When it comes to making friends later in life, the tactics haven’t really changed all that much from when you were young and just starting out. Okay, you might not be sharing a jumping rope or swapping sandwiches out of your lunchboxes on your break but making friends is all about sharing the same interests, having a similar sense of humour,loyalty and always there when they need someone.
Friendships change over time, from your 20s when you’re still trying to put off getting a mortgage and drinking too much on a Saturday (then regretting it the next day) to your 30s when you’re still coming to terms with the fact that everyone’s pregnant and married and your idea of a wild night in is with some posh cheese and wine and finally in your 40s when you probably have a family of your own and rarely get to see each other. These friendships either evolve and adapt or they fade away to be replaced by new ones.
There are plenty of reasons why you might be looking to make new friends now that you’re older; perhaps you’ve moved away or changed jobs or have simply lost touch with old friends? Whatever the reason, here are five things you should do that will help you make connections no matter what age you are:
Try a new activity
Joining a group is one of the easiest ways of making friends, as you socialise with people who have the same mindset. It could be a walking club at the weekends, a bowling night or even heading down to your local bingo hall for a couple of games. Get chatting to people on your table and remember that the game is actually really good for your health, when it comes to stimulating your mind and improving your memory recall – according to the Wink Bingo, winkly blog.
Say yes to any invitation
Whether it’s a work colleague asking you to join the group for after work drinks or that sports group you’ve joined organising an annual get together with other groups around the country, it’s a good idea to say yes to everything. This positive response to any occasion will throw you in front of new people to get to know and into different situations you might have missed out on before.
Understand what you want from a friend
Friendships only last because the two of you meet each other’s expectations about what being a friend entails. No one wants to be pally with someone who does nothing but moan about their list of ailments and family troubles but you also don’t want to be friends with someone who doesn’t contribute anything to a conversation and just agrees with everything you say. If it helps, make a list of what you want from your new friend and seek that person out but understand, they might have their own list that you must match.
Friendships are built up by spending lots of time with the other person, so if you’ve met someone you like at that weekly yoga class be sure to go every week and find a spot near them where you can chat before the lesson starts and when it ends. Consistency is key when it comes to building a friendship, when we were children school and extra curriculum clubs did all the hard work for you – now it’s time to be committed yourself.
Be a little vulnerable
Friendships only work if you’re completely honest and open with the other person, this is why you need to allow yourself to be a little vulnerable around them and to open up. Trust each other and you’ll soon be gossiping over the phone and meeting for coffee, no matter what age you are.