Five Foolproof Steps for Making Friends After 50

UPDATE:  Though I wrote this post almost 7 years go, wonderful people keep commenting and reaching out for ideas about how to form new friendships in midlife and beyond.  Though the post is old, the issues are timeless.  And as you can see from a follow up post, I’ve learned from my readers that there is really no foolproof way to find friends at any stage of life.  That said, the ideas in this post work for many of us.  But the most helpful aspect of the post comes from everyone who has left comments.  So please keep telling your stories, sharing your ideas, and reaching out for support.  The original post:

I just moved to Colorado a few months ago. I was excited about the change, but worried about how I would adjust, since I didn’t know anyone here (apart from my daughter, son-in-law, and baby granddaughter.) The last time I moved, from Boston to Florida, I didn’t make much of an effort to form new connections. Instead, I maxed out my cell phone plan calling up my old Boston friends. I spent too much quality time with Ben & Jerry’s. I was lonely, but I didn’t want to admit it, and figured that my town just wasn’t a good place to meet people my age. Then I was introduced to a friend of a friend who had moved to my town in Florida only three months earlier. She is a widow in her mid 60s with some health problems. But she is vibrant and happy. And she rapidly made a bunch of new friends who keep her very busy. I felt a little embarrassed that she had pulled off something in a few months that I hadn’t managed in well over a year. I realized that I had fallen for a self-fulfilling prophecy: That you can’t make friends over 50 because everybody in that age group already has enough friends. But I’m learning that’s just a myth. There are lots of people out there who need or want friends: Their lives may have been jolted by geographic moves, divorce, or loss of a spouse or partner. Some people simply wake up and realize that some of the friends they have no longer offer the support that makes their friendships worthwhile. I know someone who has been going out to dinner with a friend once a week for the last 20 years. They have absolutely nothing in common except for their weekly dinner ritual.

So when I arrived in Colorado, I made a resolution to actively seek out friendships. Here are the steps I used to keep me out of solitary confinement:

1. Admit that you are lonely

Self-awareness is the first step. Last year, I got so used to a limited social life and a lack of local confidantes, that I stopped noticing how lonely I was. A trip back to New England—where old friends seemed very interested in spending time with me—reminded me of what I was missing. So pay attention to the signs of social disconnection: Are telemarketers the only people who call you in the evenings? Is watching Grey’s Anatomy or Project Runway the highlight of your week? Have you stopped cooking meals because it’s so much trouble for “only one?” Do you find excuses to strike up conversations with strangers in supermarket checkout lines? Whatever your loneliness red flags, recognize that loneliness is not a character flaw—it’s simply God’s way of telling you to GET A LIFE!

2. Decide what kind of friend you want to be

The most important ingredient you bring to a relationship is yourself. What kind of energy and commitment are you willing to put out there in your search for connections? Make a decision that you will show up in the world as someone who is worth having as a friend. That way your energy, honesty, and caring personality will draw people to you when you meet.

3. Reflect on the qualities you are looking for in a friend

Even though you don’t have enough (any?) friends right now, this is no time to lower your standards. In fact, the more conscious you are about what kind of friends you want to have, the more likely you’ll find people who meet your needs. Are you looking for someone who:
Enjoys some of the same activities you do?
Shares your political or religious beliefs?
Has something in common that you can both talk about?
Doesn’t complain excessively about physical symptoms or family problems?
Has a similar standard of living?
Likes to listen as much as she talks?

Once you have identified your criteria, keep them on your radar as you implement step 4.

4. Become a joiner

This is a tough one, because so many of us are shy about joining groups. My Florida friend adopted the strategy of saying yes to any invitation she received to get involved. She joined a scrabble club, a singing group, and a meditation group, all at the invitation of her new neighbors. She is already so wired into the local community, you’d never know she’s only been living here for only a few months. On the other hand, I have a friend who recently retired, who has thought about joining some environmental organizations, but who resists, saying “I don’t do groups.” Accept your discomfort about groups and join some anyway. It’s really the only efficient way to meet kindred spirits. View it as a necessary evil. And choose only those groups devoted to activities or causes that you are passionate about. Focus on how you can contribute to a worthy cause, and you’ll lose your self-consciousness about being the new kid on the block.

