Making new friends in mid-life can be tough. Since you're likely not going to school or parenting and may not be working anymore, it can be difficult to meet new people with similar interests, says psychologist and friendship expert Irene S. Levine, Ph.D. in the Psychology Today article, "Make Midlife Friendships: Not Always Easy." These circumstances mean you're less likely to see people day after day, which is a circumstance that would let friendships progress naturally. Still, a bit of initiative can go a long way toward finding people and helping a new connection bloom.
Seek New Social Circles
Friendships occur and deepen when people are thrown into constant contact with one another, says Levine. You should seek out similar situations, especially since in mid-life this is less likely to occur naturally. Choose activities that interest you. Join political, cultural or social groups. Find a cooking class, book club or gym that appeals to you. Volunteer at an organization such as your local hospital or library. Take your dog to the park and strike up a conversation with other canine lovers. A bit of initiative goes a long way to find friends with similar interests that you'll see on a regular basis.
Manage Your Expectations
Deep friendships take time to develop. Don't expect too much too quickly, advises Levine. If you're too demanding, you might scare off new friends. Instead, welcome new acquaintances while pursing your own passions. Be aware of your own loneliness and your need for friends. This will help mitigate any clinginess, says Levine. Some people may not be available or want a close friendship. Try not to take it personally as the reasons may have nothing to do with you. Pursue the friendship with confidence while still giving it room to evolve naturally.
Take the Initiative
Once you're meeting new people, don't be afraid to take the initiative to get the friendship rolling. If you're meeting under inconsistent circumstances the friendship will need more TLC to flourish. Call or email your new friend to continue your in-person conversations. Suggest further meet-ups. If the friendship isn't blossoming be persistent. Continue to seek out new situations where you can connect. This may feel uncomfortable but remember that you're no longer in high school. If you're rejected it's probably not personal -- she may be too busy. You have plenty to offer so wait until you click with the right person.
Choose Women Who Make You Better
If you want a true friendship, choose women who make you a better person. A good friend should challenge you to continue to evolve. For example, you may join a gym and befriend a fellow gym bunny who helps you work towards becoming stronger and healthier. Or, you meet someone who pushes you to pursue activities that make you happier, such as working part-time to spend more time with your kids or grandchildren. Whatever the case, once you identify a new friend who enriches your life, pursue the friendship actively.
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