Hey. Want to be my friend? Sure. And you go off…hand in hand into the sunset to play with pieces of bark, climb the jungle gym, or skip rope. I just made a new friend like this yesterday. Actually, that’s not true. I wish it was.
As you enter what seems like a new era in your life, making friends should be this easy, right? Not so. I feel like I am personally stuck in some limbo place where I don’t know what to do. My girls are both, ahhh, both going to be in high school now. However, some of my friends have younger kids. They seem to have more time to meet new people because they are in that “I still have to drive everywhere, and go to play dates, etc” phase.
I also have friends who don’t have children, or have kids who have been out of the house a long time. I want to let you in on a little secret. This in-between limbo place is hard. I feel like other people have it together in this area, and I look around and wonder if I just don’t “people” well. I probably don’t to be honest because I don’t fit in with the norm…and I like it that way to a certain extent. Working alone doesn’t give me time to socialize face to face.
The difference now, is that people who are in their 40’s actually remember a time when we used to get together. A time when we had dinner parties, house warmings, Christmas open houses, or just come by for a beverage nights. So what can someone do to make new friends and rekindle this lost art of socializing?
How to make friends after 40:
- You have to be open to the possibility. Meaning, it might take you out of your comfort zone and you might actually have to say “Hey. That looks like fun. Can I come too?” <<< Now I know this seems like you are inviting yourself, but you are reaching out to see what the response is. New friendships don’t just happen and maybe there seems to be the same ole’ crew doing things, and they aren’t aware that you might like to come to. You can hint at it, but I actually suggest just outright saying that you’d be interested in x, y, or z event as well. See what happens from there. I bet they didn’t think you’d be interested.
- Announce it on your status. Sadly, most people will read your status before they call, text or ask you what’s up, right? So say “Hey. I am thinking about getting a paint night together on x date. Comment if you’re in.” Boom. You have a night out planned.
- Make a private list in your journal of what you like to do and what types of people you actually want to attract. I don’t cross-stitch. I just threw that out there because I am not going to find new friends at a sewing circle. I do yoga, hike, walk in the woods (almost the same thing, but not quite), drink wine, be a hermit, go to the mountains, read books, garden, write, journal, listen to 80’s music, pet dogs, be a geek, like to eat food that’s gluten-free, and occasionally paint bad paintings at expensive paint nights. I could go on, but you get my drift. I would like to attract people who kind of like the same things as me or at least have a few things in common with me. The hermit part is actually important because I need friends who ask me to do things, yet understand if I say no because insert hermity excuse. << it doesn’t mean I don’t want to see people, it just means not then.
- Join online groups of like-minded people. After you have your list, check out places like Meetup.com and/or local FB groups. Also, you can always volunteer at a local museum or hospital. What if there’s nothing on the list that you like? Start your own if you want. Announce in those NextDoor app places that you are having a book club on x night to read Harry Potter again for the 100th time and anyone who wants to discuss the new things you found after this 100th reading can come over. Wear your house colors though.
Some people say that it’s a matter of lifestyle and what’s important to you. That if you want to make friends, you really will find a way, not an excuse. I agree with that to be honest. I know that I use excuses to back out of things (I’m in a nest today. I’m writing. It’s cold.), but lately I looked up and felt panic. Holy Crap. My kids are almost in college. I need to make more of an effort. And I do believe there’s time for us all to make more of an effort no matter your age. So let go of the “My house is a mess” excuse, and start planning an event. I’ll bring the wine or gluten-free snacks. If you tell me I can wear my pajamas over that’s a plus.
Interested in uniting separately in your own homes to work together with my like-minded journal therapy group? Read more here >>> HHH Club <<<