Fact: You need to put some effort into making friends at 50. You’re not going to bond over late nights in the dorm, or join a gaggle of moms pushing strollers into Starbucks. Your co-workers are often decades younger than you. So, you may actually have to seek out some other oldsters. Here’s how:
- Lurk about places where other fiftysomethings hang out – Saturday morning yoga classes, jazz bars, the large-print section at the library. If you don’t find a friend, you may find a hobby. If you don’t find a hobby, you may find a convenient public restroom.
- Don’t be so picky. It’s possible to meet a best, best friend for life at 50 – but it’s more likely that you meet people you enjoy in small to medium-sized doses. Lunch once a month is a friend. Book club buddies are friends. The nice church lady who asks about your kids every time you see her is a friend.
- Don’t act needy. Even if you are. Which, if you’re purposefully looking for friends at 50, you most definitely are. But that’s ok! There is probably a needy someone out there looking for you.
- Expand your range. You can be friends with someone who is a). significantly older or younger than you; b). of the opposite gender; c). doesn’t agree with you 100% when it comes to politics, religion, or whether or not Will Ferrell is the comedic genius of our time.
- Dip into the Internet. No, Facebook-only friends don’t count as real friends. But you can supplement real friendships by using social media to get to know people. (Or at least find out that they spend their work hours watching cute cat videos and have the satisfaction of feeling superior for two minutes.)
- Be your own best friend. Take yourself out to lunch, share passages from your favorite book, and ruminate on what a great relationship you’ve had over the years. Laugh about all the good times and promise to keep in touch. Then go home and secretly wonder if Other You isn’t getting a little weird in her old age.