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14 Ways to Find Good Friends No Matter What Your Age

14 Ways to Find Good Friends No Matter What Your Age
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Making good friends as you get older can be difficult. Trying to balance your personal life with work can leave you with limited time to get out and about. Worse still, the longer you leave it the more anxious you become about meeting new people.

Whilst it can be difficult to take that first step back into the world of socializing, once you have made the move you will usually find things fall neatly into place.

To help you kickstart the process, below are 14 possibilities to keep in mind – with some initiative, a smartphone, and a charm offensive, nothing can hold you back.

1. Overcoming nerves

Firstly, I’m aware the below 13 points may seem easy in consideration. But when the time comes to socialize, it’s often a tad more difficult. If you are shy, highly introverted, or out of practice with talking to people, it may even seem like an impossibility.

If you have anxiety, then you can find services such as the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) – it offers tips on how to deal with, and even overcome, some of the symptoms to make socializing easier.[1]

Just remember, many times you will find yourself nervous and anxious before meeting people, but once you’re talking away you will calm down and begin to enjoy the experience.

It’s just about taking that first step and chatting to people, but you can condition yourself to make positive steps simply by following some coping strategies here:

Feel Anxious in Social Situations? Try These Methods 

Or watch this video:

2. Opportunism

Now, to meeting people! The first option is challenging as it depends on your personality type – it will either be too obvious or crushingly difficult.

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What are your opportunistic options?

Approach your neighbors, for instance, and get to know them over a coffee or tea. At work, offer to catch up over drinks and get to know your colleagues in a relaxed environment. Attending a party? Get talking to people when you arrive, find someone you have something in common with, and then offer to connect on Facebook. From there you can suggest meeting for drinks.

This one will be nerve-wracking/annoying for the introverts of this world, but an opportunistic streak (even if it’s a cheeky one, such as inviting yourself to after work drinks you heard colleagues discussing) can go a long way.

3. Frequent a local café

Choose a café you like, head there at regular intervals, and practice your charm offensive on the baristas. It can be fun practice for other social occasions, plus you can genuinely get to know people.

Day after day, as the weeks pass, your confidence will grow and you will become a regular – a great way to practice witty conversation with the staff.

Also, it’s a chance to drink some coffee and tea and you can’t grumble at that.

4. Break out of your comfort zone

Break on through the habit of a lifetime – try something you would never normally do. This could be taking up rollerblading or learning a musical instrument – nothing is stopping you from joining a local band.

Volunteer at the local theatre, or take up amateur acting. Out of the randomness can come lifelong friendships, so dare yourself to try something new.

5. Meetup

Meetup helps you find meetups that interest you – it’s as simple as that. It can be difficult to meet new people and think of conversation. Especially if you’re nervous. If there’s an activity to get on with, though, then conversation can be free-flowing. 

Check out what people say about Meetup:

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6. Travel

Heading off on holiday, whether locally or abroad gets you around people – obviously. In this scenario, everyone is in the same situation. You’re in a new location, you don’t know anyone, and it’s an ideal opportunity to get talking to complete strangers.

Wondering where to go?

Lonely Planet is an excellent site to check out for ideas – it has a brilliant blog.

There’s also Atlas Obscura, in case you feel you have done it all from a travel front, which offers endless weirdly wonderful tourist spots from across the world.

And of course, we have plenty of suggestions for you on Lifehack: World’s 10 Best Destinations To Travel Alone

7. Volunteer

All it takes to find a worthy cause is a quick Google search. It may be a local cat shelter needing volunteers to take care of its felines at weekends, supporting the local library, or at a sporting event (motorsport races always need track marshals, for example).

Wherever you volunteer, there will be other volunteers, too, making it a fun way to get to meet new people. It’s also something to add to your CV/résumé.

8. Join (or even start) a book or film club

You can find plenty of these already set up on the likes of Meetup. But if there isn’t one in your local community, then you can start one.

Books or films are an easy choice to get a conversation going, as you’re rarely like to find people who hate films.

Simply ask someone what films they like and you will be off for hours. Ask someone about their favourite author and you will get the same result.

9. Late night classes

If you want to learn something new, and meet a batch of new people whilst you’re at it, then here’s a rewarding option. Have a search on Google for late night classes or adult training courses in your area. You will pretty much immediately meet a group of people with a shared interest.