5. Invite people to dinner

Many of us are intimidated by the prospect of having people to our homes, especially people we don’t know all that well. So challenge yourself to dust off that old recipe book, and host a dinner party for a few people you hardly know. It will give you a night off from eating Lean Cuisine, and there is nothing like home-cooked food to help people feel welcome and connected. By inviting a small number of new acquaintances, you won’t have to worry about keeping the conversation going all by yourself—your other guests can help you. If the thought of food preparation makes you want to jump off a bridge, plan a pot luck dinner, or even a group dinner at a modestly priced restaurant. The important thing is to break out of your social shell and take those first steps to forming new friendships.
Thanks to, a great online resource for connecting with people based on common interests, I am actually enjoying the process of meeting new people. I joined a local writing group and an alternative healing group. I really clicked with Annie, another member of my writing group. So now I’m fortunate to have my first Colorado buddy, who coincidentally lives right in my neighborhood. Gotta stop blogging so I can meet Annie for breakfast.
Meanwhile I hope you’ll use the comments section to share your experiences and ideas about making new friends—at any age!

349 Responses to “Five Foolproof Steps for Making Friends After 50”

  1. Sue 28. Apr, 2017 at 12:32 pm #

    Hi Kathy – didn’t mean to leave second name so hope that won’t show?

  2. Kathy 28. Apr, 2017 at 12:42 pm #

    Hi Sue–I removed your last name from a previous comment :-)

  3. Carolyn 25. May, 2017 at 10:58 am #

    Thank you for re-posting this article.
    I am really struggling with loneliness. I remarried 2 years ago after my own 2 children left the nest, and inherited 2 new full-time teenage daughters. My husband and I are in our late 50’s. I moved to his community. He still works full time. I left my job when I moved. We joined a church and I started volunteering with a local garden consortium but I’m still having a hard time making new friends. The kind that reciprocate. People are so overly busy and booked. At my age, many women are spending time with their grandkids (my kids don’t live nearby) and I don’t fit in with the younger moms who are doing cross fit and going to the tanning salon.
    For me, sense of belonging is so very important for healthy hope-filled living. I’m a little down today. I’m glad I found your post. I’ll take your encouragement and try again.

  4. Donna Hogan 30. May, 2017 at 10:42 pm #

    Hi Carolyn I too am lonely and find it hard to make friends I love theater restaurants jazz,the shore , email me maybe we can get together for coffee ? Thanks Donna

  5. Nicki 15. Jun, 2017 at 10:48 am #

    Great suggestions esp about groups as a necessary evil Realizing I’ve gone from a social person to not at all and need to expand!

  6. Susan 15. Jul, 2017 at 1:39 am #

    Wow! I was shocked when I realized that I am going through empty nest syndrome. I appreciate your article and the comments shared because it made me aware of why I’ve been feeling so blue and that I’m not alone. I’ve always been very social, active with my three children, worked, and I thought I couldn’t wait for these years to come! Now that I have the time I always thought I wanted, I’m feeling very lost. I’m married and although we do have more time to do things, I am missing having a friend to shop with or have a cup of coffee, etc. Sadly most of my friends have moved out of Illinois, or are still busy with their kids. Also we don’t drink anymore and that has reduced our invitations to parties. So I’ve redone all the bedrooms, done art projects, joined yoga, read all the books I’ve had on hold, I even joined a book club. I’m still working as a teacher but everyone around me is getting younger having babies, and I don’t feel connected. Even though I’m only 52, I keep getting asked if I’m retiring. Yikes! That makes me feel even older. So I’m still adjusting and struggling, but at least now I know I’m not alone. Thanks for republishing your article. It gave me comfort.

  7. Martha 20. Jul, 2017 at 2:32 pm #

    So, I’m not the only one with these feelings. I feel a little better knowing there are possibilities out there to find friends or companion. I will continue trying. Thank you everyone for sharing your stories.

  8. Kathy 20. Jul, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

    You are certainly not the only one!

