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How to Make Friends in Your 50s: The Proper Way to Do It

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How to make friends in your 50s? I’ve had to ask myself this. Making friends isn’t easy once you’re 50 and up. It seems like at our age, if you’re living in a city full of established families and old friend groups (in a less transient rural community, for example) people can be a bit clique-ish.

They’ve already got their friends (and enemies). So who needs to meet little old me? Good thing I’m not a quitter!

I understand if you’re uneasy about putting yourself out there, but remember that you can still form new connections if you try.

My light-hearted tips will explore excellent ways to make friends in your 50s, and I’ll offer practical strategies to help you embark on this friendship and social connection journey.

Table of Contents

Understanding the Challenges of Making Friends in Your 50s

It’s normal for your social environment to change after hitting the big 5-0, making your prospects for friendship a little drier.

While making new friends may have been easier when you were younger, this new chapter can bring new obstacles.

My advice? Don’t approach it like you’re starting a new job; you’re here to put yourself out there!

By understanding yourself, you can approach making new friends in your 50s with empathy, resilience, and a renewed sense of possibility.

Impact of Life and Work Changes

A lack of exposure is one lifestyle factor that hurts our chances of making new friends. Maybe you’ve lost touch with old friends or don’t have opportunities to make new ones.

Your close friendships may have withered with time, or you simply grew apart; that’s fine! You can create chances to foster friendship.

I would also add work to these reasons. Starting in a new workplace is a fresh start that you can use to meet people and make friends, but putting down roots in your current job makes that harder.

Shifting Priorities

Your priorities also may have shifted after turning 50. For example, perhaps you’re experiencing empty nest syndrome.

Empty nest syndrome is a stumbling block to making potential new friends in your 50s.

Parents often experience a significant shift in their daily routines and responsibilities as their kids grow up and leave home.

Your focus moves from caring for your kids to finding new sources of personal fulfillment and engagement.

This adjustment can sometimes leave individuals feeling lost, affecting their motivation and ability to reach out to new companions.

Dealing with Loneliness and Isolation

Friends may move away, retire, or become less available due to family or work commitments.

Losing these connections can lead to loneliness and isolation, and you may struggle to branch out into new social circles.

We encountered new friends through mothers’ circles, school, and kids’ activities when our kids were younger.

Turning 50 can affect relationship dynamics, what with your children leaving home or transitioning into long-term partnerships.

These changes can disrupt established social routines and leave us searching for new sources of companionship and support.

Adjusting to these shifts can be challenging and contribute to feelings of loneliness.

How to Make Friends in Your 50s: Strategies and Activities

Making new friends in your 50s can be both exciting and challenging. I say it’s never too late to build new connections.

This section will explore effective strategies for finding female friends over 50 and male friends too!

Let’s dive into how you can build a vibrant social life in your 50s and beyond.

#1 Join Social Clubs and Interest Groups

One excellent way to expand your social circle is to join social clubs and groups.

Communities offer options to meet like-minded people who share your passions and hobbies. It could be a church group, a bible study group, or a cooking community.

Here are some of my tips to help you make friends after 50 by joining social clubs and groups.

  • Identify Your Interests: Reflect on your interests, hobbies, and activities that bring you joy. (Try new restaurants, form a walking group or book club, anything!)
  • Research Local Communities: Explore your local area to find social clubs (like a book club or wine night), organizations, or another community that caters to your interests.
  • Attend Events and Meetings: Take the initiative to attend social events, your local meetup group, or gatherings hosted by clubs you’re interested in.
  • Participate Actively: Once you’ve joined a social group, actively participate in group activities and discussions.
  • Volunteer or Take on Leadership Roles: Consider volunteering or taking on leadership roles within the club or community.
  • Stay Consistent and Committed: Consistency and commitment will help establish trust and deepen relationships.
  • Be Approachable and Welcoming: Create a welcoming atmosphere by being approachable and open to meeting interesting people.
  • Explore Different Activities: Branch out and experiment with different hobbies. Don’t limit yourself!
  • Utilize Online Platforms: Besides in-person interactions, online platforms are an invaluable resource that can help you make friends related to your hobbies.
  • Be Patient and Persistent: Be patient and persistent in building relationships. Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all!

