Making friends after 60 - how to

by Sandy

I was not sure whether to post this on depression/anxiety or under friends, but I think I may get more rounded feedback here.

A little about me - retired too early, kids gone, married to an introvert (I am totally extroverted), was an extreme workaholic and made few friends along the years - never had time for them.

Now that I am retired, I am finding it difficult to make real friends. So many people seem to have life-long friends or a

t least when I look on Facebook, that's what I see. I join activities and meetups but make acquaintances, not friends. It could be my style - I was always so frantic and preoccupied when working that I may not have developed a style where people want to spend time with me.

Regardless, I am wondering if one can really make true friendships at this point in life and if so, how do you go about finding some good matches without appearing overly needy or "weird".

I think I have a mental model that tells me that only "true" friends are those you meet when you are young.

I would appreciate your insights....please.

Comments for Making friends after 60 - how to

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Me, too!
by: Liaura

Hello, I am 60 and live in Michigan.

As a former teacher who loved the daily interactions with my students, it sure would be nice to "connect" with other women.

A lot of the women whom I have encountered seem to have limited their social circle. If their husband is around, then they feel guilty doing things without him.

It's been very difficult trying to develop a friendship when they have what I refer to as 'the husband boundry'. I am married, but my hubby always encourages me to be social.

After this pandemic subsides, I pray I can have better opportunities to make friends thru some meetup groups. 🤞

need friends
by: Nancy nc

I'm the same, 64 married an retired , I'm very active with grandkids but yearn to go out. kids have busy lives, husband would rather stay home and doesn't talk. we stay in separate living rooms, have nothing in common, I don't know where to meet friends my age.

Wendy: Try our Retirement Community

Married but lonely
by: Tami

I'll be 62 next month and I've never felt so lonely, My husband basically wants to be left alone, In 12 years we've gone out 3 times. He doesn't like anyone, including my family.

My kids are grown and on their own and have very busy lives.

I Love to go to bars by the ocean or any place by the ocean, I love to meet new people and listen and talk about our lives, etc. I also love to go to the movies and I love going to Tampa Bay Lightning hockey games! (Which I've only been able to do thanks to my kids when they get a rare day off.)

I can't drive myself anywhere. I really don't complain as much as it may seem like here. It's just my husband doesn't seem to care.

I see that I am not alone but I am.
by: FEA Albany NY

Sharon in Clifton Park (above) and I live in the same geographic area (15 minutes or so by car). Even though I grew up in this area, lived away for a number of years, and then returned several decades ago, it seems to be a difficult area in which to make new friends at this stage of life.

Most people seem wrapped up with family much of the time, have a group of friends and don't seem to feel the need for more, or find making plans with someone 15 minutes to half an hour away by car too much effort.

I am active in volunteering, am a member of numerous meetups, have told others I'd love to meet outside of a big group activity, etc., not to much avail. I have lots of acquaintances but only one real friend here-who is very family involved. Yesterday I started wondering about putting up a "Friends Wanted" billboard, but I can imagine that would only label me as a sad sack or ?

Age 65, married, dementia mom, I want someone to communicate with.
by: Carol

Hi, I'm 66 live in Dundee Fl. I also live in a 55 community but have zero connections to anyone here. Husband is not a talker, my kids have their own lifes and I'm tired of talking to myself or watching TV. I enjoy the theme parks and getting out of the house. I do use a 3 wheeler when I have long distance to walk.

I'm a very sharp lady and love to have real talks not just about the grand kids. Is there anyone close by that would love to have coffee etc and get to know each other. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Carol H

looking for friends
by: Anonymous

I think making friends now at 62 would be better than ever. All your old stories and adventures are new again.

I live in central MA and wish I could find a few people to hang around with. Sorry to say all my friends have moved or passed away. My husband is in the same boat.

We don't have children which is a whole different situation. NO grandchildren photos to share! We're at a loss as to how to meet other people.

by: Anonymous

Having moved several times during my career, both me and my wife don't believe it's realistic to form the types of friendship made when we were kids/teenagers/very young adults.