  9. Debra 27. Jul, 2017 at 11:00 am #

    My story is no different. I’m 58, live in the Chicago area. I downsized a year ago, selling my 4 bedroom house since my children have all grown up and started their own lives. My house sold quickly & I moved into a small townhouse as a temporary solution while the man I had been dating for 5 years said he needed more time to remodel his house before selling it, in order for us to find a home together. 2 months ago he ended our relationship, saying that he has accepted a promotion in Phoenix, later a friend informed me that he is moving away with ANOTHER WOMAN! Talk about getting knocked off your foundation….the disbelief, sadness, and shear terror has me barely able to function. I have many “couple” friendships, but the problem is now I’m solo, so the dynamic has changed, I no longer really fit in. Here are the things I am doing, trying to recover from this dark period. I am reading a great self help book called “Calling in the One”. I go to my local grocery store before work to buy a fresh protein smoothie, since my appetite has decreased. (This is one way to lose weight!) I began going to a local spiritual Christian church, which coincidentally, is teaching about “new beginnings”. I have begun speaking to a Therapist who specializes in boosting woman’s self esteem, and I am forcing myself to join a singles “meet up” group in my area. My intentions are not to meet a man just yet, but to meet some new single woman my age who I can spend some time with, trying to fill some hours on my empty calendar. Life definitely threw me a curve ball, but I have to believe that I just don’t see the reason why yet!

  10. Andrea 01. Aug, 2017 at 3:35 am #

    Hi Kathy and everyone,

    I am grateful for this web site! I currently reside in south east Denver and if anyone wants to get together please e-mail me at : Ive been very lonely since my economic situation has changed but I always have my own money to participate in movies, dining and get togethers. I love WDW, Taste of Colorado and just hanging out. I would leave SE Denver to be with like minded women and it really only takes 1 friend to make a day worth living.

  11. ROSE RICHARDS 02. Aug, 2017 at 12:05 am #

    I will be 60 in December and have been trying to
    make some friends, since I divorced,13 years ago.
    Everyone already has their “friends” & aren’t eager
    to let others enter their tight group. I think that I am
    a social person and need human contact. It would
    be nice to have a core group (around 6) of close
    friends, but I can’t even make one. I’m lonely, at
    a loss and really miserable. I don’t know what to
    do. I feel like such a loser. I love want more than
    FaceBook friends, I want someone to call me up
    and say, let’s go to Starbucks, or a movie, or dinner.
    Turning 60 will not be a celebration of friends for me!
    Sad & Alone Rose

  12. Kathy 02. Aug, 2017 at 8:29 am #

    Hi Rose, You absolutely deserve what you want, so please don’t give up hope! Have you read any comments or replies with suggestions about finding friends? For me, volunteer projects which involve teamwork with like-minded people has been the best way to make new friends. It’s a no-lose proposition–even if I don’t meet my BFF, I have the satisfaction of contributing to a cause that I find personally meaningful. You might also consider re-imagining your upcoming birthday. For my 60th, I traveled solo to Spain. I had a great time planning the trip, did exactly what I wanted to do when I got there, and because I was alone, I met both tourists and locals who were very welcoming. Best wishers-kathy

  13. Dilly 02. Aug, 2017 at 5:16 pm #

    Hi Kathy,

    Thank you for your post.
    I am 53, married 2 years ago after my two girls left the home. I work in the evening Three days a week, my life getting so doll. I used to have friends and socialising quite a lot. Since I met my husband 4 years ago, all friends vanished slowly without any argument or upsetting. Just gone. I tried to keep in touch with a lot of them but my effort is one sided, didn’t get the same respond. I really can’t figure out exact reason. I joined meet up group so we can meet people, to walk.. with my husband we do go to meet up, talk with people but we end up not getting any where. I do look after one of my grandson as it is summer holiday now, it is a delight but still I miss women’s company.
    My husband go to work, early morning, return late evening, shuttered in the evening and go to bed, I end up alone, day and night.
    My girls are busy with their own life, I can not asking them to be with me. I don’t know know what could I do, I don’t like clubs, I don’t like staying late evening, I don’t like loud music. I sound very miserable !!!
    I love this post, but sadly it is for people who live in USA, I live in London/UK I need a friend.. and I am really feeling lonely.
    Any suggestion is welcome.

  14. Brenda 07. Aug, 2017 at 8:53 am #

    Glad to know I’m not alone. I too am a recent empty nester. I feel lost, trying to remember who I was before being someone’s Mom. I’m married, but we live like strangers sharing a house. In Florida, it seems like everything is geared for retired people or young families. I am still working but older. I will try these ideas and see if it helps. Thank you

  15. Linda Tucker 08. Aug, 2017 at 8:48 pm #

    I live near Oklahoma City.I have been so lonely and my kids are all grown. They come over all the time my husband has his friendships and vacations with his buddies. I don’t really feel like I have anybody. I hate to hear that other people are feeling the same way I do but it is nice to know that I’m not alone. I will try to get more involved with activities.

