As adults grow older, responsibilities to work and family can make it difficult to stay connected to friends. Over time, social circles may unravel and people may find themselves wondering where those close relationships have gone and how they can make more friends and socialize more.
People who do not routinely socialize, especially those who do not have a spouse or partner, can experience loneliness. When AARP surveyed adults age 45 and older about loneliness, a little over one-third of respondents were categorized as lonely. That’s alarming, as loneliness is considered a significant predictor of poor health. Rates of loneliness were highest among respondents between the ages of 45 and 49.
Improving social connections, getting out more and making friends are excellent ways to boost one’s mental and physical well-being. Making friends is not about one’s age but one’s situation. It’s easy for school-aged kids to make friends because they see the same classmates for many hours each day.
Striking up conversations and finding common ground are a snap. Adults often find there are fewer situations that enable them to preserve existing friendships and make new ones. As a result, many adults seek to replicate circumstances that made making friends so easy when they were young.
Start off by spending more time around people who share similar interests. Attend wine tastings, participate in an adult sports league, volunteer at church, or take an art course. Meetup.com and its accompanying app enables people to find social situations for just about every scenario and can be a way to find friends who share common interests.
Be optimistic and try new things when people you meet suggest them. Openness to new experiences will help you get closer to people and fill up your social calendar. You don’t have to like everything you try, but finding new hobbies or interests can pave the way to new friendships.
Don’t be afraid to talk to new people. Make a good first impression by being confident and taking the lead.
It is fun and healthy to be social and make new friends. New opportunities can be the spice of life.
– Metro Service