In our mobile society, more and more people do not live near where they were born and/or grew up. While I don’t know how accurate this figure is, I have read that on average American families move 12 to 16 times in a lifetime. Yikes! As I tally the moves I have made so far, I am at 16 with at least one more move to go. Moving, and the adjustments that come with it, can be hard. Making and keeping friends in our itinerant and busy culture can be difficult. How, then, do we in the over 50 crowd make new friends after a move?
Perhaps it is not moving that has left us with a short, if non-existent, friend list. Often people become so consumed by their work – their careers – that they fail to build friendships outside of work and family. This happened to me. I spent so much time engrossed in planning curriculum, teaching, and grading that almost my entire life revolved around my immediate family and school/school related events. When I chose to leave my teaching position, the lessened stress and added available time was like a breath of fresh air. I was fortunate to be able to reconnect with two or three former colleagues; we enjoy “girl” visits and on occasion get together with our families. Though I have moved, we still connect, but not as often.
Here are some suggestions of ways to make new friends after a move or after release from career demands.
- Activity-oriented groups geared toward your age group (Ex: FiftyForward found in Middle Tennessee or a Senior Citizens Group)
- Volunteer organizations (Ex: Look for groups like Hands On Nashville)
- Churches or other places of worship (Ex: Davidson County, TN has a list of churches)
- Fitness facilities and sporting activities (Ex: Exercise groups, bowling leagues, walking clubs, and geocaching)
- Take a class – it doesn’t have to be an expensive college class; check out free or low-cost classes offered for adults in art, computers, etc. (Ex: Free art classes)
- Talk to your neighbors , which is something most of us don’t do very much anymore.
Good luck to all of us as we seek to establish new friendships.
Have a blessed and happy day!
This work by Angela C. Johnson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at livingandlovinglifeafter50.