  16. Sallie 09. Aug, 2017 at 8:02 pm #

    We moved to RI two years ago to help with aging parents. Six days before we moved in. Y dad died. My mom had passed 6 years earlier. Suddenly I was in the town my husband grew up in, a thousand miles from friends I’d spent 18 years with. I have a severly disabled 18 year old and a 10 year old. I’m 53. The first 6 months here wee getting settled and watching my MIL die. Now I have no purpose and I hate where I live. I haven’t been able to get benefits for my older daughter so I’m a nurse. I can’t make friends with the moms of my younger daughter’s friends because they are all 20 years younger than me. HUbby is happy because he moved back to friends he’s had his whole life. I am alone and lonely and miserable. I will try to take your advice but it’s hard when I’m the primary caregiver for my disabled daughter. I hate it here and wish we’d never moved, many times I wish I was dead. This has been the worst period of my life.

  17. sue silva 15. Aug, 2017 at 2:29 pm #

    This made me feel better. Loneliness is tough; some days more than others. It’s good to know I’m not alone. Brenda, we have very similar situations.

  18. Julie 22. Aug, 2017 at 8:32 pm #

    Hi everyone. I am in the same boat. I turn 56 this year, my kids are grown and gone, my husband is a freelance photographer who works odd hours and I’m still working full time. I’m eager to socialize with no prospects except my 30 year old daughter who often times has her own plans that don’t involve her old mom – haha. I don’t really know what happened, I know I had friends at some point in my life. I’m in the Indianapolis, Indiana area, so I might try joining a meet-up or two to see how those pan out.

  19. Jen 29. Aug, 2017 at 11:05 pm #

    Wow I just text my husband earlier and asked what is wrong with me: why don’t I have friends at my age! My kids all moved out this year for college and so I suddenly have time and no one in it. I work a lot and then sit at home alone because my husband works opposite shifts. It is really hard and really lonely. Thanks for this.

  20. Kat 31. Aug, 2017 at 8:29 am #

    I can mirror the comments of Julie almost to a T, and many others’ above. I don’t know who I am without actively being a mom though I’m proud and thrilled that my daughter has done exactly what I wanted for her, which was to grow up to be independent and happy. I was always kind of a loner and more than fulfilled with family and the friends that family brought around all the time. Now all my family is a cross-country flight away. I’m lucky to have made one good friend and some acquaintances with whom I hope to build friendships, but it’s a long, slow road because people are so busy. I’m literally the only single, 50-plus woman I know, and no one else has absolutely no family nearby to occupy them. I’ll keep trying because the alternative is too sad to think about. I just have to get through eight more years before I can retire and stalk — I mean, move closer to my daughter. haha And by then I’ll have learned how to make friends, thanks partly to this post, so thank you, all! :)

  21. Rebecca 03. Sep, 2017 at 10:46 pm #

    Hello, many of us are in the same situation. Who ever knew?! I do miss the busy days and many friends.
    I have a son in college who is doing great; and closest other relative is a couple states away. And at that, we never get toghther as our lives arw in such different directions. So I understand what it is like being alone after age 50. No grandchildren; and all my connections work or are busy with their own families. I have no family nearby and friends are thinned out. I have volunteered so much that I’ve gotten very tired of it and feel very unappreciated for what I do. Everyone is pretty nice but it just goes no place. It’d be great to get paid for my work. Even volunteers go their own way and most that I have run into are not interested in friendship.

    Perhaps we should form a special sisterhood?!
    We do need support, and I am interested in sharing and supporting others to get the most out of the great years in life I have left.
    Please, I wish for every one to have good friends!
    My best always, Rebecca

  22. Dory 09. Sep, 2017 at 5:25 pm #

    You know what? I so empathize with so much that has been said here. Im 55 and suddenly an wmpty nester. My job has always taken up so much energy and time and my kids the rest. Now i have more time but lack a large enough circle of friends. Answer: this needs a faceboook page! Then ppl coul actually connect, lament, share tips and encouragement!! How about it?
    Can we start one? Suggestions???!