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10. Try meet-friends apps

There’s an app for everything these days, including ones for making good friends no matter the situation you’re in. Peanut , for example, is for your mothers looking to connect – “Meet as Mamas” as the site puts it.

Or there’s Bumble BFF. This is very handy if you have found yourself in a situation where you just don’t know anybody nearby (e.g. if you have moved to a new city).

Huggle is an other: “Discover people who go to the places you go to” reads the slogan. The app filters people based on the locations you go to, what you get up to, and what you’re interested in. From there, you can connect and see where it all leads.

If you’re over 50, there’s Stitch. It’s about companionship, travel, and activities and can connect you with people locally and globally.

11. Join a sports group

Sports, asides from keeping you fit, are usually pretty sociable occasions.

Think of the likes of badminton, tennis, cycling classes, cricket, and various others. Book yourself into local matches at you have got a bit of casual competition on your hands – a great way to get natural conversation flowing.

12. Get a pet

Animals are great companions, which is a major bonus right away if you’re feeling lonely.

Whether you get a cat, dog, fish, hamster, or a pigeon (yes, these make great pets!), there are going to be other people out there who love these sorts of animals as well.

A pet dog is arguably the best option, as you can take it for walks, bond, and head to meetups (such as with the pug one in New York above). It’s an easy conversation starter, as most people can talk for hours about the various quirks of their four-legged friend.

13. Start blogging

A bit of a shift now, as the final two involve sitting behind a computer. But you can find good friends from across the world easily if you start blogging on a platform like WordPress.

With its online community, it won’t be long until you have come across lots of people you have things in common with.

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All you have to do is setup your blog (for free, if you want to) and start posting away:

Pick a topic you’re interested in, such as films, music, or food, and people will arrive to look at the content you’re publishing.

14. Online gaming

Video games aren’t for everyone, but if they have piqued your interest then there are plenty that encourage socialising (in digital form).

If you’re suffering from anxiety and unsure about getting out and about in your local city or town, then games can be a fun way of starting the step towards bigger things.

MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) are a great place to start. Titles like World of Warcraft have many millions of players across the world.

Some people have even married after meeting on it![2] That’s not mandatory of course. But it shows you how well you can get to know people through a mutual passion.

Your age can’t stop you from meeting friends!

No matter how old you are, you can still make friends and bond with others.

To begin with, just keep things simple and avoid unnecessary stresses.

Start a blog, chat to people online, read some of the ADAA guide if you’re nervous, and maybe reconnect with an old friend you have not seen for a while.

After that, you can slowly ramp up your socializing plan to take on bigger opportunities. Ultimately, you’re the boss. You don’t have to meet anyone – downtime in solitude can be great, after all – but if you have experienced a twinge of loneliness on a Friday night, then consider a few of the steps above to make some good friends.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Coping Tips
[2] Cosmopolitan: 3 Couples Talk About How World of Warcraft Brought Them Together

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Alex Morris

Creative Writer, Copywriter, & Journalist for Business, Culture, Lifestyle, & Work

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Last Updated on July 15, 2021

11 Relationship Goals Happy Couples Have

11 Relationship Goals Happy Couples Have
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Happy couples don’t just magically happen. It takes a lot more work than simply walking down the aisle, saying vows, and making googly eyes at each other because once the excitement of the wedding and the honeymoon is over, comes the real work.

Creating relationship goals that you, as a couple, can aspire to, sets you up as a team right from the get-go. Being a team—a partnership—provides each of you with a safety net. You have each others’ backs so that you don’t fall, and if you do, there’s someone to catch you before you get too hurt.

Relationship goals are beneficial because you have an aim—something to work for that will enhance your partnership.[1] By having goals, you know when you reach them, when you fall short, and why. Goals keep you working—not working for me, me, me, but working for us, us, us.

Below, I’ve listed some note-worthy goals to make your relationship happy, friendly, and solid.

1. Go Through the Rough Patches as Allies

Let’s face it, all couples go through hard times. But having a goal right from the beginning that you’ll be there for each other, not only during the fun and happy times but especially through the most challenging times, increases your chances of making it through.

Set up a goal for those prickly times. Make it so that when the bad times hit, you pull closer together, not farther apart. Discuss this prior to the hiccups. It’s like having the fire extinguisher ready before the fire, not after the fire burns down the house.

