left Canada and moved to Guatemala 7 years ago, I was scared and lonely for the first 6 months.
Now I’m normally not a shy person, but I can be in a very new environment where I feel slightly overwhelmed. I also have a bit of a unique personality. I’m outgoing, happy, feisty, and awkwardly shy. It’s a weird combo.
I get that some women have no problem at all making new friends but for the rest of us, well this one’s for you!
It’s not easy to make friends in your 50’s
Especially if you’re shy and awkward like I am. Or maybe you don’t get out much. Could also be perhaps you have very different morals and standards than most and you want to hang with like minded people.
Whatever the case may be, I get you. It’s not very easy to make friends in your 50’s if you aren’t a social butterfly. Period.
Here in Guatemala (and I’ve been here now for 7 years) most of my friends hang out in bars and drink a lot. Well, I don’t really do either so that proved to be difficult. But I liked these friends! They were fun. So I only see them when I do decide to go to the bar.
Being a middle-aged woman with no friends can get lonely real fast and I had spent my first 6 months practically alone. Ba! I needed human interaction so I got a little bold and started looking for friends online.
The rest of my friends I actually met in Facebook groups! Yup. It’s super easy to meet new friends online especially if you just moved to a new area. You might like my video on YouTube on how to start over at 50. It’s just a fun channel for women over 50 so don’t forget to subscribe while you’re there!
How to meet new friends online in your area
Now despite the fact that covid has pretty much ruined life for everyone around the world, there’s still a wee bit of hope. You can still meet people in online groups in your area. It’s easy to search and find groups on Facebook for women over 50 in your area (or any age really).
If you are an expat (or just moved to a new city in your state/province/etc), join groups in the new area you just moved to, introduce yourself and ask questions.
People in expat community groups are always happy to help and answer questions and they are always up to meeting new people and making new friends! I think it’s a great way to make new connections in your new area.
With that little piece of info, you can most certainly meet new friends in online groups.
How to meet new friends in your area
So let’s say you aren’t on Facebook, or you aren’t too tech-savvy, and you still are struggling to meet new friends in your area. Let me share a funny story with you.
When I moved to Mexico for a year, I didn’t really have any female friends my age but I had a couple. One day when I was at the pharmacy, I was standing beside a woman who was clearly an expat (she was def not Mexican), and I asked her where I could find a particular service.
Well, we got chatting, and before you know it an hour went by and we were exchanging phone numbers. And yes, we became friends!
So sometimes it can be as simple and innocent as striking up a conversation with another woman and before you know it, poof! You’re friends 🙂
Being a middle-aged woman with no friends can be lonely
I mean I really do enjoy being by myself, I truly do like my alone time but I have to admit, being a middle-aged woman with no friends can definitely be really lonely at times.
There were times when I wish I had someone to go have coffee or lunch with, laugh with, share personal stories with and all that other fun stuff. And there were times I was grateful to be alone and thank God I enjoy my own company. But we don’t want to be alone all the time and it’s not healthy either.
Mental stimulation, though you can surely get it from reading and watching interesting programs on TV, is best when it comes from another human, in person. But not only that, if we don’t have or make any new friends and we become lonely, it can possibly lead to depression.
We don’t want that to happen. We definitely don’t want our golden years to be filled with sadness and loneliness.
15 Great Ways to Make Friends in Your 50’s
I think the most important thing to keep in mind is to not sacrifice your values/morals or standards just because you’re lonely. You won’t make good friends that way and chances are, the people you do meet and want to be friends with you just may be toxic.
We’re too old for that nonsense. We want quality friendships. Never sacrifice who you are because you want to make friends after 50. Don’t ever do that.
15 of the best ways to make friends in your 50’s
1 Get out of your comfort zone
Start going to social events or things on your own and meeting new people that way. Yes, it will be hard, especially if you are somewhat shy but you have to get out of your comfort zone and be a little brave sometimes.
People often tend to be accepting and welcoming as we get older.
2 Strike up a conversation
Like literally a random conversation with someone at the grocery store (or pharmacy like I did) 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!
3 Join Facebook groups
If you’re on Facebook, go find groups in your area that have like-minded members and start asking some questions and let people know what you are looking for. I’ve met most of my friends here from the local group!
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.
By far, this is the best way to meet like-minded people because you are going to a place to volunteer with other people who think just like you. Isn’t that awesome!!
Find an organization that speaks to your heart and you will definitely meet like-minded people there!
5 Join a church group
(if that’s your thing) and again, let people know you’re new. Or maybe a Bible study group or whatever thing like that you are interested in.
Maybe you’re into new-age stuff. Go back to those Facebook groups or check online in your area and see what comes up.
6 Pick up a fun part-time job
Are you a crafty, artsy-fartsy kinda gal? See if you can pick up a part-time job at a craft store or maybe even a coffee shop. You can certainly meet new people that way.
A lot of older adults who have long since retired work part-time to maintain social connections and meet new folks!
7 Find a meetup group
If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. This works for everything. Don’t be so shy that you can’t ask at a cafe while you’re enjoying a cup of coffee or while you’re standing in line at a store somewhere to see if there is a meetup group in your area for women your age.
If there isn’t, maybe you should start one!
8 Check out your neighbours
(but not in a creepy way) and see if any are your age. Go introduce yourself to them or make sure to say hi to them on the street. Striking up a conversation will go a long way.
Go for walks in your area park and talk to the people there.
9 Find a walking group
If physical fitness (or getting out into nature) is your thing, why not find a walking group in your area? I’m sure there are at least one or two and if there isn’t, why not start one?
Nothing brings people together better than being part of a group with like-minded people!
10 Get a membership at the local gym
There are so many gyms these days that have a higher population of older adults which makes it a great place to meet interesting people and form new friendships.
Check out the yoga studio if that’s your thing or jump in on a workout class! If it’s your first time at a gym, find a staff member to help you around.
Your local YMCA is very ‘mature adult’ friendly!
11 Sign up for art classes
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!
12 Find a book club
Are you into books of all kinds, love to read and would love to find a social group that has 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!
13 Look for community gardens
Do you love gardening and maybe you’ve recently downsized into an apartment and don’t have a yard anymore? 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 spending time doing what you love while you’re meeting people who love the same thing you do!
14 Pay a visit to your local library
If you love sitting quietly and reading/finding new books, then your local library is a great place not only to do that but also is probably one of the easiest ways to meet like-minded people.
I mean, you’re all there to read, right?
15 Be yourself
Don’t try to be someone you’re not to impress people so they will be your friend. Just be yourself and you will find the right people who will appreciate you for you.
You don’t want or need fake friends. You want true kindred spirit soul friends. Especially at this age. We don’t have time for crap anymore!
You can make friends after 50 if you want to
If you want to. Did you catch that last bit? If you want to make friends in your 50’s you can, but they aren’t going to just come pounding on your door.
You do have to be proactive and put some work into it but if you follow some of the tips I listed above you’ll be sitting at a cafe with your new friends in no time.
Remember, don’t settle for crappy coffee or crappy friends. We’re past that now. You will definitely find like-minded women over 50 if you put yourself out there and seek them.
I know full well that putting yourself out there can indeed be scary but if you don’t, you’re missing out on great and meaningful friendships! Being lonely sucks and no one has to be alone. If you are, it’s because you are choosing to be alone.
Choose connections over loneliness.
xo iva xo