  23. Dory 09. Sep, 2017 at 5:26 pm #

    You know what? I so empathize with so much that has been said here. Im 55 and suddenly an wmpty nester. My job has always taken up so much energy and time and my kids the rest. Now i have more time but lack a large enough circle of friegnds. Answer: this needs a faceboook page! Then ppl coul actually connect, lament, share tips and encouragement!! How about it?
    Can we start one? Suggestions???!

  24. Annette 10. Sep, 2017 at 7:04 pm #

    I too am over 50 and have lived in Colorado Springs for the last 5 years. My child lives out of state now and has their own life and tons of friends, which is great! Me, however, am single and been divorced for too many years to count. I have not met a single person in Colorado Springs that I can hang out with or call up to get a cup of coffee or have lunch with outside of work, or do things that friends do. ROSE R, I would enjoy calling you for coffee or lunch so you we have someone to talk to. I got so busy having a career to build a life for my daughter, then spending my weekends catching up on things I needed to get done that can’t be done on the weekdays. As my years over 50 go by, I enjoy a simple life but the feelings of loneliness hit me. I have joined several Meetup groups, but most of them involve going to a bar downtown or there just aren’t many activities happening in the Meetup groups here in the Springs. Are all or most of you on this page in the Denver/Colorado Springs area? I like your idea Rebecca!

  25. Frances 18. Sep, 2017 at 4:17 pm #

    It’s not just having a warm body around. It’s having a deep connection with another person. The older we get, the harder it seems to become.

  26. Laura 21. Sep, 2017 at 7:03 am #

    Wow! Glad to know I’m not alone in these feelings. Some friends have come & gone while others live in different states. We currently live In TN (Nashville area) and can honestly say I have no friends. I really miss being able to get together & do fun things. Love Dory’s suggestion to start up a Facebook group.

  27. Dee 21. Sep, 2017 at 11:02 am #

    Me too!! Mixed emotions: 50% recent empty nest; 50% suddenly
    realized my husband & I, once” the young couple in the neighborhood”,
    have transformed into the “older” couple (in our mid 50’s)–the ones with
    the cute dog. Husband & I very active–hikers, swimmers, mountain bikers.
    He has recently taken to exuberant, lengthy solo rides that I confess are
    out of my league–defying his age to the point of exhausting himself.
    I’m not judging him–I acknowledge we each “process” in different ways. But
    I looked around & found too much quietude. With two flaky Meetups behind me,
    (1 Reiki & 1 Bodywork), I decided to join a co-ed adult kickball league. Let’s just
    say I’m happy I caught the ball 1 x in the outfield & got an opponent out before I
    slid onto third base & strained a few ligaments. @ the moment, I’m elevating &
    icing my knee as I write this.Lol. Result:Quietude multiplied! Wishing for simple,
    relatable friendships, like many voices spoken here.**Did a FB group happen?**
    (Dory’s post) If so, add me, please!

  28. Carol 06. Oct, 2017 at 12:14 pm #

    I relate to all that has been written except I have no children.

  29. nila 15. Oct, 2017 at 4:24 pm #

    I am glad I found this article. I moved to a new city Pleasanton just a few months back. I thought I would make friends in the neighbourhood but so far I dont even see anyone outside!
    I feel too that people are too busy and have already made groups of friends they are comfortable with. It has been hard to make just one friends that I can meet for coffee or a walk. Seems like people want to feel connected but dont have time . I am joining a volunteer program at the library so maybe I will meet people eventually. But it takes time to make a close friend and I despair that this wont happen for a while.

  30. Rain 15. Oct, 2017 at 9:24 pm #

    Hello. I’m so glad I found this. Thank you!! I recently admitted to myself that I’m lonely. This is my second step towards finding a solution. I understand so much of what everyone has said here. I never had children. I haven’t been in a serious relationship in 13 years. That is a long story. I’d love to make a good girl friend. My idea of good is trustworthiness. A confidant. The kind of person you’re so close with that you share inside jokes that the rest of the people in a room don’t get.
    I use to be social. Life happened and unfortunately I changed with it. That core I’m speaking of is still there though. Now I’m so shy I come across like a snob.
    Financially my situation isn’t very good either. However, I love things like the theatre and concerts. I’d save for that if I had a good friend to go along.
    I don’t know what I’m trying to say exactly. But thanks for allowing me doing this.

