Empty nester loneliness
I was having a conversation with someone about my joy in meeting new people working the election when someone said, “I know so many empty nesters that move to a new area and complain how hard it is to meet new people once they don’t have to attend their children’s events.” This is so true, especially in a pandemic situation!
For much of this year, we have been told to stay home. It’s even been legally mandated in some states, so we can’t go out much. After being home so much, we get comfortable being home, and when the restriction start to lift we still stay home because we don’t know anybody. The very nature of being new to the area brings it’s own anxiety, add Covid to it and people are hesitant to get out, try new things, meet new people. However, if we just stay home, empty nesters will never meet new people.
How refreshing it has been to converse with someone, other than Jim. I love chatting with my husband, but I am a socializer and I need to be around other people. As an election worker, I chat with hundreds of people a day (masks on and six feet away, of course). We’re not having long drawn out conversation, but I’m seeing new faces (ok, eyes) and enjoying seeing people. I’ve even seen some friends I haven’t seen in months!
When the pandemic restriction lift and we are able to move about in more typical methods/ numbers, empty-nesters new to an area must get out of the house. How can you meet new people?
- Volunteer somewhere
- Join a club (or visit one to scope it out)
- Get a hobby and interact with others who enjoy the same hobby
- Go to church
- Go to a new restaurant for lunch
- Take a walk and smile at your neighbors
- Sign up to work the next election
That should be a good start to get you out and meeting new people. Of course, remember to be safe. Unfortunately, everyone you meet is not your best friend. It takes time to get to know people and build up that trusting friendship relationship. On the other hand, you can’t live your life in fear. Go ahead, try something new and meet some new people this weekend!
*Pam Horton is a Board Certified Advanced Christian Life Coach in the Raleigh area.*