When we’re adults with children at home our network of friends is often our children’s friend’s parents. With all the activities the kids are involved with from sports to clubs, we naturally meet people through them. But what happens when our children leave and we’re empty nesters? Without relying on the ease of our children to make friends, we’re faced with a new challenge in making friends in midlife and beyond.
Join groups of like-minded people
Whatever friendships we need and desire we have to go out and search for them. They don’t just appear. When we think about things we enjoy doing we can search for a group to join because we know there will be others there who enjoy that activity. If health and wellness is an interest, joining a gym or fitness class is a great place to start. Showing up early or staying after to meet and connect with people might be a little uncomfortable but is part of the process of making friends in midlife.
There are also many opportunities to join groups online if that’s the preferred method. The internet has made it so easy to connect with people from all over! Recently I shared on Instagram that I got a new house in a certain town and someone reached out and said she lives there and we met for coffee. We were both looking to make new friends and it was so encouraging! Take advantage of those opportunities to connect online.
Invest Time & Let Your Guard Down
It’s easy to close ourselves off as we get older and think we don’t need any more friends. It’s best to stay open to new friendships and let people surprise us. If they are life-giving relationships, they are always worth it! Let’s be willing to put ourselves out there, ask someone to meet up for a coffee or a walk, and take time to build genuine connections. We don’t need to share all our dirty laundry with people but be open to sharing some struggles and vulnerabilities. Those are always ways to build bridges and deeper connections with people.