Dear “Oh Carol:”
Was married for almost 46 years. My wife past last spring. I’m gonna move about 500 miles away to be much closer to my daughter and young grandkids. I don’t either want or expect her to spend time either entertaining or “taking care of” me. So, as a start, I want to make some new friends – but I am kind of scared about that. I haven’t been on my own in a long, long time and my wife was always the social one, getting us together with others. So, how do I do that. I will not be living with my daughter. I just put some money down for a house in an area where there are supposed to be lots of others who are retirement age but not ready yet for the “wheelchair and walker” scene. I need help with these changes!
Help! All These Changes
AFL’s OH CAROL Answers……
Dear “Help! All These Changes”
My condolences on the loss of your wife.
I think you are absolutely doing the right thing and a very smart thing. Why not be around those little grandkids, they bring such joy! And smart to not want to “burden” your daughter with entertaining you.
I love that you chose an age appropriate community. Once you make the move check out the community news. See if there is a local gathering place. If you like live music, check out what bands play locally and the type of music they play. Bands from the 1960s and the ’70s will draw an age appropriate crowd. If you’re not into music and there isn’t a clubhouse in your community, then take a look at www.meetup.com. Search around using your interests and zip code (you can even do this before you move). Whatever they may be – golf, coin collecting, dining out, reading, knitting, dogs, – you name it – there is likely a ‘meetup’ for it.
Not sure it you’re ready to date but if you are, there are a lot of categorized singles groups that meet up regularly and there’s also online dating. Could be “Over 50 Singles. Or Foodie Singles. Christian SIngles. Jewish Singles. (insert religion here) Singles.
Whatever you choose, know that it is difficult for most people to make those first attempts at getting out there. Once you move in, you have the benefit of being new in a community. Yes benefit – as in “I am new in town and looking to make new friends. Do you have any suggestions?” You’d be surprised how many doors this can open.
Not knowing the size of the city or town you’re going to makes it a bit of a challenge to make other suggestions. Is there an art center or a community theater, or a “Y”, or a religious group that fits your taste? Those are more prevalent in larger communities. Start with what you like. Even if it’s a male dominated hobby like fishing or hunting, finding friends has to start somewhere!
As the Divine Miss M sang:
“Standing at the end of the road, boys,
Waiting for my new friends to come.
I don’t care if I’m hungry or poor,
I’m gonna get me some of them.
Cause you got to have friends.”
As we told our kids – get out there and make some friends! Have fun!
Yours for Love, Carol