  31. Kathy 16. Oct, 2017 at 2:20 pm #

    Thanks so much for sharing your feelings. I can empathize since I haven’t been in a serious relationship fro 20 years. I hope you read through the comments and replies, and get some ideas for combatting loneliness. My best go to is to get involved in activities (usually volunteer) that bring joy to your life whether or not you make friends. Please keep up posted!

  32. Lisa 21. Oct, 2017 at 7:55 pm #

    Did a Facebook or some kind of group get set up? So much of what I’ve read resonates with me.

  33. Stacey 28. Oct, 2017 at 8:44 pm #

    This really resonates! Even with some friends and family around, or successful relationships in other areas (like work, church or romance), it can get lonely. Post-fifty and single is a challenge. Very well, challenge accepted!

  34. Anne 30. Oct, 2017 at 3:47 pm #

    I think i know and agree to most advise but can’t get myself to actually do it. My head is so full with having to start over all alone with 56 now and supporting myself with full time work, which is rare spread around here so I get depressed and fearful. I have no friends near my age at all. I know some people my age well but they too are busy with grandchildren and hobbies for couples etc.

  35. Clara 01. Nov, 2017 at 12:35 pm #

    Hi and thank you for reposting this . Wow ! I feel less alone . I’m 52 and I have two older teens . I was also blessed with a baby later in life , he’s 8 now and is my joy . I’m a single mum and all of my relatives are overseas and friends that I had when younger have mostly drifted away and live 600 miles away . My best friend also died when we were 35 . I try so hard to make friends but it’s so difficult . The mothers at the school are all much younger than me and although I don’t advertise my age they are not interested . Those my age already seem to have a lot of friends and despite my reaching out nothing eventuates . Im in Australia and people here don’t seem interested in making friends at a later age. Many are busy with family get togethers and their own established friendship group . I also have some health issues which limits me as far as health and exercise clubs . People talk to me but it’s very superficial. To add to it we also have to move next year . Life is extremely lonely for me and I hate it . All I want is 1 friend to just have a coffee with . I have joined many groups and initiatives . I also volunteer a lot of time at the school too . I joined a women’s gym too . Nothing . People talk to me but then move on . I’m now a huge tight ball of anxiety. It’s such a major step for me to actually go out there alone and every rejection feels worse than the previous one . I sometimes think if anything happened to my kids and I no one would know or care and no one would bother looking for us . That sums it up . We have every holiday alone just the 4 of us . My daughter too has a medical condition and she finds it really difficult to make friends as well . I used to have a really strong social life . I’m at a total loss and often feel that I need to suck it up and face the fact that people just don’t like me. Pretty much sums up my life ..

  36. Ann 06. Nov, 2017 at 1:01 pm #

    I’m 55 and really lonely. I’ve never been married and was an only child and both parents have passed away. I have quite a few cousins that live close by, but they are a lot older than me, so we never really were friends. I still have some friends from high school, but they have all moved on with husbands and children. They have their own families to do things with. They would rather do everything with their husbands. I was in a relationship for 10 years and he strung me along and then just walked away from me without warning or explanation six years ago. I work full time and have a few work friends, but that’s about it. I spend a lot of time alone at home with my cat watching television, reading, etc. I just feel like nothing good is ever going to happen to me again and I’m just hanging around. I feel like I’m invisible and no one would even notice if I disappeared. I put up a good front around people about “loving my life” and getting to do what I want, when I want, but I’m really very lonely.

  37. Faith 07. Nov, 2017 at 12:31 pm #

    My husband and i relocated and downsized in June leaving our family home of 37 years. I love being close to my daughter and family, but i find myself extremely lonely. I didnt think it would be as difficult as it has been to make new friends. The last few months i have often found myself in tears for no apparent reason and started getting concerned. I felt i needed to take action. Today, I visited my new family doctor and requested a full blood work up, to just eliminate any physical issues, i have also got a list of classes at the local fabric shop and enrolled for a class and i have started planing a dinner for a few of my daughters friends parents. These actions have made me feel much more empowered and excited about our future in our new home. Thank you so much for this article, it has a huge encouragement.