According to Karensuestudios, “the key to setting goals, is to set attainable goals. You start small and work your way up.”[2]

2. Become the Best Versions of Yourselves, Together!

Being in a relationship can become its own comfort zone. The things you used to do while dating may fall by the wayside. Maybe you stop caring about your appearance, or you start taking each other for granted. You both stop growing as individuals and as a couple. This can easily create a rut.

Just because you’re with someone who loves you for who you are, that doesn’t mean you stop evolving. Never allow yourself to stop growing. The show must go on—you must go on. Keep learning, expanding, and reaching for higher ground. Doing this will keep you more interested in life, not to mention more interesting to your partner. This is how cracks in the marriage are avoided.

“A healthy relationship is kind of like a trinity, two individuals create something deeper and better than themselves, yet they are still themselves. For a relationship to grow, you must also grow as an individual and not lose yourself. This can be really hard for mothers. They can get so caught up in work, husband, children, that they don’t know who they are anymore” —Silouan Green

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If you each become the best version of yourself, your partnership becomes the best version of itself!

3. Be Each Others’ Cheerleaders

There is no room for jealousy in a relationship. Sometimes, couples can be competitive, especially if they have high-powered jobs. Or there may exist some ulterior motives for why one partner might not want the other one to succeed.

Supporting each others’ dreams and goals is essential to a marriage’s longevity. Be happy for each other. Root for each other when needed. That makes your partner feel supported, and it will encourage them even more. If each partner is happy, they are more likely to work on maintaining a happy union.

4. Dedicate Time to Each Other

When there are copious responsibilities to attend to, it’s easy to put your partner on the back burner. After all, you live together—you “see” each other all the time. You might think, “It’s okay. I’ll talk to them later, or tomorrow. No biggie.” But it is a biggie.

Relationships need tending to. Your time together needs to be prioritized. If not, it’s too easy for other things to take its place. People can feel ignored and lonely in marriage.

Dedicating time to each other is extremely important. It is how you stay connected—how you stay current in each other’s lives. Neglecting your partner because there are more “important” things to do will not keep your partnership grounded and solid.

5. Speak Well and Respectfully of Each Other

I’ve listened to many couples speak ill about their partner. You would think they’re talking about their arch-nemesis, instead of their honey. What happened? This is the person to whom you made googly eyes, remember?

Talking about your partner’s flaws and painting them in a bad light is never productive. In fact, the person listening will not forget how bad your spouse is. so, the next time they see you together, they may think, “Poor Mirna. There’s that monster she married.”

Having arguments is normal, but try to fix them between the two of you. Don’t drag others into the mix. Talking badly and disrespectfully of each other simply leaves a bad taste in other people’s mouths, not to mention yours!

6. Learn Each Others’ Love Language and Speak it

We all love in different ways, and we all like to be shown love differently. That’s why it’s important to sit down with your partner and find out how they want to be shown love.

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For instance, my husband taking my Jeep and filling it up is an act of service, which is a love language I really appreciate.[3] While I love the flowers he sometimes brings home, they’re not as exciting to me as having my car gassed up and ready to go. Some people are touchy, feely, while others love to be told they are loved in words.

Make it a goal to find out what your partner’s love language is, then show them you love them in a way that will make them feel even more loved.

7. Try New Things Together

Be on the lookout to explore new territory. It doesn’t have to be mind-blowing, it just has to be new.

My husband and I work out regularly, but I’m always searching for new things. So, this past Sunday, I said, “We’re not doing our regular workout today!” My husband just stared at me wide-eyed (he doesn’t like change), but I don’t care. I said, “Today, we’re trying a Bollywood workout. Let’s go!” I found a workout on YouTube, and for the next 30 minutes, we huffed and puffed, jumped and danced, and had a great time. After it was over, he turned to me and said, “Boy, that was hard and fun.”

My son and his wife did something similar—rollerskating. To take the edge off the day-to-day grind, they decided to try rollerskating. Now they make it a date night every Monday night. They’re exercising, dancing, and sharing a new experience. Together!

According to Maggie Peikon,[4]

“Enhancing experiences that already make you happy by putting a new spin on them is another way to try something “new” in a less intimidating form. Switching things up can help to keep you inspired and motivated. Because, let’s be honest, it can be quite dull and uneventful following the same monotonous routine day in and day out.”

