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  • Writer's pictureMichele Andorfer

Fulfilling Relationships Later in Life: How to Find Friends in Your 40s and 50s

It’s easy to make friends when we’re kids, right? We just run up to someone on the playground or start pushing them on the swings, and suddenly, we are best friends. As we go through our school years, striking up a conversation with the person next to us in freshman English or living on our dorm floor could lead to late-night talks and lasting friendships.

Even when we got married and threw kids into the mix, we gained new friends through our spouse’s friends or the other parents on our kid’s sports team. 

Unfortunately, as we move into adulthood and the kids move out, making new friends starts to get harder. It can be challenging to make friends in our 40s and 50s. We aren’t being pushed out of our comfort zones by college classes or t-ball practice, so it can become very easy to keep to ourselves. 

But friendships are probably more important than ever during this transitional period. Retirements get scheduled, kids move out, and divorce or loss happens. Solid relationships are the important cornerstone to get us through these tough times. Regardless of age, there are ways to find people and form connections.

Friendships Are Just As Important As Romantic Relationships

Everyone loves a great love story — that’s why Lifetime and Hallmark Christmas movies are so popular! But romantic love isn’t always the answer, especially during a transitional period of life.

These periods are when platonic relationships become really important. In fact, most research points to stable, understanding, and committed companionship as being more important than a passionate, lustful romance.

Of course, companionship is a part of romantic relationships, but you can also have solid and healthy friendships that fill that void. That kind of support is priceless!

Tips for Making Friends Later in Life

If you’re in your 40s and 50s and missing that type of solid support, don’t worry! All hope isn’t lost. There are still ways to find the connections you’re missing so much.

Start simple. Volunteer your time for causes and charities that are important to you. This will put you in the position to meet and talk with people of similar interests, which is a great way to make new friends. 

You can also look into recreational activities and classes that interest you. Let yourself find that creative spark that has been missing in your life! That book club at the library or the art class downtown are great ways to meet people with similar interests. 

Just getting out of your house can do wonders. Go for walks in a local park or get really brave and take a group trip, such as a bus day trip with a local club or even an international group travel tour.

Don’t forget about social media! These platforms make it easy to keep in touch with friends and family or reconnect with those you’ve lost touch with. You can also use them to network with your neighbors or connect with people near and far over hobbies and interests. All of these are ideas for how people over 50 can make new friends.

Turn Acquaintances Into Friends

Once you’ve met new people or reconnected with old friends, remember to work on intentionally deepening those connections. Be sure to prioritize staying connected through frequent check-ins or visits.

When you make plans, try your best to stick to them. In-person connection is so important, not just for our physical health but also for the health of our relationships.

When you make people feel important and valued, chances are they will return your efforts. Putting intentional work into your relationships will help them grow deeper and, in turn, more fulfilling.

Get Help Navigating Changing Relationships

Making and keeping new friends certainly sounds easy when we break it down this way, but sometimes, mental blocks or unfinished business can hold us back from finding those personal connections we crave so badly.

If you need help navigating a time of transition and you don’t have the supportive community you need, reach out to take advantage of my one-on-one coaching opportunity. Through our work together, we can break down your walls, get to the root of the problems, and set you up for success – whatever that may look like to you!



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