The challenge of making and keeping friends grows as we exit school, where our peers constantly surround us. Most adults make friends naturally as they move through the world. At work, during hobbies, in the neighborhood, familiarity, and common ground breed friendship. Retirement removes us from at least one of these connections, work, and possibly others if you are relocating or moving to a retirement community. It’s normal to feel at odds or a little socially awkward as these natural opportunities for friendship change. Luckily, the way into friendship and connection hasn’t changed. It is still based on common ground and shared experience.
At Daystar Retirement, we understand the challenges of creating connections after retirement and specialize in creating fertile ground for them to grow. With our wide range of amenities, activities, classes, and enrichment opportunities, we’re used to setting the stage for fun and engagement and watching friendships bloom. If you’re interested in learning more about our community’s options and opportunities, we would love to speak with you!
Ideas for Making Friends After Retirement
Here at Daystar, we love watching new friendships blossom and we are used to taking extra care to support our newest residents in fostering new connections. We have compiled a list of some of our tried and true favorites that help our residents meet new friends and begin to thrive in their new home. Here are a few of our favorite ideas for making new friends after retirement:
1. Learn Something New
Take a beginner class. Pottery, jewelry making, target shooting, gardening, the topic doesn’t really matter. Learning a new skill alongside other novices breeds community and connection as you all help each other develop your skills. Feeling silly and unsure together creates a bond. Common interests are assured because you have all selected the same hobby. Even if you don’t make lasting connections, you have developed a new hobby and enriched your day.
2. Join A Club
If you have established interests, collections, or expertise, joining a club related to your interest can quickly connect you to other people who love what you love. Watch aficionados, stamp collectors, model train enthusiasts, and collectors of all kinds find kinship in others that share the same passion and specialized vocabulary. Your family might appreciate your new conversation partners for exploring your extensive expertise.
3. Reach Out to Old Friends
Old friends count as new friends if they have faded out of your life and come back later. Consider reaching out to old school friends, neighbors, and colleagues from the past. The internet and social media have made it even easier to find people than it used to be. You may be surprised how easy it is to pick up with people you haven’t spoken to in years. Shared history makes an excellent foundation for new fun!
4. Spend Time in Common Areas
We recommend a daily walk through your new community if you are able. You will become a predictable and familiar face, encouraging others to approach you. Many small opportunities for introductions and small talk happen naturally as you see the same people repeatedly in passing, which builds relationships over time. You could also opt for another solo activity outside or in a lobby. A good book, jigsaw puzzle, or word search conveys your personality and interests and invites others to engage if they share them.
5. Set a Goal
Show others you are interested in interacting with them. Greet five people every day, start one conversation with a stranger. Set a small daily goal designed to increase small exchanges with people. Watch the friendly smiles from others, and casual discussions bloom into deeper conversations as you build up interactions over time.
6. Host and Attend Parties
This one is for the extroverts! Throw a dinner party, barbeque, or cocktail event, depending on your style, and invite your neighbors and other people you are interested in knowing. Ask friends to bring their friends to bring even more new people to the fun. Keep some easy activities on hand, like outdoor lawn games or tabletop team games, if the mingling slows. If you are invited to a party, try to attend. Retirement parties are great opportunities to meet others newly blessed with time and freedom.
7. Move to a Retirement Community
Retirement communities set the stage for new friendships because everyone who moves there is new to the community, at relatively the same stage in their lives, and looking to connect. Choosing a retirement community that offers amenities and activities that excite and interest you will increase the odds of landing near your new best friend.
Retirement Bliss for Seniors in West Seattle
Here at Daystar Retirement, our thriving community and array of options appeal to a wide range of tastes and interests to foster connection between all of our residents. Contact us to learn more about our senior apartments, independent living, assisted living, and respite care options, or set up a tour today! We cannot wait to welcome you home!