I wanted to make friends… so I just went out and did it 50



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With both my sons estranged from me, and my husband having run off with a woman 15 years younger than him, it’s safe to say I was feeling pretty lonely. I was in the same routine every single day. I would wake up, have a coffee, talk to my cat and read the paper that was so lovingly pegged at my door. Next I would walk down to the shops to get my daily dose of conversation from whoever would listen. Is it raining? Even better: I loved chatting about the weather. Then off I’d go with whatever I pretended I needed and went back home to have a nap and then read a book or people watch my neighbours. Laying in bed I would play games on my iPad or surf the internet.

That was my life for 12 years. I did not go on holidays – I barely changed my appearance at all. Then one day, after a long phone conversation (fight) with my son, something clicked. He said I was a loser and would die alone. I know… so harsh and upsetting. But he was right about the dying alone part! If I couldn’t heal the rifts between my two sons and myself, then maybe I could find some friends.

I didn’t have anyone to talk to other than my cat or the TV. It sounds so sad when I look back now but it was reality for me and I bet so many others. I desperately wanted friends but had no way, I thought, of finding them. I live 20km from the city so by no means am I isolated, but that’s how I felt. I may as well have been in Antarctica or the moon.

So one day I just went outside with my intentions of finding a new friend. I went to my local cafe and Google searched every meet up thing I could think of. I looked for over 60 meetups, pet meetups – you name it. I looked at bulletin boards and really felt motivated. I even signed up for a pilates class in the hope I’d meet some people there.

Then I just had to commit. And let me tell you… it is easier said than done. When I was getting ready for my first meet up at the cinemas with some ladies in their 50s and 60s, I had what can only be described as a full on panic attack. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and my heart was racing. I was sweating like I’d just run for 3km but I’d simply gone to find the car keys.

I had no idea what was in store for me. Years of rejection had taught me to be very reserved and afraid to get close to someone. To my absolute relief, the ladies I met that evening were incredible welcoming and inviting. Instead of being standoffish and nasty, they were more than accommodating and everyone clearly was open to finding new friends. Even after the movie we went to dinner and had a great chat. I loved the feeling of being out at a restaurant and being that group everyone wishes they were a part of.

Now it’s been six months since I started meeting up with new people and I’ve got three girlfriends I see regularly. I really would encourage anyone who wants to find friends to just do it. Bite the bullet and you’ll surprise yourself.

Tell us: have you ever done something like this?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I was in a similar position until I decided that something had to change and as I was considering downsizing my home what better time to change, I decided to move to a retirement village where there are people your own age and like minded. As there are plenty of interest groups here it was easy to find the activities that best suited me, I now have wonderful friends and I have never looked back.

    2 REPLY
    • Trish – I am moving into an over 50’s lifestyle next week – can’t wait! I will meet new people and have plenty of activities on my doorstep! About time I reckon to find a social life! Just turned 70 so it’s never too late!

    • I’m sure you will love it as much as I do Anne Kelly, it’s a way of life and if you don’t want to leave the village you really don’t have to because we have every possible activity we need.

  2. I just recently did something similar to Trish. Change is good and am looking forward to meeting new people.

    3 REPLY
    • So did i Deb and Trish. I moved into a over 55 village after I retired and volunteer at Vinnies go to my local bingo. Have met some really nice friends in my village. Best decision i ever made. But you have to make the first step.

  3. Yes i talk to everyone. I’m blessed with wonderful friends. I hope Trish finds love and new friends who will love her just as she is

  4. I want to know, did SHE mend the rift with her sons

    4 REPLY
    • She didn’t. Her three new friends are probably sick of her going on about her two awful sons and the husband who ran off with a younger woman. Hmmm wonder why he left. 12 years talking to the cats after he left. Probably not a vibrant relation ship. Or maybe I’m completely wrong. She might be a wonderful person. Or this is just a fictional motivational story. Who knows

    • She is probably a much nicer and more vibrant person than you and your self righteous attitude Bob. Sorry SAS but this comment got to me.

    • This woman was clearly suffering from very low self-esteem and depression from being rejected by the 3 men in her life. She probably doesn’t have siblings or parents to turn to. In this she is not alone. There are a lot of very lonely, withdrawn people in the world (including men) who have no -one to lean on or get support from. Even neighbors don’t speak anymore. If you know someone like this, support them, don’t deride them Bob Constable.

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  7. I have lived in a variety of states and countries. Making new friends is easy. If you want to do it you will. If you try too hard you won’t. Be a friend is the best way to get a friend.

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