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How does a 47 year old woman make new friends?

(31 Posts)
Gravity1 Wed 12-Dec-12 19:27:27

I am in a rut, in all sorts of ways but with friendships too. Some of the mates I made when the children were small haven't really turned into proper long-term stuff-in-common friends and I'm starting to feel the lack of close female friends sad

But how does a 47 year who works from home make new good friends? I just don't know where or how to start. I feel like a child adrift in the playground all over again, except without even the playground as a start point!

Slippersox Wed 12-Dec-12 19:45:25

Are you an animal lover? Do you have a dog and if not would one fit in with your lifestyle.Particularly as you work from home and it wouldn't be left alone for long periods.I have made some lovely friends through walking my dogs regularly around the woods where I live.There's a small group of us that meet up either all together ,or a couple at a time depending on work commitments and although its taken time there's rarely a day goes by now when I don't have a chat and walk with one of them.We are all going out for a dogs dinner this Xmas with partners.
Also if you are feeling a bit low a blast of fresh air whatever the weather, and some exercise does wonders for your mood.I realize not everyone's a dog lover though, and like children require a huge commitment and should only become part of your family if you are willing to give that.
I know just how you feel though ,as children grow up,and you lose that school gates contact it can feel quite lonely.Also friends moved away. Or a couple of friends I had got very preoccupied with their own lives and weren't really very true mates tbh.Others will hopefully be along with other suggestions.Good luck!

noddyholder Wed 12-Dec-12 19:47:31

I am the same age as you and apart from my friends from years ago any new friends I have met via my voluntary job and book groups. And a couple of people I met via MN several years ago I consider friends now and see them offline rather than on grin.

coffeeinbed Wed 12-Dec-12 19:47:47

I came here to say get a dog but Slippersox was faster.
Only if you love and want a dog anyway though!

seaofyou Wed 12-Dec-12 19:49:50

There is another site like MN called NM! They have section for meet other mums in your area!

Do your dc go to school still...do you know any mums who maybe don't work or self employed at your dc school...if you get on at school gates ask do they fancy cuppa once a week after dropping kids off?

Gravity1 Wed 12-Dec-12 19:50:28

Thanks slippersox...funnily enough I'm not a great dog lover (always had cats!) yet I have noticed the camaraderie amongst dog walkers and envied it. I run a a bit so often trot past people walking dogs and they are very friendly.

Dogs are a big commitment aren't they? The cats used to worry me as it was!

Got me thinking now tho!

Taffeta Wed 12-Dec-12 19:55:03

Rock Choir?

Gravity1 Wed 12-Dec-12 19:56:09

Whats one of those taffeta?

Taffeta Wed 12-Dec-12 19:57:59

Singing, in a choir, but not in a church.

Here

I went for a taster a few weeks ago and will join after Christmas. I like that I know no one there and lots of people were very friendly, and a real mix of different people.

squeakytoy Wed 12-Dec-12 20:04:13

Working from home can be quite isolating. I found myself in this position up until a couple of years ago when I realised that most of my friends had moved away and I had nobody to go out with on a Friday night..

You dont mention a husband, but if you have one, do you go out socially together with other couples? If you are single, then look for a bar job perhaps in a nice pub that has an older clientele rather than teens/twenties.. and you will soon make friends that way.

Gravity1 Wed 12-Dec-12 20:05:14

Do I need to know I can hold a tune blush or can I be sure of being drowned out grin?

Have fancied singing. Scared tho!

Taffeta Wed 12-Dec-12 20:06:40

I was bricking it when I went to the taster! You don't have to be the best singer and can sing as quietly as you like, and you don't sing alone.

I had a sore throat at the end - not used to it! But it was really uplifting, I sang all the way in the car on the waay home blush

Taffeta Wed 12-Dec-12 20:08:03

the other reason its appealing is so I get a night off putting the DC to bed

Gravity1 Wed 12-Dec-12 20:11:07

I do have a DH squeaky but he too seems to have moved on from friends of old so no, we don't socialise with other couples much. Right pair we are! On his part, much of that is neglect actually. On mine..well, I have never had a huge circle of mates really. Just a few best ones. Not sure why that doesnt feel enough now.

