Friendships can add a spring to your step, increase your sense of purpose and reduce stress, according to the Mayo Clinic. But creating friendships, like eating healthily, is much easier discussed than accomplished. When you're in your 40s and single, you have to work harder to find opportunities to meet people than an 18-year-old who is just beginning college. Without deliberately setting out to add friends to your life, new friendships are unlikely to happen. However, when you intentionally make adjustments in your life to create soil ripe for the seeds of friendship, change will happen.
By the time you're in your 40s, you have a wealth of experience to offer other people. Look at opportunities in your community to share your expertise with others. For example, if you're a lawyer, chances are, an advocacy organization in town could use your help. Or if you're successfully raising teens, an after-school program for at-risk teens could probably use your help once a week. Volunteering unites you with other people who have similar interests. Not only will you make friends, but a June 2008 paper in "Social Science and Medicine" indicates that you'll also likely increase your overall happiness.
Taking up a new hobby can be a fruitful way to make new friends. While fly-fishing isn't likely to net you many new relationships, deciding to become a long-distance bike rider will immediately immerse you in a community full of like-minded people who are supportive of one another. As a single guy, chances are you have the time to pursue interests that are inaccessible to people who have spousal responsibilities. Consider travel as a hobby. If you're looking for a break in your career, you could even take off on a trip around the world. When you return, you'll have friends in every corner of the world and many interesting tales to tell to pique the interest of new friends.
Open Your Home
Many times, people are looking for a party they can attend rather than throwing one themselves. Instead of hoping for an invitation to a backyard barbecue this weekend, consider having one yourself. All of the other people you know who were hoping for an invitation will be delighted, and as you continue to host such events, you will become known for your hospitality. Never mind that you're not part of a couple or part of a younger crowd. Don't shy away from inviting married friends or co-workers you know will never become your best buddies. Encourage people to bring a friend, and you'll find that opportunities for meeting new people will literally arrive on your doorstep.
Look Beyond the Obvious
Look for people in a similar life stage as you, suggests Eric Klinenberg in a July 2012 interview for "The Atlantic." Being in your 40s need not mean that you can only befriend individuals of the same age. Instead, look for others who are in similar circumstances. The 45-year-old guy at the office whom you connect with may not ever be able to spend time with you because of family obligations, whereas the 28-year-old single guy who lives down the street might be the perfect weekend fishing buddy.