December 28

Over 50 and Lonely No More – Here’s How!



There is a saying that aging is not for the faint hearted.

While I sometimes think that’s true, the reality is that it actually is pretty cool to be this age. I am very comfortable in my own skin. I like myself and enjoy spending time with me. I didn’t always think being over 50 was cool.

But, I know better now.

While I like being alone, I don’t want to feel lonely. I am still a social being, as most of us are, and need to be with people on a regular basis. When I turned 55 things started to go south. My health started to deteriorate. I didn’t have the energy to do things. I was divorced and didn’t date. My kids were grown, and I became an almost empty nester. My son lives with me but has his own life.

Of course the pandemic didn’t help.

One of the casualties of this was the isolation and lack of a satisfying social life.  Not seeing friends and family for long stretches of time was difficult. Luckily, I have turned it around and my social life is much more active and fulfilling.

“Decide what you want your social life to look like and then make it happen”. – Maria Pesin

In this article we will go over the following:

  1. Why women suffer from loneliness more than men.
  2. What loneliness looks like.
  3. The challenges it can cause.
  4. The solutions.
  5. Action steps you can take in your life starting today.

Older women are particularly at risk for social isolation and loneliness.

Most of us have spent part of our lives caring for someone. It could be children, parents, or in our generation, a significant other. We also tend to outlive our partners as women generally outlive men. As we age, we encounter significant life changes, such as retirement, deaths of family members and friends, children moving away and decreasing activities of daily living. Our circle of friends start to shrink.

The key to turning this around is to nurture and grow the relationships we have and want.

What does loneliness look like?

For many it’s isolation from family and friends. For some, people have moved away. My brothers, who were a big part of my social life, left New York and moved to Florida. Some have lost people to death. I lost both my parents with whom I was really close.

Or as many in my Facebook group say, it’s because they are estranged from a close family member or friend. We also do not have the day to day interactions we did when we were raising children or working. Often, we could have also moved to an area where we do not know anyone. Some people can even feel lonely in a group setting.

It is connection that we seek.

<aside> 👉🏼 “Social isolation and loneliness are serious yet under-appreciated public health risks that affect a significant portion of the older adult population. Approximately one-quarter of community-dwelling Americans aged 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated, and a significant proportion of adults in the United States report feeling lonely. People who are 50 years of age or older are more likely to experience many of the risk factors that can cause or exacerbate social isolation or loneliness, such as living alone, the loss of family or friends, chronic illness, and sensory impairments”, stated in an article by National Academies.


Loneliness itself can cause a number of health-related problems for women as they age.

Recent studies have found that issues come up that include depression, heart failure, increased risk of mortality, dementia cognitive decline, and high blood pressure.

“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty” – Mother Teresa

As you age it is normal to find that you have fewer friends.

However, this doesn’t mean you should accept feeling lonely. There is a difference in being alone and suffering loneliness.

I like spending alone time.

I can relax and do exactly what I want to do. It clears my head and recharges my batteries. But I also need to be around people and have a social life. Humans are social beings by nature.

“Solitude is pleasant. Loneliness is not” – Anna Neagle

In this day and age there are so many ways to overcome loneliness. Conquering loneliness is no different than fixing any other challenge.

It requires desire, effort and being willing to fall on your face in the beginning.

“Sometimes you need to be alone. Not to be lonely but to enjoy your free time being yourself.” – Unknown

The first step is to look at the relationships we have: family, friends, and significant others. Are they as good as they could be? Do you have meaningful interactions with them? Strong relationships require time and effort. If you don’t see or speak to them on a regular basis you can find yourself becoming unimportant in their lives.

I have two friends from my industry who I hadn’t seen in a few years. This year we committed to seeing each other every other month. We meet for lunch and catch up. It is a lot of fun and has us developing a closer relationship.

Are your relationships with family not good?

Lot’s of women find tell me that their children never see them as they are so busy. Well, meet them where they are. Make plans around their schedules. Go to their children’s games and plays. Perhaps you can babysit and give them a date night. If you are not getting along, consider seeing a therapist to see how you can fix the damage.

“Estrangement is painful and confusing. It’s also complex: there are no one-size-fits-all solutions.” – Joshua Coleman

Some women haven’t many friends or family in their life. I have heard time and again how they lost their friends in a divorce. Or they are single and never had children. Luckily, nowadays there are so many places you can go to meet new people. You just have make the effort.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” Dale Carnegie

What things do you like to do for fun?

If you know that, you can go where the people are. If you love to read, find a book club. If you love children, donate your time to a charity. Maybe hiking is your thing, and you can find a hiking group to walk with.

Meet Up is a great platform for meeting people with similar interests as yours. According to Meet Up they are, ” a social media platform for hosting and organizing in-person and virtual activities, gatherings, and events for people and communities of similar interests, hobbies, and professions.”

Don’t see one that fits? Start your own!

If you are single consider dating.

Since dating apps came on the scene, it’s much easier to meet people than it used to be. It’s like shopping – only for a person!

Shyness is an issue for some. I will tell you I was painfully shy till I was in my 20’s and learned to overcome it. You can too.

In conclusion, loneliness is a very real problem that many of us have to deal with, especially as we grow older. If you’re really struggling, consider finding a therapist or coach who can guide you through the process.

Or if you’d rather learn on your own, sign up for my course –Make Your Next Act Your Best Act.

About the author 

Maria Pesin

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