You can create meaningful connections and foster belonging by identifying your hobbies, actively participating, and engaging with a friend.

Embrace the opportunities these communities offer, and be open to new experiences and companionship that can enrich your social life and bring joy to your 50s and beyond.

#2 Explore New Hobbies and Interests

Engaging in activities that captivate your curiosity allows you to discover new passions and create avenues to meet like-minded people. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try dancing the samba?

You can make new friends in your 50s by exploring new hobbies.

  • Self-Reflection and Exploration: Consider activities that pique your curiosity, like painting, photography, dancing, cooking, hiking, picking up a new instrument, or learning a new language.
  • Research and Enroll: Once you’ve picked out some potential hobbies, research to find local classes, workshops, or clubs that cater to those activities.
  • Engage with Fellow Participants: To make friends after 50, share your excitement about the hobby, and ask others about their experiences and perspectives.
  • Join Clubs or Meetup Groups: Explore clubs or meetup groups focusing on your chosen hobby or interest. (e.g., a community garden is ideal if you enjoy gardening.)
  • Attend Events and Conventions: To make friends after 50, sign up for conventions related to your newfound hobby.
  • Volunteer or Join Committees: Offer your time and skills by volunteering for affairs, committees, or organizations related to your hobby or interest.
  • Attend Retreats or Camps: Consider attending retreats or camps focused on your chosen hobby or interest. Some older adults say they met friends when they attended these affairs.
  • Embrace a Growth Mindset: Approach your new hobbies with a growth mindset. It’s a new chapter in your life, so make the most of it!

By immersing yourself in activities that ignite your passion, you enhance your fulfillment and create opportunities to connect with a potential friend.

Welcome the adventure of discovering new hobbies and allow companionships to evolve naturally as you engage with others who share your hobbies.

QUICK TIP: Check out your local library if you’re a bookworm. The book club is a great place to meet new folks and read books. Book clubs can help you make friends and provide mental stimulation in a complete package!

#3 Attend Meetups and Networking Events

When you make friends after 50, it can be an enriching and fulfilling experience, and attending meetups and networking occasions is a valuable strategy to expand your social circle.

These gatherings can allow you to connect with like-minded individuals and professionals. You can find community members with similar interests and goals.

Here are some networking tips I swear by for making friends after 50.

  • Identify Relevant Meetups and Events: Identify meetups and networking affairs that align with your hobbies. Try Meetup, for example, to see what’s going on in your area and area of interest.
  • Attend Industry or Professional Events: To expand your professional network and make friends, consider attending industry-specific or professional networking occasions.
  • Join Social and Special Interest Meetups: Explore meetups focused on social activities or special hobbies.
  • Engage in Conversations: When attending meetups or networking occasions, talk or strike up a conversation with others. You might meet a potential friend.
  • Participate in Group Activities: Many meetups and networking occasions involve group activities or discussions. Be proactive to help yourself stand out!
  • Share Your Expertise: If you have advanced knowledge or skills in a particular area, consider offering to share your expertise in relevant affairs. You might meet a new friend!
  • Follow Up and Stay Connected: To make friends after 50, follow up with the individuals you connected with after attending meetups or networking occasions.
  • Volunteer for Organizing Committees: Consider volunteering for organizing committees or becoming a regular participant in the planning and execution of meetups or affairs.
  • Attend Social Mixers and Happy Hours: Look out for social mixers or happy hours for a more casual and relaxed setting for networking. Meeting new people is easier in a more relaxed setting, right?
  • Be Open-Minded and Approachable: Approach meetups and networking occasions with an open mind. More people will talk to you if you’re friendly and approachable.

#4 Volunteering and Community Involvement

Volunteering lets you contribute to a cause dear to your heart while connecting with new folks who share your values.

