Why Making Friends Later In Life Hard? | 10 Tips to Make Friends in Midlife
Stepping into midlife is like stepping into different shoes within a span of a few minutes; before you adjust to one pair, it’s time to change into another! While some aspects of your midlife years become easier; and more settled, some just keep getting difficult. One of them is making new relationships – friendships and romantic relationships.
With middle age comes different types of concerns, especially in our social circles. Friendships fade, partners separate, and dear ones move to different places. As we age, genuine social connections seem far away.
It’s important to recognize that making new friends and relationships in this stage of life is possible and rewarding in itself. Despite that, making friends in your 40s is not easy. School times were simpler, and even college times were easy, but as we age, it becomes difficult to find meaningful friendships and connections.
Don’t fret! Today, we’re taking a look at ways you can make friends and even date in your midlife.
Why Making Friends in Midlife So Hard?
Studies show that difficulty in making friends in midlife can stem from different reasons. One major factor is the hectic nature of this stage of life. Between career responsibilities, family commitments, and pursuing our interests, taking time for social circles becomes almost like a precious gem.
In a 2022 study, it was found that adults in midlife tend to have a smaller social circle compared to young adults. The demands and challenges of life can limit socializing, making it difficult to meet new people, date, and form friendships.
Research also shows that as people age, they become selective about their social interactions. A 2019 study suggested that people in midlife tend to prioritize quality over quantity, especially when it comes to relationships and friendships. This selectivity can make it difficult for people to find like-minded people to be friends with.
Life keeps going and seasons keep turning. With so many life transitions such as – children leaving home, changing careers, and even dwindling social networks – midlife can become lonely for many. Loneliness can, eventually, deteriorate your mental health.
You can overcome the loneliness of midlife and make new friends in the ways I’ve listed in this article. Keep reading to find out!
Why Do We Need Friendships?
Friendships are an important ingredient in our emotional well-being; at any age. Studies over the years have emphasized the positive impact of social connections on mental and physical health. A 2021 study revealed that people with strong social connections tend to experience lower levels of stress and better overall well-being.
Friendships can also help you fight the feelings of loneliness. In a 2023 study, it was found that having a strong social circle was linked to a reduced risk of loneliness in midlife and after years.
Beyond these benefits, friendships you form in life can add to your sense of belonging and purpose. Sharing experiences, joys, and ups and downs of life with friends can give you a feeling of satisfaction with life and provide a support system during the transitional periods of your life.
10 Tips for Making New Friends in Midlife
1. Join Social Groups
You can attend local meetups, clubs, or even classes that cater to your interests. Whether it’s a book club, hiking group, or a cooking class, these shared activities can provide a setting for friendships to blossom.
2. Reconnect With Friends
You can reach out to people and friends from your past. Rekindling your relationships with friends from high school and college can help you expand your social circle and give you time to be nostalgic about your past.
3. Go And Volunteer
You can get involved in community service or organizations where you can give back to a cause. Volunteering can allow you to contribute to your community and also put you in a circle of like-minded people.
4. Attend Social Events
Say “YES” to social gatherings and events. It could be a neighborhood BBQ party or a work-related event but try to be more open to new experiences, as it will increase your chances of meeting new people and making new friends in your 40s.
5. Go Online
You can use social media to your advantage! Connect with people and join groups on social media. Online platforms can help you connect with people who share similar interests. Online communities or forums that align with your hobbies and interests can help you make virtual and offline connections!
6. Make The First Move
Don’t wait for others to make the move first. If you find someone interesting to either date or be friends with, then make the first move and suggest a coffee outing, a lunch date, or attending an event together. You won’t know unless you try, right?
7. Be Genuine
Being true to yourself and being authentic in your intentions are keys to making new friends and connections. Be yourself, share your experiences, and express your genuineness to others. Being true and genuine can foster trust and deepen connections.
8. Attend Workshops
You can also enroll in workshops to learn new skills and develop new hobbies. These kinds of workshops can offer you an opportunity to meet people with similar interests and passions, and what’s better than meeting in places where you all can be genuine and authentic in your interactions!?
9. Be Patient
Most of all, remember that friendships take time to build and connect. Be patient and allow your relationships to develop naturally. It’s OK if not every interaction leads to positive outcomes. Keep looking and keep your mind open for new opportunities and experiences. One day, you’ll find deep connections worth keeping.
10. Seek Support
If you’re struggling with loneliness and feelings of isolation, then you can seek help and support from therapists or counselors. A professional can offer you support and suggest strategies to overcome loneliness and isolation. They can also help you come up with ideas and ways to make new friends in midlife.
In this dance of life, making friends in midlife can feel like a step too hard to master. However, the rewards of having social connections and friendships are immeasurable, so keep looking for them! Recognize the importance of friendships and understand the difficulties in making friends as an adult. The above tips can help you keep a vibrant social life even in your midlife!
So, whether it’s rekindling lost friendships or making new friends in midlife, appreciate the journey this stage of life takes you on!
I hope we can help you learn the importance of connections in midlife and how to make friends as an adult. Let us know what you think about these tips in the comments box below.