I can't remember the last time I did this....

On Christmas Day, as I was sitting at a table in my local park, I realised just how alone I was. Both my adult children were visiting their father and respective families, and I was enjoying a Coles salad in a neighbourhood I don’t live in. I saw two older woman walk past, talking and walking their dogs. I realised, I haven’t made a friend in years. In fact, I barely had any friends. I could count my friends on one hand and even then, I don’t know if my children count as my friends, nor does an old work colleague.

Day in, day out, I do things alone. I was never married but separated from my children’s father in 1996 and since then, I’ve lived either with my kids or alone. I look for jobs every day and sit by myself in crowded places. I sit alone on the bus or train. Then I go home alone. I don’t remember the last time I made a proper friend – I have forgotten how to be a friend and keep them. Sure, there’s people who I can speak to online, but I don’t have anyone calling or messaging me without me trying first.

I don’t know where to start – I don’t really like sport and I don’t feel “old” enough to play bridge or bowls. I don’t drink, so the pub is out. I don’t have the money to travel either. I enjoy coffees but I don’t have anyone to go to a coffee shop with except my son or daughter. I sometimes think there’s something wrong with me. I feel like people are staring at me or judging me, which might play into my inability to trust someone. Even the bus driver hates me but still, I maintain to my kids that I just like being by myself but truth be told, I’m jealous when I see some older women in a group together, chatting away. I never see women my age by themselves unless they’re aimlessly pushing a troller filled with their belongings.

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Is it my fault I haven’t gone out and found friends? Is it my fault I was an only child who didn’t keep in contact with school friends or feel comfortable making more in my 40s, 50s and now 60s? Or am I destined to be a loner until I die? I feel like if there was an opportunity for me to get together easily with some people my age with similar interests then I would be more inclined to go. I feel like a stereotypical bowls meet-up isn’t for me. But what can I do? I’m hoping someone else is in my situation.

 

This article has made us wonder how many of our community are feeling lonely and isolated, and wanted to make new friends. So that we can find ways to join our readers together, please take our poll below:

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Add your ideas on where and how to make new friends in your 60s in the comments below.