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How to Make New Friends After 40

Updated on December 29, 2016
Richard-Bivins profile image

Richard is a professional writer and author. When he's not creating he's actively pursuing his goal of becoming a handsome billionaire.

We need real life social connections.
We need real life social connections. | Source

Lacking Friends

Was it Tombs or Forester who said “the easiest way to make new friends is to create them in your head first and then let the Law of Attraction take over?” Don’t bother Googling that, I just made it up. You see, that was my biggest problem. I spend so much time trying to be an interesting writer that I sometimes don’t know when to turn it off.

In fact, I spent so much time writing that I neglected to keep up with my social skills with real, live people. This left me in a real bind a couple years ago, when I ended a long term relationship with a woman I thought I was in love with. The bind materialized because when I wasn’t writing, I was spending all of my free time with my girlfriend and bonding with her children. And, being back in this city after living out of state for 14 years, all of my new friendships were being forged through my girlfriend’s network of friends.

So, when things went sour in our relationship and I decided it was time to end it, it seems I also lost an entire network of mostly her friends as well. Who needs superficial friendships like that anyway, am I right? I thought so in the beginning but soon after, for the first time in my life, I felt empty.

That emptiness led to depression, which then fueled thousands of words of emotional sap. Most of what I had written in that state of mind ended up in a dark romantic comedy screenplay. My own words and the characters I brought to life on paper seemed to disperse the feelings of emptiness and bring me out of my temporary funk.

To be clear, I wasn’t exactly a hermit during that rough period. I did have a few family members living nearby. And many of my oldest high school friends lived about an hour north of me. We met up a couple weekends and reminisced and as much as we talked about getting together on a regular basis, we were pretty much left with communicating on Facebook. The reality that we all avoided was that unless there was a major event like a reunion, a wedding, and unfortunately a funeral, Facebook would remain our primary source of socializing. We’re all in our forties so it is what it is.

Nobody can drag you, you have to take the steps yourself.
Nobody can drag you, you have to take the steps yourself. | Source

Make it Happen

So, how does a reclusive writer in his forties find and meet new friends? I’m glad you asked me that because I’m about to reveal how people my age can forge new friendships; not for the sake of romance but for the sake of our own sanity.

I may have made up that quote in the first paragraph but I firmly believe in the Law of Attraction. Simply stated, Like attracts Like, Positive attracts Positive, but also Negative attracts Negative. I’m not even going to attempt to explain how or why the universe reacts in this way. All I will say is that it’s a cosmic thing, so trust me.

Acting on the belief that Like attracts Like, I made a list of the top ten things that I like. My list included the obvious things, such as: writing, drinking craft beer, watching movies, camping, and live comedy. It also included some things that I enjoy but wish I had more time for, such as: cooking, drawing, photography, theater, and fantasy sports.

For the next day or two, I refined my list by narrowing down the types of movies I enjoy, the types of food I want to cook, the area of photography I find most interesting, and lastly, there is only one fantasy sport I’m truly interested in and that is fantasy football.

The Fantasy Football Live Draft Party
The Fantasy Football Live Draft Party | Source

Quick Tips

Make a list of the things you like and enjoy

  • Refine the list
  • Keep an eye out for the connections
  • Craigslist (Groups and Events)
  • Meetup.com
  • LivingSocial.com
  • If you don’t find what you are looking for then make your own post because someone may be attracting you to do it.

Putting It All Together

Still wondering how a list of things I like is supposed to help me find new friends? Well, I’m glad you asked because I’m about to give the big reveal.

You see, as soon as I created the list, I set the universe in motion. I was using the positive force of the universe to attract everything on my list. The only thing left for me to do now was to recognize when the connections were complete and then act on them.

I had gotten pretty good at recognizing the connections because I am well versed in ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne. As she is the top expert on the Law of Attraction, I highly recommend that you read what she teaches on the subject.

It was an email, that I almost deleted, which contained a connection to the second item on my list. It was an advertisement from a website called LivingSocial that was offering a tour of 5 local brew pubs and included samples of each of their craft beers and a discussion session with their brew masters. Even better, it only cost me $20 which was a 60% discount…. Err, I mean, Even better, because it is where I met Lisa and Stacy, a pair of true craft beer aficionados

Almost immediately I started to find groups and events on Craigslist and Meetup.com that catered to every item on my list. A year and a half after my break up, I connected with a fantastic woman on Match.com with similar interests in photography and cooking. Oh, in a couple of weeks, I’ll be attending our 2nd annual Live Draft party for my fantasy football league.

I know this was titled how to make new friends after 40, but I guess it doesn’t really matter how old or young you are. Go make a list and let the universe help you forge some new friendships.

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      Faith 3 months ago

      Hi Jan, your post dated two months ago pulled at my heart strings. I am in the same situation now after 13 years marriage (still married). I woke up suddenly to see a shell of my former self staring back at me. No friends, no soul and completely confused. This is how I ended up reading this article. I used to be outgoing and making new friends was a breeze, now I'm 43 and have no idea how to go about! I had to give up the existing network of friends as they are all my husband's over 19years relationship with him. How did I end up here?

      fcorreya@hotmail.com

    • profile image

      Jan 5 months ago

      Hi, i am Jan. For 13 years i have been living like a ghost in my own body, missing out on life fun and the security of a trustworthy companionship, a mere reflection of my true self. Most can tell i am talking about marraige, love and life some will call it a broken heart. Yet all i see is liberation, hope and he desire for a fresh start.

      jamorten10@gmail.com

    • Richard-Bivins profile image
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      Richard Bivins 2 years ago from Charleston, SC

      Mary, it may seem very intimidating to initiate conversations but in order to have a healthy social life it is important to let go of your fears. It's too easy for introverts to get lost in the crowd so I would suggest starting your own meetup on a topic that you are passionate about. Or maybe you can offer to teach a class on something that you feel you are an expert at.

      Like you, when I first started going to meetup events, I was like a fly on the wall and even though my intention was to meet new friends, I was hoping nobody would notice me. I didn't feel I had much to offer but what I did have to offer turned out to be more than enough.

      Here's the thing... when you go to a new event, people don't know you so you can be the person you want to be. This is the easiest way to take your life back and get over any fears of rejection. Even easier... start a meetup or an event on Craigslist for introverts anonymous... You can get over your fears by helping others get over the same fears.

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      mary 2 years ago

      I enjoyed this very much. I have a question though. Did you attend events or did you attend events and then make friends?

      I am on meetup.com and I go to events but I don't make friends. Most people my age are to busy with jobs, kids, husbands and whatever else to have time to hang out or they have these major hang ups.

      I spend a huge percentage of my time alone. I wish there was some sort of goal setting group or a group that teaches you how to socialize with people. My issue is when I go somewhere I don't seem to be able to connect with people, it is very rare for me to. I don't initiate conversations and end up just sorta of sitting there. HELP.

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      YeaOK 2 years ago

      It would be easier if people weren't forced to work 9000 hours per week so they become tired and angry all the time. Let's be friends in the 72 seconds of free time I have each week, yea!

    • Richard-Bivins profile image
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      Richard Bivins 3 years ago from Charleston, SC

      True PeachPurple but life is so much more enjoyable when you have friends to share it with.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      life goes on even after 40s, whether or not in relationship. its the same

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      magan 3 years ago

      ....so easy to say...