Is your social life suffering as you approach the empty nester years? Are you looking for ways to meet other moms also going through the empty nest stage? Where do you look for new friends when you’re an empty nester? Read on to learn where to meet mom friends as an empty nester in your area. I’ve got some great tips for meeting new friends!
Why Is It Hard to Make Friends after 40?
There are many reasons why it is not easy to make new friends as an adult.
Here is my personal answer to this question. I am introverted and haven’t made time to make new friends or cultivate many of my older friendships. Outside of my passions for theater and health coaching, I am content to be home with my family.
However, I’m starting to feel the sting now that my kids aren’t home as much. My social circle has gotten smaller, and sometimes loneliness sets in. I have many friends throughout my theater circle, but few close friends. After talking to other mothers in the same boat, I’m not alone. It’s for that reason that I’m writing this post.
No matter what personality we have, friendship is an essential part of our well-being and mental health. And studies show that our friendships actually improve our physical health.
But it is hard to make new friends… especially the older we get. Here are some reasons why it’s challenging to make new friends. Do you relate to any of them?
While raising children, making friends is not a big priority. Our schedules are full of activities with family members, and we have little time to manage our schedules.. let alone set aside time for making friends.
It can be intimidating to make new friends. The past couple of years didn’t help out either. We became more isolated, and many people developed social anxiety and other problems that affect mental health. And the thought of social interaction outside your immediate family can be overwhelming for some of us. I’ve found that I need to put myself out there more to reduce anxiety. Otherwise, the social stress builds even more until I’m at risk of becoming a complete social hermit.
Only using social media to stay in contact with friends
We need to meet face-to-face with our friends to develop quality relationships. Reading your friends’ posts and hitting the like button isn’t enough. We need to talk to our friends. And we need to speak to them regularly, so they know how much we care about them. You can’t read a person’s body language or hear their tone of voice to understand how they are actually feeling. Social media has its place, but you miss so much if your only form of communication is passively participating in other people’s lives.
Where to Make New Friends as an Empty Nester
Are you ready to expand your social circle? Here are the best places for empty nesters to make friends.
Contact old friends
When was the last time you reached out to some friends in your current social circle? What if I told you that plenty of friends and family members are just waiting for you to reach out and say hello? Reaching out to people you already know is the easiest way to expand your social circle.
Find local groups you want to join
When you get involved with local groups of people with similar interests, you will make a few friends. When you are around people with similar interests, making friends is a bit easier. The conversations are more interesting and enjoyable when you share the same passions.
Check your local college to see what they offer the community. It’s never too late to learn something new.
Also, your local library may offer classes. Your library is an invaluable resource for taking classes to explore your interests. Some examples of courses at my library include family folklore and charcuterie board making. I found these classes by looking at the calendar at my local library.
Taking some of these classes can often lead to forming new friendships. We meet like-minded people when we take classes with other people who want to learn the same things.
Join one of the Meetup Groups
These are groups revolving around a shared interest. And you are bound to find a group of like-minded people. To navigate the Meetup.com site, enter terms in the search bar such as over 40, over 50, or empty nester. I found several women’s groups created for the sole purpose of making new friends.
Attend Local Events
Scout out events in your local area. Look at your paper’s local listings or your town’s website. Some events are free, and others require registration. I am surprised at how many events my community holds. You never know who you might meet at these events.
Volunteer in your local community
Making your local community a better place is a great way to make new friends. You could volunteer at your library, community theater, or church. Find out what organizations need help, and go volunteer. Making new friends simply by getting involved in your community is possible.
Sign up for a friend match-up
A friend-matching site is similar to a dating site, but for making new friends. These apps work by pairing you with women who have the same interests or similar personalities. I don’t have any personal experience with these apps, but I might give them a try. I didn’t even know they existed until I started doing my research for this blog post.
If you are ready to get your social life on the right track, I hope you will explore some ideas from this article. Chances are you will quickly make a new friend or two. The more you put yourself out there, the more interesting people you will meet. And one of them could end up becoming one of your best friends.