When the kids leave home, you’ll have more time to yourself. Here's how it can be a great opportunity to make new f… https://t.co/qVQDMirFRM
Wednesday 19 September, 12:00pm
Here at togetherfriends we are all about helping women find new friends, whatever their circumstances. However over the years, talking to our members, we have noticed common themes relating to particular stages in life, or after specific life events, when women feel the need for new friends. Some of our members look for new friends after a house move, leaving behind old friends and looking for new local friendships. Some of our members are looking for new friends after divorce, wanting to broaden their friendship group as they move into a new stage in their life. Some look for new friends after retirement, bereavement, or children leaving home. Or some look for new friends to share a hobby with, such as a running or hiking partner.
We have heard from a number of members about how they coped with their life changes, why they needed new friends and their tips on how to go about making those new connections, whether online or through other means. Here are some of their experiences:
A member shared how her friendships changed after divorce.
She said "I find it easier to make friends with other single people, and if they too are divorced they understand where I am coming from. I find that single people are more up for going out and doing things as they don't have the restrictions of being a couple"
She recommended picking up on old hobbies and joining new clubs, but ended with "It has taken time to build a full social life since divorce. You cannot expect it to happen overnight and you have to work hard at it. Don't wait for your social life to come to you. You have to create your own social life with like-minded people"
A member writing about retirement explained how she was relishing the extra time she had to pick up on old and new activities. Having moved to an area with her partner while she was working, she hadn't had much opportunity to make friends locally. With the extra time she has taken up writing, volunteering and has joined togetherfriends. "Through my partner's sister-in-law I joined togetherfriends and met a wonderful group of ladies. We meet for lunch, walks, theatre trips and have a laugh together."
Her advice to approaching retirement is "I opened myself to the idea and didn't turn away when opportunities came along, whereas before there was always a reason why I was too busy. I'm more relaxed and I am having fun"
Another member shares some practical ways she made new friends after an unplanned retirement, including taking up new hobbies, volunteering and online options.
Many of us have found ourselves as "sandwich parents", caring for children and elderly parents at the same time, feeling pulled in several directions at once. In this blog I wrote about caring for my mother when she was in hospital, whilst my youngest was preparing for exams.
I talked about how "I've had plenty of times over the last few weeks when I have been screaming for a break and some time out. And this is where my friends have stepped in". I found that "Friends are an important outlet for a carer, offering a more objective perspective, a different viewpoint, a bit of light relief and fun. As a carer you need support, encouragement and alternative things to do to give you a break from caring."
Carers can easily become isolated. When you feel tired, stressed and worn out it is easy to lose confidence and contact with the outside world.
Whatever your situation I hope togetherfriends can help you find other women who face the same challenges as you or share common interests. All the members talked about embracing the opportunities their new situation offered and being open to trying something new.
So if you haven't already registered with us, why not see who else is looking for friends in your area and age group, and if you are a member why not send a message to a match now and see what develops?