When it comes to aging, most of us typically think of things like “remember to moisturize,” “avoid the sun,” and “pay better attention to your health and diet,” but the piece of advice most people wish they’d received may surprise you. When asked what part of aging they wished someone had warned them about, an overwhelming number of people said the same thing: how hard it is to make meaningful connections with people later in life.
As kids, we’re thrown into social situations that forge friendships by spending so much time with classmates at school. As adults, our options are a lot more limited. If your co-workers don’t socialize outside of work, it’s up to you to find people you want to spend time with. Between work, sleep, eating, caring for children, and the everyday problems and tasks life throws your way, you now have to consciously seek out activities and people to socialize with.
Some of us are lucky enough to have maintained friends from childhood and college, while others have solid relationships with the people they work with. But, now that we’re older, everyone is way more dispersed. Everyone is busy, or too far away, or they have their own interests they’d like to pursue with what little free time they have.
And what about those of us who don’t still have those friendships, or who did, but for one reason or another (like a divorce or relocating for a job), they’ve changed?
It’s something that affects everyone at one point or another, yet so many of us tend to feel like this is a problem that only affects us.
But others who have been in our situation know exactly how to fix this. All of them say variations on the exact same thing — pursue a hobby, take a class, use an app or a social site. Whether it’s a cycling club, a painting class, or reaching out through a dating site, these are the steps to take that allow you to do something you love during your spare time — and it helps dramatically!
It can be daunting, and we totally know what it’s like to wonder, “but what if I don’t have a hobby to pursue?” There are a lot of great apps and sites out there for people who are just looking for friendships — they’re not exclusive to dating! It’s the perfect way to find people who share the same interests as you, and are looking for people to enjoy them with.
Whether you decide to enroll in a language course, join a hiking club, or sign up for a dating site, one thing remains the same: in order to fight the loneliness that most of us face with aging, we have to step out of our comfort zone a bit and make an effort. Take the chance — you won’t regret it!