I can’t remember the last time I did this…. 369



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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.

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.

Guest Contributor

  1. Have you considered joining ‘Grey Power’ or maybe joining ‘Senior Net’ for some very good tuition in using computers.

  2. We have a group who meet weekly for drinks and dinner, being based solely on the fact that we would otherwise be alone for our dinner. The core group came from U3A. I wouldn’t miss it.

  3. I belong to a group called National Seniors and you only have to be be over 50 to join. There are groups all over Australia, they have monthly meeting where you can go along to see if you would like to join. I am in a walking group, but there are lot’s of different groups within the larger group. Hope this helps.

  4. Universities of the Third Age are a great way to meet like minded people of our age. TAFE courses are good for meeting new people with similar interests. Volunteer work is a good way to get out, meet new people and be appreciated. And the best way to get started with new people is a smile and an “hello”. Failing that, get a little cat. You will never be lonely again.

    2 REPLY
    • I have my little dog and wouldn’t be without her. I talk to her all the time and her cuddles are just the best!!!
      Volunteer somewhere. There are so many places to volunteer your very valuable abilities. You will soon feel not so alone. Love & light.

    • If you live in Sydney the website is: http://www.sydneyu3a.org. Phone: 02 9262 2702. I have made so many friends throughout Sydney by joining U3A. U3A, (University of the 3rd Age) doesn’t mean you have to an academic! It has all sorts of talks on a huge variety of subjects, activities, get togethers, etc. Its wonderful. It even has computer classes too for free! It offers all seniors a variety of stimulating programs to acquire new knowledge and skills in an informal, friendly atmosphere throughout seven regions in Sydney. You can try it for free for a couple of times to see if you like it. And remember your membership, should you decide to sign up, means you can attend classes all over Sydney, all included in your membership. It’s wonderful!!!

  5. Try Meetup.com.au to see if anything in your area which appeals. Bridge is not just for old people. Having moved to a totally new area on my own I have joined a Probus club, social Meetup group which has coffee, trivia, dinner, film get together. I may not have made any firm friends yet but am not lonely. Look at local U3A as they are cost effective and variety of activities.

  6. There is a great group operating at the local community centre called Hava Chat its for the over 55 group and is very well attended by both men and women. They have guest speakers and regular outings. I don”t know if this kind of thing is available in other areas but you could approach your local community centre and maybe start one if there is not one already happening

  7. I find myself in this position since I retired. I moved away from where I lived and worked for many years and feel lost. I took up photography and joined a few groups so I could get out with people, however I have yet to meet anyone for ongoing friendship outings apart from the group activities. My kids and Grands all work and have their own lives.

    1 REPLY
    • Sorry to hear that Babs, but keep trying different groups.

  8. That article made me really sad. I have many friends from my church. I’ve made more at work. Then you meet the friends of your friends. I have about five core friends. Others not so close, but we stay in touch.

  9. I know how you feel, even though I have quite a few lovely friends we have dinner together regularly or coffee or have a drink, I still feel lonely, I am my husbands carer but it is so lonely in the house

  10. Volunteer your time somewhere, you will meet people who are like you and I am sure you will make friends.

  11. I feel for you when my husband was alive I didn’t have friends but when he went into a nursing home my sister rang me to go to bingo at the club she has passed now 2years but I still go and have made friends and have lunch after bingo it’s great maybe you can joins club or a walking group and also there are groups where they meet at a council hall

  12. Have you any idea of how difficult it is to make friends when you are deaf?

    1 REPLY
    • have you considered offereing to visit people in the Deaf community who may be isolated also ?

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