Last Updated on February 21, 2023
If you’re in your 50s and finding it difficult to make new friends, don’t worry – you’re not alone. It can be harder to socialize and meet new people as we get older, but there are still plenty of ways to make friends in your 50s. Here are a few ideas.
1. Take a Class
Whether it’s an exercise class, cooking class, or art class, joining a regular class is one of the easiest and best ways to meet new people.
It’s also a great way to learn new skills and hobbies and to meet other people with a shared interest or passion.
The easiest way to find local classes (similar to what I mentioned in the keeping fit in your 50s+ post) is to use the Internet and Google using these terms:
Get online and do a Google search for terms such as:
- [workshops near me]
- [painting classes near me]
- [your interest/hobby here near me]
- [yoga classes near me]
Just replace the text ‘your interest/hobby’ with your actual interest or hobby i.e. search for:
[belly dance classes near me]
Google will then do as you ask, i.e. suggest local belly dance classes that are close to you geographically.
2. Get Involved in Your Community (and Volunteering)
There are many ways to get involved in your community, whether it’s through:
- Joining a local organization
- Or simply attending community events
Getting involved is a great way to meet new people and make friends and you can also tailor how you get involved, to match your own interests, in order to meet like-minded people.
If you live in the UK then a site such as Do IT is a great website to find volunteering opportunities in your local area.
Likewise, if you live in the United States then VolunteerMatch is a useful site for finding local volunteering opportunities.
3. Travel as a Volunteer and Meet New People
You do not of course have to limit volunteering work to your local area but you can also travel worldwide whilst also meeting new and interesting people, as a volunteer.
A few volunteer sites in this category worth knowing about include:
- Workaway – is popular with people of all ages who are interested to volunteer and get to experience new cultures. Many people in their 50 and 60s use Workaway as a volunteer.
- Volunteer World – is also worth trying and I know some people who use this site, although I have never traveled as a volunteer with them so far.
- WWOOF – The ‘Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms’ is another way you can travel and meet new friends globally and is worth considering.
4. Join a Club or Recreation League
There are clubs and recreation leagues for all sorts of interests, from sports to hobbies to crafts.
If you want to combine fitness with new friendships, then a fantastic way to go about this is to join a running group, for example.
Likewise, there are usually clubs where you can play badminton, squash, table tennis (ping pong), and a range of other activities.
Keeping fit and healthy whilst also meeting new people is a great combo!
5. Find Meetups through Meetup.com or Organise One
Meetup.com is a brilliant resource for finding a whole range of activities, workshops, and get-togethers for a whole range of interests and topics.
Just enter your location and words related to your interests and you should see a selection of events locally.
I have often found though that there is not an event locally for my interests (i.e., for belly dance and yoga) and so what I have done before is organize a meetup myself as an event organizer.
The beauty of doing it this way is that you can meet lots of other people who specifically show an interest in the things you want to be involved with.
As someone teaching others, you will find people look up to you and want to get to know you.
Whatever your skills, there will be people interested in learning and some topics include:
- gardening and growing organic food
- dance (all types)
- theater groups
- arts and crafts
- painting, art, drawing
- computer skills including things such as how to use an iPad for over 50s 🙂
6. Try Coliving and Coworking as You Travel
Returning to a travel idea, for also meeting new friends you might also want to consider trying coliving and coworking.
If you are still working and do so online (as I do) then a really fun way (and I am in my 50s) to travel and meet people aside from volunteering, is to use coliving spaces.
You are probably wondering what on earth are coliving spaces?
In essence, coliving spaces are places you can stay in anything from a few days to a few months and they are set up with an emphasis on the social + working.
So a coliving work will have (or should have) access to:
- Social events and the chance to meet new people
- Hi-speed WiFi
- Work areas (to work online)
- Communal chill-out and relaxation and social areas in the house
7. Join a Walking Group
In our 50s keeping fit is essential and walking is a wonderful way to meet people whilst also keeping fit.
You will often find that there is a choice of short and longer walks that take place.
With my local walking group, we often do coastal and rural walks with around 40 people, with short walks of around 5km and long walks of about 10km.
If there isn’t a local walking group like we have here in Somerset, England, then why not start your own one, i.e. on meetup.com or by setting up a Facebook group?
8. Join a Book Club
Another very common and easy way to meet others is to join a local book club.
You will find yourself having to read books that you might not normally read, but it will stretch your imagination and this is certainly perfect for meeting and making new friends in your local area.
9. Join an Over 50 or Singles Travel Group
There are a number of travel groups that cater to the over 50s or that cater to single travelers (in case you are over 50 and traveling alone).
Companies such as Saga specialize in over-50s travel, as do solosholidays.com.
Just google ‘over 50s travel’ and you should find a company offering these trips.
10. Join a Local Trivia Team
Whilst you might not normally be interested in trivia competitions, it can nonetheless be a great way to get out and easily meet others.
Whilst many groups do already have their regular team, there is usually one team at least who are willing to let you join their team.
This is an easy and regular way to get out and socialize in your local area.
Hi. I’m Dr Valeria Lo Iacono, a lady in her 50s living in the UK. I write about the over-50s and 60s lifestyle including on travel, health, food, and fashion.