  38. Kathy 07. Nov, 2017 at 1:23 pm #

    Bravo! you’re taking important steps. I love your plan for a dinner party with your daughter’s parents. I bet they will all enjoy it!

  39. Lisa 09. Nov, 2017 at 12:18 pm #

    I feel the same things you have all mentioned. I am very outgoing. People seem to like me, but I don’t feel people reach out to me. I jokingly tell my hubby that I must be very forgettable! I am always the one who suggests doing things. I don’t mind, but it sure would be nice if others asked once in a while. There is one friend that would actually reach out to me, and I told her how much that meant to me. I noticed that she is doing that more often now (I still do too) and that is wonderful! I have another friend who will almost never reach out, but will do something most of the time when I ask – in this case I have learned to accept that is who she is. We do have a lot of fun together. I think what I really want is to feel like I can call someone and not worry about bugging them. I don’t feel like I have had that kind of friend for years. I found this article very inspiring and knowing that others are finding it hard work too makes me realize it is not unusual. That really helps!

  40. Renee 03. Dec, 2017 at 4:25 pm #

    Kathy, Thanks for your article. My husband and I recently moved to the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri area. We have always planned on retiring to this area from our home town about 2 hours away. We thought it would be in about 5 to 7 years, but hubby got a great work opportunity that he couldn’t pass up. Within a three month period my husband got his new job, I took early retirement from my job of 22 years, we bought a new house and moved to the lake area. I love it, love the house, but I miss my friends. I’ve been at the lake for about 2 months. I have a new job, but I really haven’t connected with anyone. I will try some of the suggestions. I’ve been meaning to join a church. I need to put myself out there. It’s been a very lonely time. I have my husband, I’m so thankful for him, but he’s busy with his new job. Thanks again for all the suggestions.

  41. Tina 16. Dec, 2017 at 8:49 am #

    I’m glad I found this post; makes me feel less alone and “broken”. I never had a large circle of friends, even as a kid, and the friends I had have gone by the wayside. I was married once, for a short time, never had kids, and several years ago, I moved back in with my parents and older brother to help care for them (dad passed away in April). Mom has dementia, so she can’t be left alone, but because my brother lives here as well, I’m able to get out and do pretty much whatever I want. I’ve worked part-time from home for the last 7 years, which is convenient since I can work if/when I want, but it’s also very isolating. After many years without a single serious relationship, I fell madly and deeply in love with a man who has known me and my family for nearly 3 decades. I thought he was perfect for me for so many reasons, and he seemed to feel the same way about me, professing his undying love and devotion and talking about how we would grow old together. The first two years were wonderful, but then about 6 months ago, he started taking issue with my caregiving responsibilities and it caused a lot of strife between us. Yesterday, he finally decided he couldn’t move into a future with me when it included so much involvement with my family as part of the package. So here I am, 58 years old, single again, and I have no friends and limited social outlets. My sister lives over an hour away, is married and spends a lot of the winter in Florida, so although I love spending time with her, it’s just not easy to get together with her on a regular basis. And now that I’m single again, I feel like a third wheel with her and her husband. Being fresh out of relationship and still in the throes of the hurt that breakup has caused, I’m certainly not interested in dating, but I want to stay active and social. Problem is, where I live (about 90 miles north of NYC), there isn’t a lot to do. I’m also very shy and find it difficult going into social gatherings by myself. I agree with what others have suggested–women in our situation need a site where we can go to connect with other like-minded women in our area. There are a plethora of on line dating sites; it’s a shame that there aren’t more sites devoted to those of us who are seeking friendships with other women.

  42. Kathy 18. Dec, 2017 at 11:03 am #

    Tina–thanks for sharing your situation. First of all–you are not “broken.” That doesn’t mean you don’t fee pain. I admire you for reaching out despite very trying circumstances. As you know, there are a number of people who would like a non-dating site where people can connect as friends. My millennial daughter is a member of several online sites that provide her a lot of support and have resulted in quite a few face to face friendships. I need to think about whether I have the ability to host such a site. One of the reasons why my daughter’s involvement in online sites has been so successful in creating connection and producing friendships is that they are focused on commonalities such as being pregnant (“The Bump”) or being a military spouse ( Apart from the desire to make friends, this group may not have enough in common to sustain a website community. If you or anyone reading this has ideas about how to create a focus for such an online commmunity, please let me know. Meanwhile, I will put it on my list to research possibilities for such a site/community. Hang in there–best-Kathy