8. Fulfill Your Vows and Commitment to Each Other

Wedding vows can be beautiful and moving. But what happens after the wedding is over, after the excitement wears off, and you’re now not dancing at your own wedding party, but living a regular life?

Vows and commitments are important. As your marriage ages, things can get stale. The promise, “I will love you for always, and treat you like a Queen,” are just words recited on a special day. It’s the follow-through that’s important.

According to the article, 5 Ways Your Wedding Vows Will Save Your Marriage,[5]

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“But wedding vows force us to rethink what is important and what we value. Vows force us to recognize that we need to appreciate each other on a regular basis. Wedding vows let couples hear why they are chosen and fulfill their need to feel wanted and appreciated. Vows such as “Your creativity and talent inspire me,” tell our partners what is important to them. One of our favorite quotes comes from Mother Teresa, ‘There is greater hunger in the world for appreciation than for bread.’ Writing vows that cement why you want and appreciate your partner can help reinforce what’s important to you.”

Make sure that the vows you made on your special day are the ones you’re living in your married life.

9. Prioritize Each Other

Being in a relationship doesn’t always guarantee that you’re always going to be present and engaging. Today’s busy schedules often prevent that, but you must prioritize your partner.

How do you do that? By actively doing things for each other. Clean up and do the dishes after dinner. Surprise them by cooking their favorite meal. Turn down the bed at night while they’re busy putting the kids to bed, etc. You get the picture. Come up with ways you can surprise your partner by doing little things. Make it a habit.

According to Elizabeth Burke,[6]

“We all have to-do lists that seem to never end. These can be task and errand oriented, like picking up dry cleaning and going grocery shopping. There’s goal-oriented lists, like getting a promotion at work or running a marathon. And even people-oriented lists like taking care of yourself and making sure you’re happy and doing the same for your partner. With all that we have to accomplish, it can be difficult to prioritize. There are certain things that take priority, but ask yourself – where does your relationship fall on that list? Of course taking care of yourself is the most important thing. Outside of that, if your relationship isn’t even at the top, there can be consequences.”

10. Keep the Romance Alive

When you’re dating, you come up with the most amazing romantic things to do for your partner—watching sunsets, flowers, love letters, etc. But something goes awry along the way. Maybe it’s the work schedule, the familiarity, the kids, the dog, the family, etc. Whatever it is, it makes you forget that you’re lovers. But that’s exactly what you are: Lovers! And lovers need romance.

Romance is just as important 10 years post marriage, as it was while you were courting. Why? Because after being married for a while, the struggle is real. Life can step in many times with problems that need to be solved. Romance is needed more than ever to bring some heart and soul when things get a little rough.

As Carina Wolff said, “Just because you’ve finally settled into the comfortable stages of a relationship doesn’t mean it’s time to stop putting in an effort to keep things exciting.”[7]

Note: Being romantic doesn’t mean expensive. It can just be the two of you spending time together sharing your dreams and aspirations; planning a trip, taking walks in a garden, a candlelight dinner, or just dinner together while talking about your day.

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11. Spend Time Together and Apart

In a marriage, spending time together is extremely important, but it’s just as important as spending time apart. You may be in love, but you’re not glued at the hip. Your partner cannot be everything to you. They cannot provide everything you need. That’s too big a burden.

Expand your relationship with other people–family members, friends, acquaintances at the gym, etc. Expand your circle. Your partner, of course, will continue to be your priority. But you can still enjoy different hobbies, different experiences, and different people. Then, come home and share everything with your honey. As you expand, so will your relationship.

“No one can be everything to anyone. In other words, it’s healthy to have more than one person you can open up to, depend on, and have fun with. So, if your partner is the only person who fills those needs for you, we’d recommend you try to expand your social group.”[8]

Final Thoughts

Relationship goals are important because they give us something to shoot for. The health of a relationship depends on the love and effort poured into it. The more you work on it, the greater the rewards.

Goals give you a target—something to aim for—that will strengthen your relationship. When you reach your goals, you know you’re on the right path, and when you don’t, find out what can be done to get you back on track.

Relationship goals keep you working as a team—a team that feels united, strong, secure, and loving.

What are some of your relationship goals? See if you can’t define those and implement them into your relationship.

Featured photo credit: Scott Broome via unsplash.com

Reference

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