No matter your age, nobody wants to be lonely. However finding friends, companionship or love after 60 can be a challenge for many. Thinking back, you may have found finding friendships was effortless in your earlier years establishing common connections in childhood, parenthood or work colleagues.
Beyond 60 and with those stages of life behind you, social circles begin to shrink, exacerbated by divorce, death of a spouse and not forgetting, Coronavirus. With space in your life to fill, the challenge can be where to find new friendships or relationships that can bring you the happiness and the companionship you need for overall health. After all, humans are social beings.
Here are five tips to consider when looking for companionship after 60:
Technology can be a mixed blessing. While Facebook, Zoom and text messaging can allow you to stay connected with family and friends, for many, those types of digital connections do not replace the deeper connection and sharing that can result from spending real-time with a friend. Consider going for a walk, sharing a cuppa or glass of wine with dinner or a movie. These are the times we share our deepest thoughts, concerns and fears – not the kind of stuff you share over Facebook!
It’s okay to admit to yourself and others that you are feeling lonely. We all feel lonely from time to time. Senior blogger, Margaret Manning says, “The fact that you are feeling lonely is not your fault. Nor is it something to be ashamed of. Once you admit this, you are more than halfway to building the social life that you deserve. Loneliness is your mind’s way of telling you to get out there and engage with the world.
The longer you stay in your cocoon, the greater the chances that you will slip into an even darker mental state, like depression. So, act now!”
While Margaret’s advice was pre Coronavirus, our restrictions are lifting, and although you may be hesitant, perhaps it’s time to re-engage with your world. Rediscover the things you love while adhering to our new norm - social distancing rules, hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette etc.
Give some thought to what a friend is to you. Do you want a friend who shares your beliefs or love of movies, maybe trains, dogs or the country-side? Look into how you might meet a new friend who has these characteristics. Perhaps at church, a club such as sports clubs, social clubs – maybe a local Rotary, Country Women’s Association, Lions or Probus club. Look at your local newspaper or visit your local library to discover what other clubs or events you could attend.
Reconnect with old friends. Think about who you might have lost touch with and try to reconnect.
Find like-minded friends by taking up a passion or interest. Margaret says in her blog, “One of the fantastic things about being 60 is that we finally know what we want. We understand our values and know what we want to accomplish in our lives. Focus on adding people to your life that share your passions and dreams. This is one of the reasons that your passions, interests and skills can be such a great source of friends.”
Despite all of the challenges, it is still clear that making friends and maintaining rewarding relationships is essential after 60 for your health and emotional well-being. Next time you are feeling lonely, remind yourself it’s your mind’s way of telling you to get out there and engage with the world.
For more, visit www.anglicancare.com.au