How to make friends in your 50s

05 October 2020

Making friends in your 50s can be an uphill task. For many people, the social opportunities from earlier in life – university halls, after-work drinks, the daily school run – no longer apply. So, if your children have flown the nest and you’re staring at an empty calendar, here’s how you can spread your wings as a social butterfly.

The importance of over 50s friendships

When you’re young, opportunities for socialising present themselves naturally, starting with school and college, then perhaps university, the workplace, and if you have children, the connections you make as a parent. But when you get to your 50s and your schedule is lighter, you may have to work a little harder. This is especially true for people whose partners have passed away. Having a network of friends in your 50s means you can beat loneliness, protect your well-being and explore new interests.

How to make friends over 50

Here are just some of the ways you can meet people of all ages, but particularly those experiencing the same stage of life as you.

1. Find a new hobby

You don’t get to choose your office colleagues, but the beauty of exploring a new hobby or a long-held passion is that you can hang out with like-minded people. Whether you fancy art classes, amateur theatre or a weekly book club, there are no shortage of opportunities to expand your circle.

2. Learn a new skill

It’s never too late to return to university as a mature student and reskill. While freshers’ week may not be your thing anymore, there are lots of chances to meet people in the seminar room. And if university doesn’t take your fancy, check out your nearest community notice board to see what local groups you can join.

3. Surf the web

Online community forums offer a fantastic platform for interacting with local people, promoting events, and reconnecting with old friends. In just a couple of clicks you can find out about local activities near you.

4. Volunteer

Helping out in the community offers some of the best ways to develop over 50s friendships. Popular volunteering options include animal shelters, sports teams and places of worship.

5. Embrace the outdoors

Getting back to nature is not only good for your health and well-being, but offers countless ways to meet new people. Walking groups give plenty of opportunities for long conversations, while local gyms and running clubs are good for your mind, body and soul.

The best places to make friends over 50

You’re ready to meet new people, but where do you go? Here are some ideas for places and activities where you’re likely to make new friends:

• Book clubs

• Choirs

• Art classes

• Writing groups

• Libraries

• Allotments

• Animal shelters

• Dog walking

• Community theatres

• Running clubs

• Wildlife centres

• Places of worship

• Supper clubs

• Charity shops

• Community gardens (which also has lots of health benefits)

• Walking groups

• Sports teams.

Making friends in your 50s

Some of the best ways to make friends in your 50s include local activities like supper clubs and art classes, as well as groups which take you into the great outdoors – from dog walking to hiking. But making friends is also about a mindset, so a positive, outgoing approach will boost your confidence and allow you to make friends for life.