Anyone can suffer from loneliness. You might think of yourself as a middle-aged man with no friends and start to feel hopeless. But the truth is many men have a hard time making friends as an adult and feel like they’re missing out on friendship.
You might ask yourself, “Why don’t I have friends?”. There are tons of contributing factors that lead to you being a middle-aged man with no friends.
5 Challenges for the Middle-Aged Man with No Friends
1. Your career
Many men are ambitious and prioritize their careers. There’s nothing wrong with putting in the time and hard work to create a stable, meaningful life for yourself. But you might have also got caught up with the lie that our society tells us—that we’re only as good as our job. It makes guys spend extra time and effort focusing on their careers when they could be spending time with friends.
2. Your family
A lot changes from our twenties and thirties into middle age. Typically, this is when men get married, have children, buy a house, and have to make sure they’re making enough money to keep up with all of that. It doesn’t leave a whole lot of time in your schedule, does it? Plenty of well-connected, affable guys in their 20s turn into middle-aged men with no friends simply because friendships fell by the wayside while they started a family.
3. Friends change
When we’re young, many of our friendships simply happen. We were in the same grade, lived in the same dorm room, or played pick-up basketball together. But once we leave those social groups, guys start to move away or follow a different path. Sometimes, you or your friend start to have different interests and values, weakening the friendship until there’s nothing there anymore.
4. Social skills
As a middle-aged man with no friends, you might find that your social skills have gotten a little rusty over time. Like with anything, you’re out of practice and don’t have the ease or confidence to navigate the complexities of forging a new friendship as an adult.
5. Fear of Rejection
Everyone has fears in their heart and mind. It can be intimidating to jump back into socializing for a middle-aged man with no friends. You might internalize it as a flaw of your own when you ask yourself, “Why don’t I have friends?” or someone doesn’t appear to want to be your friend.
5 Tips for Making Friends as a Middle-Aged Man
If you’re wondering, “Why don’t I have friends?” there is hope! Here are some simple steps you can take to rediscover the joys of friendship.
Think about who you are and your story. Sometimes, we have illusions about ourselves. Other times, we have patterns of distancing ourselves or driving others away. It’s not your fault—they usually go back to deep-seated behavior we learned from our parents. Understanding this can free you from these patterns and preconceived limiting ideas about ourselves. It gives you a fresh start when you begin relating to others and building friendships. Instead of wondering, “Why don’t I have friends?” I hope it excites you about the prospect of making friendships.
2. Seek Support
If loneliness is affecting your well-being, don’t be afraid to approach a mentor, an elder at your church, your dad or father-in-law, or a therapist. Simply being able to voice these thoughts can go a long way in getting out of your head and getting some good, personalized advice.
3. Join Clubs or Groups
What are the hobbies or pastimes that really excite you? Maybe it’s something you haven’t allowed yourself to spend time on while you built your career or started your family. Consider joining a club or group related to your interests so you can meet like-minded individuals.
4. Reconnect with Old Friends
You might feel like a middle-aged man with no friends because you’ve moved away or your friends have moved away—and you all have busy lives that have kept you from reconnecting. Reach out to old friends and catch up with them. This can give you the joys of friendship and rebuild your confidence so you can make new ones, too.
5. Be Intentional
This is the most important advice. Being intentional about making friends puts you in the vulnerable position of being rejected. But most guys probably feel just like you and would welcome a guy taking the initiative to start a friendship. But it’s so important for another reason—turning a good acquaintance into a true friend is about being intentional about being there for each other, being open, and going through life together.
It’s never too late to make friends
Remember, it’s never too late to make new friends and enrich your life with the bonds of friendship. Learn how to achieve deeper friendship and download Playbook for Level 5 Friendship.