The older one becomes the more history and water has flowed under the bridge making it very difficult to really get to know people at the DNA level.

Having acquaintances may be the best we can do later in life but that can be good enough.

Making Friends 60+
by: Sharon-Clifton Park, NY

I am retired also, after being in the work force for forty years, and find that it is difficult to make "true" friends after sixty plus.

I come from a highly dysfunctional family and unfortunately none of my siblings are close. My family has been riddled with tragedy that has made being close-knit almost impossible.

As a result, I am somewhat of an introvert but do enjoy the company of a good friend or two. Seems as though everyone I know has their own life with family, friends, obligations, etc. and it's hard to be invited to be part of their life as more than an acquaintance.

I love to do many things throughout the day to stay active, i.e. exercise, cardio, pickle ball, golf and drawing/painting (I am an artist and children’s book author). I volunteer often but still find it difficult to really get to know someone other than as an acquaintance.

I do not want to complain about the means of communication today as I appreciate technology and use it often. However, meeting a friend face to face is more enjoyable than e-mails or texting. Many possible friends I have met say social media is the only way they have time to keep in contact. That does not help the loneliness I experience.

Really getting to know someone and sharing time together is wonderful and I still hope that it is possible to find this at my age.

ADORE your "Title" to your post!! Exactly what I was thinking!
by: Fran/Buffalo, ny

I, too finally decided, as you did, that what I really need/want are a small (3-4) group of fun and funny, weird "forever" (at this age, 73, it's not a big commitment) friends.

Kind of like posting: This poor unloved (ever) human needs a forever friend. I have friends, but b/c I moved around a lot, all of my 'somewhat' sane friends live everywhere else other than where I have had to move to - Buffalo, NY, for sea level that I can 'afford' to rent still. LA was OUT! UNAFFORDABLE, AND AIR POLLUTION. Buffalo has great moderate weather even tho we home'rs complain about it all the time. It's a Buffalo thing to do! But think about it -- no major floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes... nothing devastating, no mud slides burying an entire town! No volcanoes...too much??

anyway I'm back & just realized last week that one of only 2 surviving old friends is definitely in denial about her progressing dimentia (rages) & inappropriate reactions. Scratch that.

so I'm back to 1 friend who might actually NOT REALLY WANT TO BE PALS maybe is a very passive confused person & can't tell me directly.

so here I am...I'm AVAILABLE!! FOR A NICE EXPLORATORY NEW FRIENDSHIP...I think I'll try to start a "Meetup" around any subject any people want to meet up about. Is that too vague?

I'm all for open choice for people and animals, within reason.

any ideas??

Wendy: Yes, go to the Community and register! (link on the right) There you'll find 1900 retirees, many who are looking to chat with new friends. You can search the MEMBERS tab for your own location to see if anyone lives near you too! Best Wishes!

Retirement Community Meeting?
by: Wendy

Hey -- if you gals meet, take a photo and write about it please! I'd love to show the world that people met each other after meeting here!

Let's connect in Rochester
by: Sandy/Rochester

Karen - I am in Rochester, NY as well. I learned that if we are both on the Retirement Online community, we can connect and share personal info. Hope to see you there....

Also Married to an Introvert
by: Karen Rochester, NY

Wondering which Rochester you are from. I too am married to an introvert. One of my children lives out of town and the other has her own life.

I lean slightly more towards the extrovert side than introvert, but since my husband is an introvert I feel that I have become somewhat more introverted over time.

I find that it is difficult to make "true" friends after sixty. I have several, what I call, superficial friends, who became friends because of a common work setting, etc.

It seems as though everyone has their own life with family obligations, etc. and it's hard to infiltrate that.

I envy people that have friends who are more like family. It definitely requires a lot of work on both parties to form this type of relationship.

After all that, if you're in the same city as I, maybe we can get together if for no other reason than to compare notes.

Friends after 60
by: Chris

Just finished reading Sandy's post and the comments. In a strange way, it was helpful to see that I am not the only person struggling with this issue.

I, too, was a workaholic and did not spend much time doing non-work related things.

