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Despite everything we know about the importance of maintaining social connections as we get older, finding friends after 60 can be a challenge. As we age, the easy social connections that we enjoyed as schoolmates, parents, and colleagues change. As a result, many women find themselves facing shrinking social circles and needing to make new friends. In other words, we find a void in our lives and no easy way to fill it. In our search for companionship, technology is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, services like Skype and Facebook allow us to stay connected with friends and family throughout the world.
Dominique Williamson, 23, never had trouble making friends.
But Ms. Williamson, who is a vegan chef and sells cookbooks, moved to Atlanta from New York City just before the pandemic. When things were still open, she would dine alone and introduce herself to anyone else sitting alone at the bar. But once Covid hit, that option dried up.
The few friends she had from growing up in Atlanta all moved away for jobs, graduate school or because of the pandemic. I work from home, how do I make friends? For most of last year, no one was doing anything fun. But now that cities are reopening and vaccines are widespread, she wanted to reclaim a social life. The search led her to a Facebook group named Friends in Atlanta with over 13, members.
It operates similarly to a dating app: participants, all female, post photos of themselves along with a description about what they like to do, and other members can message them privately if they are interested in meeting.
Kourtney Billups, 23, a nurse, reached out, and they agreed to meet for Sunday brunch in early May. Billups said.
We have the exact same chart as it relates to astrology. When both realized they wanted to spend Memorial Day weekend in Miami, they booked a trip — flights, hotels, restaurant reservations — on the spot.
5 best apps to make friends instantly: meet like-minded people
Across America, many people are emerging from the pandemic with a diminished social life. Others stayed put only to watch much of their network flee. Now they are turning online to Facebook groups, Meetups and apps like Bumble BFFwhere they can connect with potential friends just as they might dating partners.
Some more-established clubs and groups, like Soho House, are helping their members, desperate for human connection, to more easily meet one another. Williamson said. I had buckets that I wanted to fill.
So she got to work, swiping away on Bumble BFF. Her matches had to be female, single and looking like they were having a blast in all their photos. Stein found the process to be more liberating than dating. Now she has five or six friends she sees regularly, just as New York City reopens.
These are my real friends now. It has members and each event a dinner reservation for 10 people, for example has sold out within two or three days. Michael Wilson, 36, works as an industrial engineer at Boeing in the Seattle area, and runs a Facebook group called Making Friends in Seattle!
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Before the pandemic it had members. Now it has 8, Wilson said. Molly Britt, 38, a content creator for Chevron, lives outside of Seattle.
She moved there just before the pandemic with her husband, but they are now separated. With few friends, she felt alone.
I paid $47 an hour for someone to be my friend
Michelle McKinney, 46, left her job during the pandemic, and was delivering groceries for Safeway on the side. She rang Ms. Soon it turned into talks about their children and their lives… and how they both wanted to meet new friends.
Britt said. Now that they are both vaccinated, the friendship has moved indoors. The search for friends can feel like a full-time job. Other people are finding friends in less structured ways.