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How to Meet New Friends?

Community Member
I am nearing 50, separated (and single), and have two teenages 50% of the time. Prior to separation I didn't prioritise myself. I worked full time, looked after the kids when I wasn't working, and took care of the housework. Any social engagements were through my parenter. Post separation is a lonely place because I lost my identity and friends during my relationship. I'm trying to get back on track but I have very low self esteem and believe I don't have anything to offer friends. I really want to find meaningful friendships with like minded people. However, I'm a bit of an unusual woman in that I like doing things that are more masculine (outdoor / practical stuff). In additional I am extremely uncomfortable in social situations unless it is of a practical nature with a purpose. I get really anxious when I have to be social and I find reasons to run away. I would really like to hear suggestions for how to meet new friends, and how to do this in a way where I feel comfortable.
2 Replies 2

Community Member

Hi EightPaws,

The first thing that jumped into my mind when I read your post was volunteering. There are plenty of organisations that need volunteers and that is a way for you to do something practical and with a purpose, and meet like-minded people. You would also be able to fit your schedule around when you have access to your teenagers.

Google 'volunteering' and see if anything comes up that sounds like you, and you could contribute and enjoy doing. The friendships are not going to be instant of course, building relationships takes time though I suspect you would be very welcomed. It might also help build your self-esteem back as well by helping others.

Best wishes.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi eightpaws,

I moved to a new city just over two years ago now so have some experience that may be helpful. The first thing I did was join “meetup” which is a social page where people organize activities, and I also joined bumble, which is traditionally a dating site but that you can also set to “friends” in the settings. I had quite a bit of success with both of those apps, not at first, but after about a year and a half it seemed to suddenly happen. Bumble was particularly good because I met a girl who lives nearby who became a good friend and she then introduced me to several of her friends who she also met on bumble, so it was like an instant friend group. I also found a social sports league (mixed) and joined that and met quite a few people through that. I suffer from terrible social anxiety so it was pretty crippling at first (I also backed out of a few meetup groups for that reason), but I persisted with it and I don’t really have social anxiety anymore, which is amazing to me!!If you do anything often enough it becomes comfortable I suppose. I also got a dog, not for the purposes of meeting people, but it has had that effect. A lot of strangers now talk to me and it’s brought my closer to my neighbors and so many people on the block now know me who otherwise wouldn’t have. It’s also a good ice-breaker when trying to make that transition to friend of “let’s catch up for a puppy play date” no one ever says no to that lol. These are just some of the things that I found helpful. It’s fine if you are a bit more practical (I’m a bit of a tomboy myself) so you just need to find sports or hobbies with likeminded people (such as, is there a woman’s woodworking course etc). Or even just walks on meetup are good and I met a friend that way. Also maybe try and do something out of your comfort zone too, you never know, you might like it. Volunteering is another great suggestion and is also personally fulfilling. But whatever it is, you’ve just got to get out there and chase what you want.