  43. Mary 28. Dec, 2017 at 11:57 am #

    Not only is it hard to make new friends as we age, it’s hard to find quality friends. I have a friend whom I met through another friend. She’s fun and we enjoy each other’s company for the most part. We have other mutual friends and sometimes we all go out together or I with them. I find that I’m used to fill a social calendar. I don’t feel like that “close” friend, I feel I’m a filler. Some talk about how busy they always are and ask what I’m doing constantly if I don’t see them in a while. I share if there’s something exciting but really, life isn’t all that exciting mostly! :-) Anyway, as can happen in women friendships, they get dull. You find yourself in conversations about other people knowing full well when you’re not present, the talk is about you. I really hate that and I don’t participate in it. Are all women that way? haha. Seriously! When did we stop being so supportive of each other, or were we ever?

  44. Judy 31. Dec, 2017 at 6:18 pm #

    Well, I am 56, and yes have been lonely for some time, though put on a good front. Im not a big social person and friends have never been something that I have had many of. I was in a 20 yr relationship and when that ended, though we have remained very good friends. I have found myself even more a lone and not sure how to connect with others. I notice I feel more anxious and easier to stay home and paint( I am an artist)
    I am not a group oriented person. I grew up as an only child with older parents and I wonder if that is why I find it hard to connect with people. So I am making the commitment to make more effort in 2018 to find gatherings and ways to connect with like minded people . though I know it will take me to my edge. Thank you for this article very helpful. Happy new year!

  45. Patty 01. Jan, 2018 at 6:32 am #

    I am in my 50s, never been married and have no friends. I have people at work and church that I know but they are so wrapped up with their spouse, children and grand children that they don’t bother with a single woman. So I sit at home night after night alone when I desperately want someone to spend time with, go for coffee, walk in the park, etc. When I have met a few they quickly ditch me when they find a man. I am going to make an effort in 2018 to find a friend.

  46. Mary 13. Jan, 2018 at 1:54 am #

    Judy, are you in NYC area?
    I’m in Brooklyn. 53. Artist background.
    I related to your post, group shy, older parents, needing to push myself in social settings.

    Chime in if you would like to connect – and good luck to both of us, tis a New Year. There is so much to wonder at in the world – everyone here seems to value true friendship.

  47. Karen 18. Jan, 2018 at 10:54 am #

    I am 64 years old and moved from Washington state to Louisiana after my husband passed away. I’ve lived here for over 3 years and haven’t a clue how to find some friends. I’ve relied on my daughter but she has her family (a 19 month old and a newborn) and she is busy and doesn’t really want me hanging around. How do I meet someone nice people (not for dating) but for going for coffee or walks or shopping?

  48. Gisselle 18. Jan, 2018 at 11:50 am #

    Hi girls! Nice to have found this website since I have been feeling so lonely for the past few years. I am 53 yrs old and for the past 16 yrs I have been a stay at home Mom. My only daughter is 20 yrs old and although she lives with me and hubby, she spends all day in college and on the weekends with her boyfriend or girlfriends. Although I was born and raised in the US, I am currently living in Costa Rica and socializing here with other women has been very difficult. My Dad is Costa Rican, my Mom from the US so I am mixed culture but my manner and soul is mainly your typical “gringa” as they say here, LOL! Most women are initially curious about my accent and background but soon enough don’t feel related to me in any way and soon drift off. Circles are tight and small, mainly still clicks from high school believe it or not. My husband works all day and he is the best man in the world but I don’t want to be too clingy with him. Finding work at my age is a big problem here since job opportunities are non existant for 40 something women or older. We are planning to move to the US in about a year and I hope that besides finding a job I can find women who are willing to offer their friendship and mutual support. I’ll offer that as well, with delicious cups of coffee in between. :) Blessings!


  1. Why Men Fail at Friendship | Psychologist and coach, Corporate consultant, Writer and editor, Mind-body practitioner | Dr. Kathy Jordan - 21. Jul, 2014

    […] have been a lot of responses to my old post “Five Foolproof Steps to Making Friends After 50.”  Only one man has ever commented about the challenges of male friendships, though a few women have […]

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