Once you hit 40, it seems like your social circles start to change. You may have changed careers and started over with a new set of peers. You could have moved, or just been too involved with your kids’ lives to maintain those old friendships. Or, maybe you’ve gotten a divorce and had to deal with the “splitting of the friends” that has left you wondering where everyone has gone. And, as often happens as we grow and change, you may just find that you don’t have the same interests or things in common with some of your friends any longer, which can make hanging out with them uncomfortable.
No matter the circumstance, one thing is for certain: finding friends later in life is hard. You’re not in class and being exposed to new people every day like in college. And, chances are, you’re not hanging out with a group of people at bars every weekend, either.
So, when you’re our age, where do you go to meet new friends?
Before you roll your eyes with “Great, just what I need! Something else on the ‘to do’ list!” hear me out. Volunteering for a cause you believe in and support is a great way to meet people who have the same interests as you. If you all love helping a pit bull rescue, then you already have something in common. Grow those relationships into friendships!
Online platforms like Facebook.com and Meetup.com have groups that you can join (or ask to join if it’s a private group). And, these platforms have any group interest topic that you can dream up. Just search on the site and check out a few groups before you join. And, many local online groups will have in-person meetups, but getting to know the people online first can take some of the anxiety out of meeting an entirely new group of people.
Online deal sites like Groupon and Living Social has daily deals for local events in your area. Check the sites out and scoop up some of those cheap deals for public events like marathon runs, pub crawls, food tastings and more. Not only will you be exposed to some new things in your area, but you will likely meet some cool new people, too.
I know, you’re tired and the last thing you want to do while running your kids from here to there is strike up a conversation. However, if you see the same people at your kids’ classes and extra curricular events, take some time to talk to them. My guess is you have more in common than you think.
Most colleges or fraternities and sororities have local groups for major metropolitan areas. Look up those groups online and then get involved. Many of them will have meetups to watch games or to celebrate different functions. And, don’t be put off if most of the group is younger than you. Embrace people of all ages and stages. You might just be surprised.