Do You Want To Make New Friends?

Do you want to make new friends? Maybe you have plenty already and really don’t need more. That certainly doesn’t describe me. As someone who is retired, I’m on the look-out for friendship opportunities. I’m convinced that if you’re even thinking about retirement, it’s time to get serious about creating new friendships.

I’ve always been friends with  people from my various workplaces. I still am, but I just don’t see those people every day anymore. At one point in time, our common bond was talking about work. Once you retire, you’ll find yourself less and less interested in talking about the old days. It’s ok for while but it begins to feel stale.  Points for you if you can still have a conversation that doesn’t involve talking about the wing nut that you both used to work with.

So I’ve got friends from work, school years and social organizations. I’ve also got my list of friends of friends plus friends of my husband.  However, eliminating work and moving dries up the number of  people I can actually see on a regular basis. Unfortunately, my friendship making skills are a little rusty. And this is the time that I need them.  When you’re working full-time and loading up your weekend with all the necessary life stuff, seeking out new friends just feels less important.

When you’re hanging out with people on a regular basis at school or work or even involved in your kid’s social activities, you have lots of opportunities to turn acquaintances into friends. Factor in retirement, working from home and/or a possible empty nest, and you’re left with fewer and fewer convenient places to connect with new people.

Retired or newly retired? Now’s the time to put yourself in situations to make an acquaintance.  “Acquaintance” may sound stuffy but it does mean someone who is a possible friend. And that’s who you’re looking for.

So, do you want to make new friends? Finding opportunities to meet new people should be easy but sometimes it’s just difficult to do. Going to a meet-up or joining activities related to your interests is a great place to start.  Online works too, I recently found a resource that you should check out.

Not long ago, I joined a national organization called, “GirlFriendCircles” to find new friends. So far, my experience has been positive. GirlFriendCircles promotes opportunities for women to make meaningful connections.

Just this week I met with a wonderful woman who was visiting my city and has a possible interest in moving here. We connected through GirlFriendCircles and discovered that we had a lot in common. Both of us shared our  experience in retiring and trying to make new friends. It’s a good feeling to know when others have the same experience as you do.

Regardless of where you begin to look for new friends, you’ll be putting yourself out there and it feels risky. Suppose they don’t like you? You just need to make peace with the feeling and go forward. My advice is to start doing it before you retire and get a head start on making new friendships.

Keep in mind, that all your friends now were strangers when you first met them. Don’t wait to stop working before you start your search for a new group of  friends to support you in your retired life.

The Retirement Style Blog routinely discusses a variety of retirement transition issues. For a full framework of retirement resources, please visit our Retirement Success Series. To speak with a certified retirement coach about your personal needs, please contact us.

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