I am married, also, to an introvert and our interests are quite different. I retired 3 years ago and quickly found that those work "friends" I thought I had, were really just that-work friends and not they friendships that go beyond that.

I guess I never noticed because most of our activities had to do with work related things or our conversations really were not personal but centered around work related topics.

I have 2 daughters who live within an hour of me but they are too busy with their own lives and I rarely see them or my grandchildren. My husband's son and family live in AZ so visits there are limited.

Our siblings live in different states across the country so no help there. It. is lonely.

by: MaryLee/Florida

I understand where you are coming from. I also wrapped myself around my work and my husband. Now I am alone as he passed away in 2014.

I have taken classes, connected with old friends, and became a pen pal to two people from this web site, and still do not have the connection that I am looking for.

Maybe we expect too much out of people. After all things are not the way they used to be. Most people these days are so wrapped up in themselves that there is no room for anyone else. No one seems to want to make any kind of connection.

Even my next door neighbor only communicates with me on e-mail, not in person, and I live right next door to her!

In this day of ipad's and iphones no one wants to talk with you face to face. What a shame! I guess we have lost the art of communication all together!

making new friends
by: Sherry Wilmington, NC

I have found out in life that it takes a while to make friends or even good ones. You have to have patience. It doesn't always work out and you have to work at it.

Most people aren't willing to work at it; that is why most relationships don't work.

If you are doing most of the work and they are not, the relationship will fade. In other words, you are doing all of the asking out and telephone calling.

A good way to find new friends is to volunteer at something you are interested in doing or learning. You can meet there doing the same thing and this is a good thing because right way you will have something in common!

I thought I had a good friendship with a lady friend for 12 years, but she moved on to another city out of state where she knew no one! Not a good relationship if you feel you have to move where you don't know anyone! She became depressed and our relationship went away, no more!

Good Luck!

by: Nancy

I was surprised to read that Wendy was an introvert. Myself, I'm an introvert and one of things I enjoy about being retired is I don't have to be around a bunch of people.

Having said that, I had an experience last weekend that relates to what you said about lifelong friends. I went to my hometown having lived away for 20 years. It was like old home week running into many of the "kids" I grew up with including many of my classmates whom I went through elementary school and high school. It was wonderful.

I think it is different for introverts and extroverts and all I can do is share my own experience and hope it helps.

WENDY: Total introvert here... but that's the beauty of a site! I can interact with everyone, write as I feel in the mood, but all in my time. At conferences, after the day is done, I run and hibernate in my room -- enough people. Done.

Making friends
by: Elna Nugent Lenox, MA

Dear Sandy,

Do you have any relatives, sisters or brothers? In a way they are our first friends of a sort.

I have found that every person I meet is a story ready to be told. People are fascinating especially after you get beneath the surface and aren't stuck too long in small talk.

It helps if you can look at each person and realize that person is unique and wonderful. It doesn't really matter what they look like or what they are wearing. Who are they? And realize everyone we meet is struggling with something no matter how confident they may appear.

When you meet someone, see if you can stand in their shoes and look at you and hear what you are saying, and how you are coming across to them.This can help you put on a smile and ask them where they are from and have they ever ben workaholics like you.Ha.

Humor is the leaven that makes the bread of life rise.Try to find something interesting in each person you meet. If they sense in you a sincere interest in them, the rest will take care of itself.

A friend is an awesome treasure. You can tell them anything and they will understand. Blessings.

WENDY: Elna, you are a treasure!

Post update
by: Sandy

Thanks, Wendy. Good advice which makes sense to me - it all has to start somewhere. And I guess I should have proofread my post a bit better - misspelling and grammar errors. Ugh.

Senior Friendships
by: Wendy

Just my two cents, from an introverted gal...

Don't all lifetime or long-term friendships start as acquaintances?

Isn't it time that brings about the commitment of seeing someone through thick and thin and learning to trust each other?

It also takes time with someone to really understand them, or even begin to. You get the nuances of that person, the real person hidden under the face they show to the world.

You begin to really truly share life from sharing experiences together.

Hope this helps... I am sure you'll get many differing opinions on how to find friendships. All good! You are already doing the right things -- keep on keeping on!

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