Most people know relationship advice is a huge business. But why does it always focus on romantic relationships and rarely on the importance of forming friendships? Friends play an important role in our social lives as well as our healthy mental habits. As we get older, making new friends can be intimidating or difficult. We no longer have co-workers with whom we can form strong bonds, and we are no longer meeting other parents at our kid’s sporting events. So, how do you make new friends after 60?
Why It’s Hard to Make New Friends After 60
Unlike other relationships and bonds, friendships are a special connection between people based on preference. Whether it’s choosing to keep company with people of similar interests or temperaments, friendships are unique because they are voluntary.
Unfortunately, this means we are more likely to simply fall out of friendships when we prioritize spending time with our families. It’s not anything personal, it’s just more acceptable to go longer periods of time without talking to our friends. And as our responsibilities grow throughout middle age, our once close friendships often take a hit. And for good reason. We should prioritize our partner over our friends.
However, the idea that its difficult to make new friends after 60 is starting to get some resistance and there is a good reason. It’s not true.
Make New Friends Over 60
Fortunately, a senior living community makes finding friends later in life a lot easier. Living on campus makes staying socially connected simple. It is a community of your peers with a lot to do together. This leads many people to believe the golden age of friendship might actually be your senior years. Which is great news if you’re over 60. But, how do you go about building a new social circle?
You might not think of it right away, but moving to a senior living community is a great opportunity to build new friendships later in life. Not only do you live in a community of your peers, but you all also have time to spend living the lifestyle you enjoy. You don’t have to live in a community for any of this advice to apply, however senior communities do a lot of the leg work for you.
Finding common interests is the easiest place to start when it comes to expanding your social circle. Its easier to build relationships around subjects or hobbies because it provides a focus and purpose for your first interactions (which could be otherwise stressful or awkward). This is the main reason clubs are so popular, it makes it easy for people of all ages to mingle around a single topic of interest. If you are building a new group around something you love, it will also give you the opportunity to talk about your interests with someone who shares the same.
You can also branch out and learn a new hobby or work to develop a new interest. This can present the opportunity to learn something with someone new or give your new friend the chance to talk about a subject they are interested in. Letting people teach you something or simply listen while they express their interest in a subject is a great way to demonstrate the value of your friendship.
Though this one appeals to the social butterfly more than a shy caterpillar, both social types can host events to widen your social circle. This is a good way to get to know the people in your community because it takes the pressure of getting to know you off the other person. Taking the initiative is very effective.
Though throwing parties are more associated with extroverted personality types, this can be a great opportunity for introverts to shine. Events are more than being the perfect host, they require organizational skills which might appeal to less extroverted individuals.
Just Be Yourself
We know this sounds hokey, but we mean it. One of the biggest issues people over 60 have with making new friends is the stigma attached to finding new social circles later in life. But the stigma, like many, is silly. Millions of Americans are in the same position as you, about 45 million in fact. That’s a lot of new people looking to make friends just like you are. So, if the idea of hosting events or joining clubs doesn’t appeal to you, don’t worry.
Now, of course, you can get all these benefits without living in a senior community but it makes the process a lot smoother. With planned events and many clubs to choose from, community living does all the heavy lifting for you.
Concord Reserve is a continuing care retirement community in Westlake, Ohio, independent lifestyle apartments, assisted living, rehab services, and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Concord Reserve online or at 440-871-0090. Concord Reserve is a continuing care retirement community in Cleveland, Ohio.