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The best friendship sites and groups for over 50s

Last updated 23rd January 2024
6 min read

Making friends at any age is important, but it can be especially important as we get older. Some of us lose touch with old friends and family members in our later years. This means that making new friends can help us feel connected and supported.

Friends can also provide companionship and keep us active. And they can give us someone to talk to about the things that matter to us.

To boost your confidence and help you build your own network of friends, this post explores:

  • Why over 50s friendships are so important
  • Tips for making friends in later life
  • Some of the best friendship sites for over 50s
  • Alternative ways to find friends at this age

Why are over 50s friendships important?

Socialising for older adults is one of the most important aspects of healthy ageing. It's been directly linked to mental health and wellbeing.

According to Age UK( opens in a new tab), 1.4 million older people in the UK are often lonely. Unfortunately, this has been linked to cases of depression and dementia( article opens in a new tab).

Thankfully, feelings of loneliness and social isolation are reversible. There are plenty of things you can do to build a thriving social network. We've listed many of these below.

How to meet new friends over 50

There’s no rulebook to follow when building friendships over 50. However, we do have some general tips that may help if you’re feeling anxious. Remember that everyone is just a person like you, and there's no reason to be nervous.

1. Talk to people you don't know

One way to make new friends is to simply be open and friendly when you're out and about. Challenge yourself to talk to people you don’t know. Smile at people, strike up conversations, and be yourself. The more approachable you are, the more likely people will want to stop and talk to you.

And don’t forget to make eye contact. Studies have shown that direct eye contact can help strangers feel closer( opens in a new tab) and more similar to each other. This can help to start a blossoming friendship.

2. Ask your family and friends to introduce you to their friends

Another way to expand your social network and make new friends over 50? Ask your existing friends and family to introduce you to their friends.

This can often feel much easier, as you'll already have something in common to talk about. Plus, your friend or family member can tag along to support you if you’re feeling nervous.

3. Be yourself

When it comes to making friends, the best approach is to be yourself. Be friendly and open, and try to find common ground with the people you meet.

It's okay to be a little nervous at first, but don't try to be someone you're not. Your new friends will appreciate you for who you are. You'll be much happier in the long run if you embrace your own unique personality.

This is a useful one to remember as you form friendships at any age. But it's especially helpful when meeting new friends over 50.

4. Find common interests and things to talk about

One way to build confidence when talking to people you don’t know is to think about what you want to talk about beforehand.

Find something in common to talk about, such as a shared interest or something that's happening around you. It can also help to have a few icebreaker questions that you can use to start the conversation.

10 friendship sites for over 50s

If you’re struggling to meet new people in your local area, you might want to try a friendship site for over 50s. Online friendships can be just as meaningful as offline friendships. And it means you can connect with people from all over the world.

It can also be much easier to find people with similar interests online than in real life. This is because there are a variety of online communities dedicated to different interests. Some of these include:

  1. opens in a new tab) – a site where over 50s can search for love, friendship, or local events to attend
  2. opens in a new tab) – a community dedicated to helping over 50s find community and companionship
  3. opens in a new tab) – Meetup helps individuals meet new friends who share common interests
  4. opens in a new tab) – a safe chatroom for over 50s from all over the world to build genuine friendships
  5. opens in a new tab) – a social networking site with forums, chat rooms, and friendship groups for over 50s
  6. opens in a new tab) – an exclusive website for over 50s looking for friends or romance
  7. opens in a new tab) – a site designed to help you connect with your neighbours, from borrowing tools to exchanging recommendations
  8. opens in a new tab) – the largest digital British Armed Forces community for reconnecting with friends from service
  9. opens in a new tab) – the social network for over 50s who don't see their age as a barrier to leading the lifestyle they want to lead
  10. opens in a new tab) – an entertaining and informative lifestyle site and social network for over 50s. It includes a safe space to chat with like-minded friends

Alternative ways to find friendship after 50

Find a hobby group or activity that you enjoy

A great way to meet new friends over 50 is to find a new hobby that you're passionate about.

When you're passionate about something, you're more likely to put yourself out there and meet new people who share the same interests. Once you find a group of friends who share your hobby, you'll likely have a lot in common. This means you can bond over your shared interests.

Tracey and Lui are a couple in their 50s whose love of dancing has taken them across Europe. Their passion has introduced them to new lifelong friends.

You can read more in our article about retirement hobbies for better mental health

Volunteer in your community

Volunteering in your community is a great way to get to know people who share your values. It can be an easy way to make new friends, learn new skills, and make a difference in your community.

Whether you'd like to volunteer at a local food bank or help clean up your local park, there are many ways to get involved.

Read How to find volunteering opportunities to learn more.

Learn a new skill

There are many benefits to learning a new skill after age 50. One is that it can help to keep your mind sharp and stay mentally active. Learning a new skill can also help you stay physically active, which is important for maintaining your overall health and wellbeing.

It can also be a great way to make new friends. Plenty of studies( opens in a new tab) have found that people can build a sense of community in an educational environment. And this can help lessen isolation and increase cognitive learning.

More from SunLife

It can be difficult to step out of your comfort zone. We hope this article has given you a little more confidence when it comes to making friends after 50.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like our other guides on life after 50, including:

SunLife also offers products to help you make the most of life after 50. Take a look at our over 50s life insurance, equity release and Guaranteed Inheritance Plan to find out more.

The thoughts and opinions expressed in the page are those of the authors, intended to be informative, and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SunLife. See our Terms of Use for more info.