As a mom, it’s hard to miss how amazing kids are at making friends. They love to play and mix with other children. They have an insatiable desire for bonding, connecting and sharing! As we get older, the dynamic shifts.
Most of us have suffered too many broken hearts, disappointments and failed relationships to be completely socially free. Some of us even make the mistake of believing that love after 60 simply isn’t important any more.
Some animals live solitary lives. Not human beings. We are hard-wired to be social creatures. As we get older, we may learn to treasure our independence, but, in our heart of hearts, we still crave attention and love.
We may be surrounded by concrete and glass, but, on the inside, we are still “cave women.” We have a strong, primitive desire to sit around the campfire, with friends and family, telling stories into the late hours of the night.
To help gain some insights into the importance of love after 60, I turned to loneliness expert, Kory Floyd. Kory is a Professor of Communications at the University of Arizona. He has been studying loneliness and the need for affection and love in life for over 20 years.
I hope that you enjoy our interview. Please give it a watch. Then join the conversation at the end of this article.
During our interview, Kory supports the idea that social connections are a critical part of living a healthy life. If anything, this is especially true for older people, who don’t always have the built-in social activities that younger people enjoy in their lives.
Next, Kory offers some powerful advice for how to embrace and nurture your basic need for love and attention. This is a topic that he goes into in much more detail in his book, “The Cure for Loneliness, Six Strategies for Finding Real Connections in Your Life.”
In his book, he reminds us that being surrounded by people is not enough. We need relationships with a sense of depth, sincerity and authenticity.
By the way, not only single women who suffer from loneliness. Kory reminds us that women in unhappy relationships feel alone too. This is such an important insight and I have heard exactly the same thing from many women in our community.
As with so many things in life, the hardest step on the road to building new friendships is the first one. As older women, if we want to meet people, we need to take an emotional risk and reach out.
In order to do this, according to Kory, we need to spend some time examining how brave we really are. Then, we can see inviting affection and love into our lives as a challenge. We need to constantly remind ourselves that making real social connections is worth the risk. After all, friends are not a “nice to have” – they are essential to getting the most from life after 60.
Do you find it easy or hard to make friends? Why do you think this is? Please share your experiences so that we can learn from each other.