Whattodowithit Wed 12-Dec-12 20:22:55

Do you like dancing? You could do ballroom dancing classes together, or learn to salsa dance on your own (you don't need to take a partner, and it's terrific fun, great exercise and definitely not a 'pick up' environment). Or an exercise class somewhere where there's a cafe that perhaps people go to afterwards? Or an evening class in a subject that interests you?

I do know how difficult it is: I was in the same position some years ago, and it was the salsa dancing and getting a job outside the home that widened my circle of friends. I wish you the best of luck! xxx

Gravity1 Wed 12-Dec-12 20:29:28

Thats really good to hear whatto, there is hope then! Im not too old for salsa...? blush

Yes, need a different job!

Yika Wed 12-Dec-12 20:31:42

Voluntary work, am dram, set up unthreatening social dates with acquaintances (even the ones you're not wild about, can anyway boost your social life), evening classes, activity holidays, self development programmes, walking groups, charity events. I have done all of these. Best place for me to find new friends has been holidays. I've got a number of close friends from a couple of 'holistic' holidays I did. Really enjoyed the holidays and you also get to know people well, quickly. Can do alone or as a couple. In general, never miss a chance to follow up with new acquaintances you feel an affinity with. Look outside your own peer group - older, younger, different social group.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 12-Dec-12 20:36:31

Join a running club if you like running?

Mumsnet meet up in your area?

I am guilty of having lots of superficial friendships - I think you really have to invest emotionally to make them close, which can be out of my comfort zone, though I am improving.

Whattodowithit Wed 12-Dec-12 20:39:20

I'm 53. Been salsa-ing for about 5 years, and doing salsa dance exercise classes. I am in the older percentage of attendees at salsa classes (not the exercise classes, where there are a lot of ladies older than me) but frankly I don't care, and it's nice to be twirled and have your toes trodden on by an self conscious young man. I have made some terrific friends through it. Whereabouts in the country are you?

I also have dogs, having given in to kids (a long time ago) and the "can we have a dog, can we have a dog, can we have a dog", which once housed was promptly ignored... They can be great companions but are a massive commitment. I wouldn't mind a dog walking group: I am almost always on my own with them, but other dog walkers certainly say hello. Perhaps I have just never stopped to try and instigate much more of a conversation even though I often see the same faces...

It is difficult to make new friends, especially as an adult. You have to be thick skinned and keep trying, but it will work sooner or later. I think you need to find something where you share common ground with other people. So, pardoning the pun, how about getting an allotment? Plenty of time to stop and talk to other enthusiasts there.

peacefuleasyfeeling Wed 12-Dec-12 20:41:04

Hm. I've just been thinking about this stuff with regards to my sister who is in a similar situation to you (you're not her, are you?). I think it depends on where you are, and what you have access to. Some ideas:
Rock Choir sounds great, I have gained an enormous amount from a couple of choirs I've joined over the years; camaraderie (akin to that of dog-walkers, I'm sure) and a great sense of fun and achievement. There have been studies on the great benefits of choral singing, so give it a go.
A colleague raves about the unexpected social benefits she found after joining a tap-dancing class, a really nice bunch of women, apparently, and they now do all sorts of stuff together outside of the class.
I recommend 5 Rhythms dancing if you want authentic connection and feel a bit brave. There are classes all over the country.
DP and I have made some lovely friends through our allotments.
Take an evening class, a skills-based one where you are doing stuff alongside other people and have time to chat, such as erm... traditional needlework, or upholstery or similar, not one in which you are required to pay attention to a lecturer or have to contribute to set discussions.
I did a weekend course in NVC (Non-violent Communication / Compassionate Communication), had lots of fun and made a few lasting and mutually nourishing friendships, which, on account of the context in which they were made, never had to go through that clunky initial "making friends" stage, the scene for honest and open sharing had already been set, if you like.
I wish you lots of luck, and a 2013 full of flourishing friendships.

