7 Ways to Meet Someone New in Retirement

Retirement can be lonely. Here’s how to form a new social circle.

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During our adult lives we meet many of our friends and acquaintances though our jobs. But after retirement, it takes a little more effort to meet new people. Here are seven places to make new friends or even find a date in retirement.

Take a college class. In college there was never a shortage of new people to meet. And there were plenty of places and events to mix with others interested in the same subject. Consider taking a course at a local college. At many colleges seniors above a certain age get a significant discount or even free tuition. Your student ID card may also entitle you to access to the library, gym, speakers, and musical performances on campus.

[See The 10 Best Places for Single Seniors to Retire.]

Look up an old friend or flame. Many single seniors form new relationships with people they used to know in high school or college, but later lost touch with. “One of the themes of relationships in this phase of life is the throwback couple: It’s falling in love with someone you knew in the past,” says Abigail Trafford, author of As Time Goes By: Boomerang Marriages, Serial Spouses, Throwback Couples, and Other Romantic Adventures in an Age of Longevity. Consider attending your next reunion or visiting your hometown. You can also look up an old flame on social networking sites or Google.

Go on a blind date. Let your friends know you’re interested in dating and ask if they know anyone else who is single. Many people dating over age 50 meet potential partners through personal introductions, according to Judith Sills, a clinical psychologist and author of Getting Naked Again: Dating, Romance, Sex, and Love When You've Been Divorced, Widowed, Dumped, or Distracted.

[Find Your Best Place to Retire.]

Use an online dating website. Single baby boomers are increasingly using dating websites to meet potential mates. Match.com users between ages 50 and 65 have grown 89 percent over the past 5 years. People in that age range now make up approximately a quarter of all Match.com members. Tampa, Miami, and San Francisco are the cities with the most Match.com members over 50. eHarmony, on the other hand, says the cities with the most age 50 and older members are New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Try a new activity. Expand your social circle by signing up for a hiking or book club. Consider volunteering in the community or becoming a docent at a local museum. You could also embark on a group travel experience with other seniors.

Visit a senior center. Many senior and community centers now offer a lot more than bingo. Yoga and dance classes, a fitness center, computer courses, and even foreign language instruction may be offered at your local senior center for a nominal cost.

[See 7 Costs to Eliminate Before You Retire.]

Get a part-time job. Taking on a part-time job you enjoy can be a great way to interact with coworkers, clients, and customers. Ask for some consulting work from your former employer or look for a part-time gig in a local store. You’re sure to make a little bit of extra cash and maybe even meet some other part-timers to spend time with.