How to Make Friends in Your Midlife Years and Retirement

Want to know how to make friends in your midlife years and beyond? Here I share six steps to making friends to talk to, go out with, and have fun with. The best way to do this partly depends on why you have few friends, I therefore also suggest you read my blog post: 15 Common Reasons Adults Have No Friends. 

Learning how to make friends is a new phenomenon

Most people are not consciously taught how to make friends. There never used to be the need when we lived and worked in the same communities all through life. There was a limited pool of people who could become friends. 

But in the modern world, with people travelling further for work, moving house and changing jobs several times in a lifetime, we spend less time every day with people who could become great friends. The increased popularity of online activities and working from home since the COVID-19 pandemic has both reduced and increased opportunities for people to make friends, depending on individual circumstances. 

We can no longer rely on friendships evolving from the people we meet in day-to-day activities. We’re also living longer and with a broader range of activities available to us, we have a more varied range of friendship needs than our ancestors. 

If you’ve been lucky, you will have learned how to make friends, from your parents and the people around you. But that’s not the case for many people. That’s why so many adults are struggling with friendships and are searching for tips on how to do this online. 

6 Steps to making good friends as an adult

So how do you make friends as an adult?

Most people start by thinking about where to find friends or meet people. But unless you have explored the first three steps before doing this, you could end up wasting time, energy, and money, trying to make friends with the wrong people, and experiencing more volatile friendships. 

When you follow the six simple steps below, you’ll be more likely to enjoy friendships with the right people. You’ll also be less likely to feel so alone or experience conflict, drama, or bullying, and find it easier to explore new friendships with wonder, confidence, and ease.

The first three steps relate to your inner world (your beliefs, needs, values, and desires), and the second three relate to the practical steps to take so you find it easier to make good friends. 

Nourishing Friends Book Waiting List

Step 1. Connect to your why 

You’re more likely to develop lasting friendships when the people you choose to spend time with align with your values, needs, and deepest desires.

This involves becoming more consciously aware of why you want more friends, how you hope new friends will enrich your life, and what truly matters to you. For instance, are you looking for local friends to be able to go out with regularly, friends who can support you, or friends to go on holiday with who don’t need to live nearby? 

Also, consider the activities you’d love to do with friends, the kind of friends you’d like to make, and the part you have played in not having the friends you’d love in your life (see my blog post: 15 Common Reasons Adults Have No Friends).

Doing this will help you be more focused and selective in prioritising relationships with people who have the potential to become good friends and have the greatest positive impact on your life.

How do you hope good friends will improve your life?

Step 2. Embrace possibility and success 

Overcome any mindset and emotional blocks and social anxiety so you feel more confident and find it easier to make nourishing friends. 

If you harbour doubts, fears or anxieties about making friends, what to say, whether you’re good enough or people will like you, or rejection, these will sabotage your attempts at making friends. Most people have some doubts or insecurities about themselves. That is human. However, if they hinder your efforts to make friends, it’s time to let them go, boost your self-esteem and confidence, and cultivate a positive mindset while building friendships. 

Regardless of the life stage you find yourself in or the experiences you’ve had with friends in the past, it is possible for you to forge meaningful connections and make good friends. You can learn how to do this and learn how to overcome any mindset blocks and emotional triggers, even if you don’t know how yet. Most importantly, you deserve to be happy and surrounded by fabulous friends, just like everyone else. 

Your mindset has a large impact on the type of relationships and friends you make, I dedicated a whole chapter to this topic in my book, Heartatude, The 9 Principles of Heart-Centered Success.

It’s time to explore what’s on the other side of your comfort zone! Making new friends will get easier over time. 

What doubts, fears or anxieties do you have that could be holding you back from enjoying good times with friends?

Step 3. Make friends with yourself 

Get clarity on who you are and what you want to experience in the future, so the new friendships you choose to nurture align with who you truly are and the type of friendships you want to experience. If you’re a midlife woman, My Meaningful Life Coaching Programme will help you with this. 

This is especially true when you change direction, take up new hobbies, move somewhere new, or transition into a new stage of life. Yet, many people feel disconnected from their authentic selves. They’ve often lost sight of who they are, neglected their passions or no longer know what brings them joy. 

If you want to make good friends who will accompany you on the next stage of your journey, it’s also worth considering the type of friend you are and how you could become the best friend you can to those you want to befriend. Not sure whether you are a good nourishing friend so someone others could view as toxic? Read my blog: Toxic Friends: 15 Signs of Toxic Friendships

What would you love to do or experience in the future?

