Having retired a few years ago caused my husband and me to look around at all the friends we had enjoyed over the years. Often miles separate us and while it is important to keep up with them, it isn’t easy to call up a long distance friend and invite them to meet us for lunch. So in light of our dilemma it might be a good idea to share with you some ideas we had for finding new friends.
- Being a writer, I joined local a writers group. Only a few of us have aspirations of becoming a great novelist, but we have been known to share a few laughs, each other’s lives, and stories about our grandchildren. As well as great stories about how we were rejected by a publisher. Then comes the celebration parties where we meet the spouses of those in the group, thus broadening our friendships.
- As for women, there are quilting clubs If you share a love for sewing, and especially making colorful quilts, whether to sell or show at the county fair, there is a group of women who would love to have you join them with your ideas.
- Men enjoy having a cup of coffee, or breakfast even at McDonalds with a group of guys. Why not ask men you hardly know at your church, or even friends you’ve been known to socialize with on occasion and invite them to Denny’s or Waffle House, or yes McDonalds. Start a new club and call it the “Old Geezers Coffee Club” or something better of your own choosing.
- What about volunteering? Whether at Habitat for Humanity, or the Hospital, volunteers are needed. There is nothing like the feeling of being needed especially when punching the clock is a thing of the past. Not only are friendships made with other volunteers, but also people we might never know otherwise
- For those who have retired from the corporate business world, there are opportunities to use your business influences for raising money for worthwhile causes. Be it Cancer research, shelters for battered women and children, or Soup kitchens where our minds seem to gravitate this time of year.
- This falls in line with volunteerism but one thing I have found very rewarding is the “Meals on Wheels” program for home bound seniors. There are opportunities to know others who volunteer as well.
- I truly don’t understand the hang up on this one, but many retirees find it difficult to visit the “Senior Center” of their community. Trusting that is, that most retirees are the senior age. “Don’t want to be hanging around those old folks” could be the sentiment. However let me quickly add, this is a wonderful place to meet men and women who are willing to listen and even share their war stories of life. There are socials planned for seniors that include Dancing, card playing, pool and the list goes on.
- This should have been listed first, forgive me. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! Don’t become a couch potato and an expert with the remote control. Go walking at the local track. Join a health club. Now-a-days Supplemental insurance policies have the “silver-sneaker” program that wants you to join a fitness center. So there – almost instant socialization that leads to new friends.
- Have a party – invite the neighbors. Perhaps you have been too busy to know the neighbors up to now. Why not have a back-yard-barbeque and have a casual get-to-gather. Nothing like making friends over a plate of barbeque or a hamburger.
- Then now, there is a golden opportunity to get the degree you wanted, or take a class on something you always wanted to do as a hobby, and never had time. There may be a woodworking class at Home Depot, a monogram class, a scrapbooking class, or how to play pinochle class – the ideas are endless. By signing up with a class, there are sure to be others of the same likes taking the same class. Again – instant friendship potential.
What would life be without friends? People, who close themselves off from the world, surely live a lonely life and for sure die a lonely old soul before their time.
Guest Post By: Doris T.
There are many different reasons why a couple may find themselves in a long distance relationship. Whatever the cause may be, you find yourself too many miles away from a person you have become very fond of.
Many people discourage long distance relationships, saying they never work out. We all know that this type of relationship can be challenging and it requires that each person to make some adjustments. We also know that these relationships just don’t work out sometimes. However, I have some breaking news: sometimes local relationships can also be challenging and require each person to make adjustments, and sometimes they just don’t work out either. So I don’t think the question is can it work. I think the question is- do both of you want it to work? Do both of you feel that there is something between you worth holding on to? If the answer to these questions is yes, then the following tips will help you keep what you have found in each other even though you are many miles apart.
1. Be Clear on What You Expect From the Relationship
It is important to make sure that each of you has the same goals concerning the relationship. Are you planning on building a future together or are you just interested in keeping in touch and maintaining what you have for now. Understanding each other’s goals will help prevent hurt feelings in the future.
2. Make Use of Technology
One thing long distant relationships have now that they didn’t have 20 years ago is the availability of so many ways to communicate. Cell phones make calling more convenient and easier. Make use of E-mail, web cams, social media, and any other technology that makes communication easier and more fun.
3. Make Yourself Available
One important thing in relationships is knowing that the other person is there just to talk to when you have a problem or just had a bad day. Try to be available as much as possible.
4. Share New Experiences
While it is fun to share common experiences, it is also exciting to share unique experiences that you have had living in a different state or city. This is one of the advantages of a long distance relationship. It also helps the other person to feel more connected to you.
5. Make Holidays Extra Special
One of the most difficult times for long distance relationships is when you can’t spend the holidays with that special person. Try to communicate often during this time, and maybe send several gifts separately instead of one gift.
6. Plan Actual Visits
After all the e-mails, phone calls and text messages, nothing beats being there physically. You should make every effort to actually see each other when possible. Sometimes this is not possible or practical, but make an effort to do it whenever you can.
7. Don’t Let Jealousy Overwhelm You
Jealousy is a natural feeling when you care about someone. If these feelings arise in you or in the other person, don’t be surprised or angered by it. You both should acknowledge these feelings and do what you can to put the other person at ease about the relationship.
8. Surprise Each Other
Sending gifts on holidays or birthdays is great and it always appreciated. However when that special person in your life sends you a gift “just because” it makes it even more special. So send a “just because” gift or even an E-card once in a while.
9. Make the Most of Each Communication
In a long distance relationship every communication is valuable so don’t waste it. There may be times when you have to discuss things that may not be pleasant, but don’t let that subject dominate the conversation, always end the conversation with positive words.
10. Talk to Others Who Have Long Distance Relationships
It’s a good idea to talk to people who have made long distance dating successful. They may be able to give you some ideas about how to make it work. Also, sometimes it helps just to discuss this subject with someone else who is familiar with it.
While dating someone who lives close by is usually preferred, there are some benefits in long distance dating. Don’t forget about that old saying-“absence make the hear grow fonder.” Make the best of the situation and remember it doesn’t always have to be this way. Circumstances can change and may bring both of you closer together again. If you can make a long distance relationship work, it shows that the relationship is strong enough to overcome obstacles and has the potential for a good long lasting relationship.