Does making new friends get easier or more difficult as you get older?

image
Print Friendly

Making friends…. do you think it gets easier as you get older, or more difficult?

‘Will you be my friend/can we be friends’ are words one child can say to another in the playground, but adults can’t do that with someone they come across, say in the shop, library, or someone they get chatting to in the doctors’ waiting room perhaps. It would sound needy, or really weird, wouldn’t it?

As children, do we have any criteria for choosing who we are friends with, and does that change as we got older? Or do we just see someone we like for no particular reason that we think of, and that’s it? In other words, do we get more picky as we age? And if you don’t like joining groups and so on, how do you make friends?

How have you made new friends? Has the internet and social media provided you with new opportunities? Or have you joined a club or organisation? Are you still looking for new friends?

Does making new friends get easier or more difficult as you get older?

716 people have already voted, what's your opinion? EASIER MORE DIFFICULT

What are your views?

We'd love to hear your comments

Not a member?

Join the silversurfers community today! It's free, easy to do, and is packed full of features and amazing offers!

Join the community!
Click here if you have forgotten your password
lily49
16th Jul 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
I do so agree on the problem with finding “friends” for want of a better word.
I have recently joined my local U3A, and met some people through the interest groups, and my one and only oldest friend ~(who hasn’t joined for reasons of her own)~ said”oh, you will now be able to make a lot of new friends!” to which I replied ”no, the folks there are only acquaintances who share an interest. They do not want to socialise after the group meetings, and during these sessions you are concentrating on the subject in question, e.g.,book club or chess, etc, and are not “chatting and making a new friend who will share your dreams, or come over for a coffee at a later date“ etc ,etc. Or is it just Me who finds that to be the case???? Would love to hear other comments.
TheWanderingMuse
2nd Aug 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
I think some of it, too, depends on where you live. I live in Pennsylvania, USA, in a relatively small town that most people have lived in all their lives. This makes it hard to make new friends, so sometimes when I say hello to strangers, they look at me as if I have grown another head!

I find it much easier - and sometimes more interesting - to make friends online. I did that before I moved to Dublin (and later on, Belfast), and so I already had friends there to meet in person, from chat! I have to say, though, that meeting other Americans through the internet has not been as much fun...they are not always who they seem to be, sorry to say.

I would give my right arm in order to emigrate permanently to either Ireland or the UK (Belfast in particular), but it's just as hard to emigrate there as it is to immigrate to the US.