It’s important to remember these strategies and activities involved in making new friends in your 50s through volunteering and community involvement.

  • Identify Causes and Organizations: Identify causes or organizations that resonate with your hobbies and values.
  • Determine Your Skillset: Assess your skills, talents, and experiences to determine how you can contribute effectively.
  • Reach Out to Local Organizations: Contact the organizations that tickle your fancy and inquire about volunteer opportunities.
  • Commit to Regular Volunteering: Commit to volunteering regularly to make friends after 50.
  • Participate in Team Activities: Engage in team activities or group projects organized by the organization. Your teammate could be your new friend!
  • Volunteer for Events and Fundraisers: Offer to help organize events or fundraisers to make friends after 50.
  • Join Committees or Leadership Roles: Express your curiosity about taking on more organizational responsibilities.
  • Attend Volunteer Appreciation Events: Many organizations host these appreciation events to recognize the contributions of their volunteers.
  • Stay Engaged in the Community: Beyond volunteering for a specific organization, stay engaged in your local community.
AARP’s “Create The Good” organization provides volunteering opportunities for mature adults
Americorps Seniors
Americorps Seniors: for 55 and older volunteers.
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Search volunteer opportunities in your area.

#5 Online Connections and Social Media

The digital landscape provides numerous platforms and opportunities to connect with new people from diverse backgrounds and hobbies.

Here’s how to dip your feet in the pond and make friends after 50 through online connections and social media.

  • Choose the Right Platforms: Explore friendship apps for seniors that suit your hobbies and preferences.
  • Update and Optimize Your Profile: Ensure your online profile accurately represents your hobbies, experiences, and personality.
  • Join Relevant Groups and Communities: Look for online groups and communities that align with your hobbies and passions.
  • Actively Participate in Discussions: Once you join groups and communities, actively participate in discussions and engage with others.
  • Initiate Conversations and Connect: Don’t hesitate to talk with online acquaintances! Strike up a conversation with new people who resonate with you.
  • Attend Virtual Events and Webinars: Many online platforms host virtual events, webinars, or live sessions on various topics.
  • Explore Online Interest-Based Communities: Beyond general social media platforms, explore online communities or forums dedicated to specific hobbies.
  • Participate in Online Classes and Workshops: Online classes and workshops present chances to pick up a new skill, broaden your knowledge, and meet people who share your hobbies.
  • Video Calls and Virtual Coffee Chats: Once you’ve established a connection with someone online, consider taking it a step further by scheduling video calls or virtual coffee chats.
  • Exercise Caution and Privacy: While it’s fun to make friends online, remember to protect your privacy and exercise caution!

Tips for Building Strong Relationships

Building strong and meaningful relationships is essential for many things. Things like personal happiness, professional success, and overall well-being.

There’s nothing like nurturing healthy connections, whether with family members, couple friends, romantic partners, or colleagues!

From effective communication and active listening to fostering trust, empathy, and mutual respect, my tips will empower you to cultivate deep and lasting bonds.

Now, here’s how to build strong relationships.

Cultivate a Positive Attitude

A positive attitude can contribute significantly to the success and longevity of any relationship, be it personal or professional.

Reflect on your beliefs and behaviors. Identify any negative patterns or biases hindering your ability to maintain a positive attitude.

Develop a habit of expressing gratitude for your friends. Acknowledge and appreciate their presence, support, and positive qualities.

Vocalize your gratitude through kind words, gestures, or small acts of kindness. Focus on the positive aspects of your relationships.

Instead of dwelling on the flaws or shortcomings of others, consciously shift your attention toward their strengths and positive contributions.

Practice Active Listening

Active listening involves fully engaging with the speaker, understanding their message, and responding in a way that shows genuine curiosity and understanding.

You can strengthen your relationships and foster deeper connections by practicing active listening.

Talk and give the speaker your undivided attention when engaging in a conversation. Put away distractions like phones or other electronic devices and focus on what your friend has to say.

