Written by Ashley Kelmore, Posted in Move to UK: Taking Care
It’s hard to make friends as we get older. People have the friends they’ve made over the years, and often barely have time for them as their lives get busier. People have partners, children, ailing parents. They might be working longer hours as their careers get moving.
We saw it happening before we left Seattle. As one of only a few folks without kids, we saw our friends with kids much less often than we used to. It seems to be how things go, but it wasn’t something either of us particularly like about getting older.
So now that we’re in London, and closer to 40 than 30, can we even make new friends?
YES. Definitely yes.
You cannot be all things to your partner, and they can’t be all things to you. Whomever is working is going to be busy during the day, but the evenings and weekends are still there, and they can’t always be spent just with each other.
The person who is working may make friends at the office, but it will take time, if it ever happens. Which means looking elsewhere. If you are the person with a job, it might be a bit harder to initially carve out some time, but it’s possible and I’d argue important. But if you are a partner who hasn’t found work yet? I’d argue it’s critical. I’m fairly introverted, but being alone all day most days was even a lot for me. Yes, I’d get out to lunch with friends at least once a week, but I already had a group of friends here from when I lived in London before. But they all have lives and jobs and things to do.
Do you have hobbies? Do you like to run, or play football, or read? Libraries and independent bookstores are great places to find book clubs. If you graduated college you can also call upon your alumni association to see if there’s a local chapter in your new city. A quick online search can help connect you to adult recreational leagues for your chosen sports.
You can also try signing up with groups like Meet Up. You can search by topic and find events to attend with other people who like the same thing. They aren’t all going to be perfect, and you might not find your platonic soul mate on day one, but it’ll get you out of the house and doing something you enjoy.