Senior citizen friendships are essential and can be both similar and dissimilar from friendships in younger years. Making and keeping friends may appear to become more difficult as we age, but that is far from the truth.
As we get older and become new people (in some good and some not so good ways), so too do our relationships change. We may lose friends that we have had because we grow or move apart or because it becomes harder to maintain friendships the way we have become accustomed to. Many people often reevaluate themselves in midlife, changing their goals, personality, and needs, and from that evaluation can be a desire for new like-minded friends.
Later in life, it can become harder to make friends, or maybe it would be more accurate to say not as effortless. In our child and younger adult years, when we were in school or working, we had a ready-made base of like-minded and similar people all around us. Potential new friends were just there to pick from. However, as we age, making friends can become harder. We build families, become more set in our ways, and frankly just stay busier.
As we transition into our later or retirement years, we may no longer be working, and that massive base of people to choose from goes away. At that point, making friends is no longer as effortless as it may have once been. It takes a concerted effort to meet enough people to make new friends, and it is not as easy to find people with common interests.
Changes In Association
Later in life, the way we select our friends changes. Factors that once may have been important, no longer are.
For instance, a difference in age begins to become less and less significant. In our youth, a difference in age can mean a lot. However, once we get to be well into adulthood, midlife, and senior age, many people become more open to making friends with people spanning several age groups. This opens up new possibilities for friends and enriches our lives with a more varied pool of friends.
Another significant change, and contrary to the popular belief of some, is that seniors are not so uptight. Later in life, competition is not as important as it once was. We care less what others think of us because we are set in our ways, and we have experienced so much of the good, bad, and ugly in life that it is easier to be open with each other about our problems. This means we can actually enjoy deeper, freer relationships.
During retirement, we also gain more time to do the things we enjoy and find someone to do them with.
Finding and Keeping Senior Citizen Friendships
The first thing to do when trying to build new senior citizen friendships is to try to recreate what we all did when we were younger and making friends, find a place to mingle in person or online with people who are like you. You may choose classics like Bingo or book clubs or knitting groups or shag dance groups, or simply go out walking to meet walkers, joggers, and gardeners.
If it’s hard to get out as much as you used to, consider technology as a way to make new friendships and nurture old ones. You can keep in touch with friends via text messages, Skype or FaceTime calls, social media, and online games. For the adventurous, you could join an online group of people interested in something you’re interested in, a favorite tv show, gardening, or a cause like animal welfare.