Maintain eye contact and show through your body language that you’re present and attentive.

Pay attention to your friends’ non-verbal cues, like their facial reactions, gestures, and tone of voice. These cues can provide valuable insights into their emotions and underlying messages.

Be Open and Authentic

Be open and authentic in your interactions with others. This will create an environment of trust and mutual respect.

Authenticity starts with being true to yourself. Embrace your values, beliefs, and unique personality traits. Avoid acting like someone you’re not or hiding your thoughts and feelings.

People are more likely to trust and connect when you’re genuine and authentic. Openly express your thoughts, emotions, and opinions, but do it respectfully.

Share your experiences, dreams, and aspirations. This vulnerability allows others to get to know you deeper and encourages them to reciprocate.

Create a non-judgmental space. This will help others feel comfortable with sharing their thoughts and feelings. Practice active listening and suspend judgment.

Maintain and Nurture Existing Friendships

Friendships require effort, care, and attention to thrive over time. Stay in touch with your close friends through regular communication.

Get in touch through phone calls, text messages, or social media to check in, share updates, or simply catch up. Stay connected and show that you value your friendship with them.

Arrange a get-together with some good friends you haven’t met in a while. Whether that means meeting in a coffee shop or organizing a dinner party, spend time with them.

Be genuinely interested in your friends’ lives. Ask about their experiences, goals, and challenges. Listen attentively, offer support, and celebrate their successes.

By showing curiosity, you demonstrate that you value their well-being and actively engage in their lives. Be there for your friends during good and challenging times.

Even the most optimistic person you know may be feeling isolated from time to time. If you’re a shy person or introverted, reach out to them for a change!

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re still wondering how to make friends after 50 and beyond, pay close attention to this section!

How Can I Conquer My Fear of Rejection When Making New Friends in My 50s?

Overcoming the fear of rejection when making new friends in your 50s requires a combination of self-confidence, a positive mindset, and the understanding that rejection is a normal part of the process.

Here are a few activities I’ve run across that are popular among people in their 50s and beyond. Some common activities include:

  • Workout Class or Local YMCA
  • Travel and Adventure
  • Cultural and Artistic Pursuits
  • Outdoor Activities
  • Continuing Education at a Local College
  • Volunteering
  • Social Clubs and Interest Groups
  • Mentorship and Coaching

Can Exercising and Staying Physically Active Help Me Make a Few Friends in My 50s?

Yes, exercising and staying physically active can help you make more friends! Engaging in physical activities offers numerous opportunities for social interaction and connection.

So, whether you join a fitness class, a local YMCA, a yoga studio, or join group activities (like a walking group), exercise can be a great resource for making friends; plus, who doesn’t want to be fit?

How Can I Make Old Friends After Losing a Spouse or Divorce?

Making friends after losing a spouse or going through a divorce is a challenging and emotional process.

Take the time to heal and process your emotions before you seek new friendships or meet people.

Grief and healing are personal journeys, and it’s important to prioritize self-care and emotional well-being.

How Do I Maintain Long-Distance Friendships After Moving to a New City or Country?

Maintaining long-distance friendships after moving to a new city or country requires effort and effective communication.

Set a regular schedule for communication with your long-distance friends. Consistency is key to staying connected despite the distance.

Take advantage of various communication tools to meet people, such as video calls, instant messaging, or social media platforms.


Making friends after 50 is crucial for your overall well-being. It provides a support system, reduces feelings of loneliness, and enriches your life with meaningful connections.

Show initiative, step out of your comfort zone, and explore different activities to make new friends!

Embrace new opportunities, join clubs, engage in hobbies, attend events, and utilize online platforms to connect and meet friends.

Building friendships takes time and effort, but the rewards are immeasurable. So take that first step, open yourself to new experiences, and enjoy.

Your social connections will help you live your best life. Get out there and have a great time making new friends while staying safe!

Our Favorite Senior Friendship Chats, Apps, and Sites

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