Anyway, sorry for getting off topic!
patrington
2nd Jun 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
I go swimming twice a week at the local hotel,i spend at least 45 mins in the spa pool.people come and go during that time but eventually it narrows down to a select few that you converse with znd get to know them very well,you know their family you share their holiday stories ghey eventually get cslled friends...
BrendaG1
23rd May 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
I agree with Penst, a lot of groups do seem to assume the over 50s are all at home enjoying their leisure time. I am 61, and only reduced to working 4 days a week last year, but still have some years before retirement. Unfortunately, some of the groups I am interested in are not on the one day off a week that I have! I have also noticed that a lot of activities do seem to have a majority of women, not sure if its because men are less reluctant to get involved. I think you have to try and find groups in which you have an interest, take a deep breath and go along. Often, you will find other people may feel as nervous as yourself. Since I have got older, I do feel a lot less self conscious about going to things on my own, and sometimes it may make people more likely to talk to you, than if you have come along with someone else.
Notdeadyet
10th May 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I have always been rather quiet and shy like Roof Top Crow below but do find it easier to chat to strangers now than I did in the past. I have joined my local U3A and enjoy activities there and I have recently discovered a local social activities group for older people and have been to two or three evenings out lately. I have never been married and wonder if being single or divorced and without a partner makes it harder to make new friends than for a married couple. Not having a car any longer also makes it harder to get out and about to meet new people, public transport here (in a largish city) is not very good.
dotdot
7th May 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I am nearly 60 (a young nearly 60, I would like to think 🙂 now single female and I work full time. I agree with Penst there doesn't seem to be anything available in the evenings; do they assume that everyone over 50 is retired?I consider myself fortunate because I have a loving family and both married & singles friends and am invited to meals out, BBQ's etc. so I need never be lonely. That said I would also like to meet other people that have similar interests to me and have access to meetings/clubs weekends as well as evenings when possible. In answer to the question, being older I am more confident at talking to people I've never met before and making friends, but because there aren't so many places available outside of working hours to meet them, it's not so easy.
pandalee
5th May 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
When we are young we meet people in so many different places,we also have energy to join things. I have interests but those things are spread out in different areas and usually cost money.
penst
28th Apr 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
Maybe it will be easier once I retire but for now all the over50's clubs meet during the day. U3A is also for those who don't work. It's as if people who work are considered to not need friends and/or social activities but I know plenty of people who are on their own, work and who want more out of life.
Roof Top Crow
27th Apr 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
I started my working career as a sales man. Ford Cortina, sharp suits and lots of “chat”. I ended my working career being able to talk to hundreds of people at trade conferences and answer technical and often challenging questions from the audience. You would probably categorise me as outgoing and confident, but that was work. Privately I have always been shy and very quiet. I stopped work at 68. I had good health but I was very unsure of how I would spend my retirement years.
My route back into a new life has been the internet. I use Facebook and Skype to keep in touch with family and friends. I use sites such as Silversurfers to remain part of the community of elders. I use the internet to follow my hobbies of cooking and classic cars. Following these hobbies often means going out and meeting people with the same interests as me. And of course when I meet people with the same interests as me I am not shy as I know we have something in common. Age is never a factor.
For people like me who are basically shy and quiet the internet is wonderful. It easily takes you through that first step of meeting people. It breaks the ice and used sensibly it can introduce you to people that you can chose to be friends with or chose not to be friends with.
So for me and because of the internet the answer is that it is easier. I will tick the easier box.
jacksterfun
6th May 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I had to reply to you Roof Top Crow as I thought your post was very true and I admire the way you have embraced your retirement. I have only been retired a year but I'm slowly realising it does'nt matter if I'm not doing anything 'important'. I have just joined Silversurfers and find a lot of time is used up surfing around! there are loads of interesting topics and it is good to be able to 'talk' to others here. As you say, it breaks the ice and leads, we hope, to more friendships, albeit 'ether' ones! Long live internet, Skype and Facebook!
Envirowiser
27th Apr 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
The answers to this question would be of more value and internet if people were to give their age or at least an indication of it, eg. mid thirties or late fifties, and the results given according to age. Ones answer is inevitably going to be affected by individual circumstances. I live in north London, where l am known as Enfield's silver surfer. I lost my wife, who was 10 1/2 years younger than me, and a very private person, 20 months ago after 49 years together, and we had very few close friends. I will be 82 in September and in the last 18 months have taken up new interests and become involved in the local community. I am the only living grandparent to my 3 grandchildren,to whom l am very close and my life has become very full and exciting with many new, good and caring friends here and abroad and the number is increasing all the time, now around 100, many of whom are in the African and afro Caribbean community. I have gained so much confidence with the love and support of these friends that on Saturday I sang without backing music to an audience of about a hundred - something l could not have done only 3 months ago. We only have one life and I have come to realize that we have to grab it with both hands while we have the opportunity.
north
lesleykaren
24th Apr 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I like meeting people.my husband and i love northern soul music.so most weekends we go to northern soul venues were we enjoy our dancing. We have made many new friends at these places.we also go to tenerife for a week of dancing were we have met more people.i have friends of lots of different age groups.the older you get the easier it is to make friends and just to say hallo to someonecyou dont know.
stokie18
23rd Apr 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
i think making friends is easier for females as they tend to join groups for example u3a. i joined our local u3a and found the groups were mainly supported by females, even though there are plenty of groups where us men can join but we seem very reluctant to join in. even things like pool, crown green bowling, gardening for which i am the group leader. perhaps us men should join more groups not just the local football team or the pub.
nagonthenet
22nd Apr 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
Not many people are interested in making new friends as they get older, they have enough already or they have grandchildren that take up their time. If you get involved with things other people are generally younger and have pre-conceived ideas about older people. Just not cool to have friends over 60 etc
Happy to be proved wrong!
Bazeley
22nd Apr 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I agree with Archibald - I feel more confident about talking to people as I have got older. I think you are generally more relaxed about what the outcome will be - it doesn't matter if you don't end up making a friend out of an acquaintance or from a new social situation.
Baxi
22nd Apr 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
I think it gets easier because you know what you like and can detect the insincere people more quickly. I love meeting new people. Whilst not everyone becomes a friend, many become new friendly acquaintances. It's so lovely walking into a cafe or pub and just being able to say "hello" to someone.
Archiebald
21st Apr 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
I think it gets easier as you become much more confident with age. Loads of opportunities to meet friends socially and at work and on the internet as well especially with people who have shared interests.Many of us Silversurfers by the time we are in our 50s + also have friends many of who we may have had for years and years.
Gillymac
27th Apr 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
True to some extent but people socialise differently nowadays, all my friends basically do everything with their families. I have a family but they are all away with there own families and only seen on visits. Beyond that given that I am on my own I cannot go out to functions on my own so tend now to go nowhere. I want to go places I really do but under no circumstances would I go alone.
cwtchy grandma
21st Apr 2015
7
Thanks for voting!
I am more confident now than I was when I was younger but as a Divorcee it is not always easy to make new friends . Everyone thinks you are looking for a man.
Baxi
22nd Apr 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
I hear what you're saying, some people can be so horrible when you become single and they really do believe that you're after their man when all you want is friendship and entertainment.
BrendaG1
28th May 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
When people react in that way, I think it says a lot more about their insecurities, than about the person you are. I would ignore them, and go out and do whatever you want to do, don't worry about the negative people.

