Dear Friend Seeking in Fort Collins;

Any thoughts or advice? Are you kidding? I’m full of thoughts and advice and a few other things depending on who you ask.

What you say is true. As you get older making friends does become more difficult. It’s because of that enemy of mankind (and womankind) called comfort. As time goes by a person gets into a routine and gets comfortable with it. People hate change. Yes they will tell you otherwise but they are lying. People hate change. People like routine. When you have an unchanging routine there aren’t many opportunities to meet new people.

When you were a child you didn’t have any routines to hold you down. Then you went to school and college. In these environments there was some routine yet also a series of new opportunities to do new things and encounter new people along the way.

And then the path took you to getting married, having children, and a life that is mostly routine. At least in the sense of meeting new people. Parenting doesn’t have too much routine built it to it.

There is an additional problem to be had here. I don’t know how old you are ’cause you didn’t mention it but I’m gonna guess you are in your 70s. From now on I’m gonna assume everyone who writes in to Ask Us Fort Collins is 74 years old unless they say otherwise. But I digress.

Regular readers will notice I do that often.

Another problem you are going to run into is that of age discrimination. People tend to only make friends with people within 2 years plus or minus of their own age. This means all the people who are your potential friends are also in their 70s and just as set in their routine as you are. I have a friend who is old enough to be retired from the company he worked for and his wife once chided him (that’s what wives do right? “chide”) for having friends younger than him and how * gasp* that simply isn’t done. This is what you are up against.

Unless you are willing to be a rebel and can find other rebels your potential friends are limited to people aged 72 to 76. Older people aren’t going to want to be friends with you ’cause you are younger than them. Younger people don’t wanna be friends with you ’cause you’re older than them and young people don’t ever talk to old people and thus never learn anything about the Reality Principle and thus . . . oh wait, that’s next weeks column. Come back next Friday for the rest of that thought.

Not only do you have to break free of your routine in order to make new friends but you have to interact with others who are willing to break free of their routines. This is gonna be harder than you think.

The Solution

Divorce the husband, give him the kids, move to New York city.

Just kidding. Though you could. But maybe you shouldn’t.

Realistic Solutions

Simply put you need to talk to people you don’t know and do so in an environment which allows you to get to know them. This environment needs to be one where you can hear the other person talking. Thus loud bars on Friday night are out of the question. I’m thinking you might be past that stage in life anyhow.

The advice you’ve heard before is to go volunteer for a social cause you support and meet other people who also enjoy working for free. Sure. If you like working for free go for it. I have some house cleaning that needs to be done and I’ll be your friend. I’m not a big fan of doing free work to make friends.

Put Yourself In New Situations

I’m more into taking charge of your own destiny. Decide what sorts of people you would like to meet and go to places where those people can be found. Start talking to people you don’t know. I don’t know if this is easy or difficult for you but it’s what you are gonna have to do.

Some people will be terrified that you spoke to them. Some people will be as excited as you are to meet a new person. Know ahead of time that it’s going to be a numbers game. To find one person you connect with you are going to have to talk to 30 people. It’s just like dating. Only without the exchange of body fluids.

A Dating Site For Friends

Another path is I’ve meet many people via meetup. There are groups which are based on a particular interest and there are groups which are there specifically for socializing & making friends. Or you could start your own group geared to whatever sparks your interest and create the opportunity to meet like minded people.

One group that I recommend from personal experience is Fort Collins Social Locals. I haven’t attended a function in a while as Samantha keeps scheduling them when I’m working. I’m pretty sure she does that on purpose. I’ve had a great time at outings with this bunch. We’ve had 40 or more people show up at events. All of them looking to meet new people.

Ultimately the key is going some place different than your normal travels and talking to new people. There is no short cut. At this stage in your life you can’t expect these opportunities to be presented to you as they were in school, college, first job and so forth. You have to take the initiative to create them. Now get out there and be nice to people.

Want More? Read More.


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