Take inventory of your relationships and decide how involved you would like to be in your community. Here are some advantages to making friends post-retirement:
- You have time for hobbies and meet people with similar interests. Choose an interest and invite a friend to join you!
- You already have a social network! Start with family or friends you know and ask them for ideas on how to meet new people.
- You know who you are and what matters to you, this makes it easy to search out groups to join. Perhaps it's time to pursue your interest in spirituality and join a church group, or you have a gift for compassion and it's time to make friends while volunteering.
- You belong to a neighbourhood and a community. Take the time to get to know your neighbours and find out what resources are available.
- You live in the digital age. If you feel shy, start by joining online communities and engage with anyone in the world. You can start with your message board below.
Meeting new friends can feel daunting. Here are a few ideas based on your level of comfort:
Easy - Start with an easy step location that doesn't require long-term commitments. Maybe join the next ballroom dancing event or a concert at the park. Lectures are often available at local libraries. Join on-line discussion groups to practice conversation and screen possible contacts.
Intermediate - If you are ready to commit weekly to an activity join a gardening club,golf, seniors fitness club or a book club.
Social butterfly - If you are ready to dive in, join a seniors cruise, church or a theatre group. Online dating and social media provide many platforms for meeting peers your own age!
There are times when you may feel the need for a safe circle of friends to discuss sensitive matters such as bereavement, caregiving or other issues. There are support groups that are free, anonymous and available at various times of the week. Look at the links below for specific groups.