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!

More Speakers Corner

Do you boil your Brussels? Cleaned brussel sprouts on a wooden cutting board with exterior leaves and a knife.
Brussels sprouts are a Christmas dinner must have but not to everyone likes them. You'll be...
Real or Artificial - What kind of Christmas tree will you have? Fresh cut Christmas trees
Each Christmas there is a ‘debate’ over real versus artificial Christmas trees. The...
Do you agree with Cryogenic Preservation? Excess smoky nitrogen gas discharge during filling of a liquid nitrogen dewar.
This week it was announced that a very brave 14 year old girl who had terminal cancer had won...
Should shops remain closed on Boxing Day? Boxing Day Sale cinnamon star on green wood concept.
A petition calling for a ban on shops opening on Boxing Day has attracted close to 194,000...
Will you be sending Christmas cards this year? Bracknell, England - October 28th, 2014: Vintage style Christmas cards. Modern cards originated from a printing in 1843 instigated by Sir Henry Cole, director of London's Victoria and Albert Museum.
The custom of sending Christmas cards was started in the UK in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole. He was a...
Do you still use cheques as payment? Signing a blank cheque with a fountain pen
** Note: Shallow depth of field
Cheques books have been used in the UK for over 350 years but they are now on the decline. In...
Are you surprised that Donald Trump won? Saint Louis, MO, USA - March 11, 2016: Donald Trump addresses supporters at the Peabody Opera House in Downtown Saint Louis
After months of campaigning, debating, mud slinging and scandals, the Americans have voted and...
Do you mind the gap? toblerone
The makers of Toblerone, Mondelez, have taken the decision to widen the gaps between the...
Should Nigel Farage be ennobled in the House of Lords? LONDON, UK - MAY 1, 2016: Nigel Farage seen arriving at the BBC to attend the Andrew Marr show
There are calls for Nigel Farage to be made a Lord and take his place as a peer in the upper...
Should the FA defy the poppy ban? poppy
England are due to host Scotland at a World Cup qualifying match at Wembley on November 11 ...
Who would you trust more to be the next US President? LONDON UK - MARCH 3RD 2016: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump pin badges over the American flag symbolizing their battle to become the next President of the United States 3rd March 2016.
With the latest results today from ABC/Washington Post tracking poll, now showing Donald Trump...
Should the UK have a complete ban on selling Ivory products? ivoryburn2 900x600
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, chef come wildlife campaigner, has been looking into the shocking...
Do you think Princess Beatrice and Eugenie should be given royal duties? London UK - June 17 2006: Princess Eugenie (left) and Princess Beatrice seating on the Royal Coach at Trooping the colour ceremony also known as the Queen's Birthday Parade
** Note: Slight blurriness, best at smaller sizes
It was revealed in the sunday papers that there is a nasty feud brewing between Prince Charles and...
Do you rake or vacuum? Yorkshire Dog on the autumn leaves blur
Autumn is in full swing, and the leaves are rapidly changing from luscious shades of green, to a...
Where do you think the extra runway should be built - Heathrow or Gatwick? Airplane touch down on runway during sunset
Since the 1970s various UK governments have been debating how to expand the UKs potential to...
Are the Government right to do a Pension U-turn? bigstock-Pensions-11274911
The government has done a huge U-turn on Pensions and scrapped the rights of 5 million pensioners...
Do city zoos still have a place in a modern society? gorilla in zoo
Last week’s incident at London Zoo, in which a male silverback gorilla escaped his enclosure...
Are hospital trusts cashing in on the sick? Ticket machine at the exit of a car park
Patients in England are being penalised with increasing parking charges with 30% of hospital...