Much of our lives revolve around our families and our relationships with them, but what about non-familial relationships? Most of us have been fortunate enough to have had a few good friends in our lives. Some women have found it difficult to make enduring and satisfying friendships while others say they have “never known a stranger”. Some of this seems to be related to our personalities—whether we tend to be extroverts or introverts, whether we like people or are overly fearful that others won’t like us, and a host of other factors.
For women who are widowed, divorced or single, developing companion relationships, dating, forming intimate friendships, new partnerships or even marriages late in life can feel even trickier. Part of the challenge is figuring out whether you even want that type of intimate relationship at this stage in life, and if you do, what you are looking to find in such a relationship and what form you would want that to take.
Making friends and meeting potential romantic companions seems to happen more readily when we are younger. It is easier to make friends when our lives are less encumbered with work, raising children, maintaining a marriage and just managing our complex lives. Retirement and getting older pose special opportunities and challenges to us in our desires for companionship. In some ways, we may be freer to form and nurture relationships because we are largely freed up from our roles as wives, mothers, and working women. On the other hand, it can be hard to figure out where to meet people that might become friends and even trickier to find potential dating partners or life companions.
What has your experience been with friendships in your life? What is important to you in friendships at this stage of life? Are you looking to make new friends or do you prefer to nurture and maintain your long-standing friendships? Or both?
If you are single, divorced or widowed, do you have (or even want) a romantic significant other in your life at this time? If so, how would you like that relationship to look and how might you go about meeting a potential companion? If you already have an intimate companion, what are the pros and cons of that relationship? Feel free to share your experiences with the group.