Mumofjz Wed 12-Dec-12 20:43:00

i work in a very male dominated industry and there are no other women in workplace. Though i'm lucky that i have female friends, i was only saying to my DH the other day that i would love to work with women as a source to new friendships.

I too find it hard to make friends, i got to Weightwatchers and the are several women there who have been there as long as me but are their with friends, so whilst i'll always say hello, how've you done, i feel i can't intrude in their conversations sad

I also think i'm probably a bit crap being a friend. I have a DH, 2 primary school children who need running around everywhere and the gym, so i never make arrangements to meet them as i'm so glad to be just back at home with my feet up by 9pm hmm

langho Wed 12-Dec-12 20:44:08

Gravity Have you got any mates? Just a couple, even if they are not close buddies.

What I would suggest is ask them out for a meal, or to your house for drinks or anything and ask them in a casual way to bring a mate or two.

Over the night talk about stuff that is coming up in your area eg theatre, gigs anything and sound them out to see if they are the sort of people you could see as being friends. Swop phone numbers and add them to FB.

Then take the initative to arrange another night out and get the ball rollling.

I had a lot of friends in my 20's but by my mid 30's I only had a few left. I did what I suggested -although at the time it wasn't a plan, it was what actually happened. The circle has since grown bigger. There are about 12 in the group and everyone is connected to someone else. We will say things like 'who fancies seeing the latest Ben Affleck film, Argo' and some will say yes or no and a group who fancy it will make plans. Some one else would suggest the next night out, some can make it, some can't and so on.

Hope that helps but I know it's not easy.

peacefuleasyfeeling Wed 12-Dec-12 20:45:07

I second Yika's contribution of self development programmes and holistic holidays / retreats.

Autumnalis Wed 12-Dec-12 20:49:32

Peaceful - interesting to read about NVC. I read the book Many years ago, hadn't really thought of it since smile

Gravity1 Wed 12-Dec-12 20:53:49

Thanks all, some really interesting suggestions. It has made me realise that part of my problem is that I so prefer one on one friendships...and that to get that far I may need to consider group activities initially. Thats outside my comfort zone tbh...but its looking like its time I stuck my neck out. Lots to consider for 2013!

langho Wed 12-Dec-12 20:57:06

Good luck. It's so not easy stepping out of your comfort zone but once you do and it is a sucess you will feel good.

mumblechum1 Wed 12-Dec-12 21:15:29

That Rock Choir thing looks brilliant; have just booked myself a taster session in January! I was in a "proper" choir for a couple of years but every piece of music we sang was churchy, and mostly in Latin. It sounded great in performance but the choir was almost exclusively female, and totally white, middle class, over 45 year olds.

Bishoplyn Wed 12-Dec-12 21:26:55

I highly recommend evening classes - like minded people who you can chat to on a one to one. I met one of my best friends 10 years ago at a German evening class!
I know its sometimes not popular on here but I have found Facebook great for getting in touch with people. Its a very easy to suggest meeting for coffee.

ReinDearPrudence Wed 12-Dec-12 22:54:38

Choir, yes! I don't fancy rock choir myself, but there are loads of community choirs around. I think the trick is to find one that sings the kind of music you like - show tunes, pop music, classical, etc. Any choir will let you come along to a rehearsal or two to check it out before you decide to join.

russianreubles Thu 13-Dec-12 05:19:30

meetup.com

citysocialising.com

EmmaNemms Thu 13-Dec-12 05:27:55

I am 47, joined a community choir in September and we had our first concert last week. It took me a while to get into it, and most of them are a bit older than me but there is huge pleasure in singing and whilst some of them are a bit crusty - they are a nice bunch.

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