Step 4. Define your ideal friend qualities

To increase the likelihood of enjoying nourishing, harmonious friendships, identify all the qualities (e.g. values, mindset, emotional resilience, passions, skills, and behaviours) of people you’d like in your life–before you reach out to make friends. 

Making conscious decisions about this effectively creates a set of filters you can use against which you can assess potential friends. This makes it easier to focus on nurturing friendships with people who are more likely to love you, respect you, and value your friendship as much as you do. ​​

I consciously only nurture friendships with people who have the qualities of people who could become what I call nourishing friends. Read more about friendship qualities in my blog: Toxic Friends: 15 Signs of Toxic Friendships

What personal qualities do you have for ideal friends?

Step 5. Find friends

Most people think the first thing they need to do to make more friends is to go out and meet new people. However, if you want to make friends with the right people, all the preceding steps are crucial.

There are two aspects to finding friends: if you already know a lot of people but few you consider friends, first, do a friends audit to consider the people you already know before you explore ways to meet new people. 

  • Review your friends – finding friends isn’t solely about meeting new people, as you may have already people in your social circle who could become good friends—if you were to invest time in getting to know them. Begin by compiling a list of people you know (e.g. contacts on your phone and social media) then complete a friends audit to select which relationships to nourish (those who align with your ideal friends’ qualities). This process can also help identify friendships that may no longer be good for you in the future. 

  • Make new friends – if you don’t have many existing contacts, the next stage is to list places and ways to meet new people e.g. places where you can meet people with common interests or hobbies. 

What’s the best thing for you to focus on first–reviewing existing contacts or finding new places to meet people?

Step 6. Nurture nourishing relationships

Invest time and energy in maintaining friendships and nurturing relationships to turn contacts into meaningful friendships. This involves being proactive approach by initiating regular catch-ups, acquiring new skills, and creating energising rituals. Doing so will allow your friendships to blossom naturally with more joy, ease, and flow, fostering a sense of love, connection, and belonging. 

Every week and month I dedicate time to contemplate who I want to see, visit, or call. I set aside specific moments to get in touch and arrange meet-ups. Sometimes I do things the old-fashioned way and simply give them a call.

Neglecting this practice is one of the primary reasons why many people find themselves lacking in the friend department. They are effectively letting friendships slip through their fingers. 

How could you become more proactive in nurturing nourishing relationships?

Nourishing Friends Book


  • Making friends is a skill set. The best way for you to make friends depends on why don’t have many friends at the moment, your needs, values, desires, existing skills and behaviours, and people you already know.

  • Following these six steps will help you find and attract good friends to go out with, have fun with and support one another. They are also likely to become friends who will love you as much as you do them. 

  • Making friends involves taking time to get to know yourself and consider the type of people you want and don’t want as friends. 

  • You’re more likely to make good friends when you’re selective about the places you meet people and the relationships you nurture. 

  • It’s OK to let go of friendships. Few people are destined to be life-long friends. 

  • Become an initiator if you want to have more friends. The more people you invite out, the more friends you’ll eventually have–if you follow all the steps I’ve shared here. 

What’s next?

Hopefully, reading this blog has given you some ideas for making good friends.

For further tips and resources delivered straight into your inbox, sign up for my Nourishing Friends Blog <HERE>. Or sign up to to hear when my new book, Nourishing Friends: How to Make Friends in Midlife and Retirement is available <HERE> (due end 2024).

Want help working out the best way forward? I also offer one-to-one support. Find out more <HERE> or contact me

Remember, you matter, you can learn how to make friends, and you deserve to be surrounded by good friends who love you as much as you do them.

What you do next matters.

With love and gratitude,

Life Coach, Business Mentor, and Author for Midlife Women

Empowering you to enjoy a life of purpose, adventure, and fun in your midlife years and beyond. 

Sign up to enjoy more female friendships

P.S. Have you checked out my books <HERE> yet?

Often described as one of the most authentic and inspiring souls you can meet, Alisoun is on a mission to make it easier for women in their midlife years and retirement to live their truth, do something that matters, and make the most of life. 

Alisoun’s keynote talks, training, mentoring, and best-selling books Heartatude: The 9 Principles of Heart-Centered Success and Give-to-Profit have favourably changed the good fortune of thousands of people worldwide. Alisoun loves spending time with friends, exploring the world, and living by the beach in Scotland.

Alisoun has written the following free resources:

  • 101+ Ways to Create a Joyful Life of Meaning, Vitality, & Impact (download this HERE).
  • Ebook: 52 Ways to Raise Funds for Charities and Social Causes Through Your Business (download this here)

Connect with Alisoun here:

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