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3 Ways to Meet New Friends – Help for Widows

The most difficult part of being a widow is different for everyone, but meeting new friends is often at the top of the list. Here are three ways for widows to make friends while grieving and transitioning into widowhood.

Ways to Meet New Friends Help for WidowsFrom One Widow to Another: Conversations on the New You by Miriam Neff is a book that may help you as you grieve. Sometimes it helps to read how other widows coped with the loss of their husbands.

A widow shared a very touching comment on my article about Starting Over in Your 60s – After Your Husband Dies: “My husband died six months ago and I have never been single. I am 62 and I have no friends. My kids have their own lives and this is completely new to me. My husband was my life. I know one day I will have friends but I don’t know where to start. I tried a support group but I don’t like the group. I want to get to know people and meet new friends, but I don’t know how.”

I was in the same boat – not the widow part, but the meeting new friends part! After I moved to Bowen Island, BC to marry Bruce, I seemed to forget how to develop and sustain friendships. It was the weirdest thing. For some reason, marriage insulated me from meeting new friends. I think it was because I tend to cherish my alone time (I’m an introvert), and talking to Bruce takes care of my social needs.

But, it’s dangerous to let your marriage be the source of your friendship needs. If something happens to your husband – death, illness, divorce – then you’ll left all alone in so many ways. Then you’ll have to search for help for widows and meeting new friends online…but luckily, help is here.

3 Ways to Meet New Friends – Help for Widows

The following tips for widows may seem inconsequential, but they can make a huge difference.

The most important thing to remember is that it takes time to meet friends you actually connect with. For every 10 people I meet, I only want to spend time with one or two. We don’t connect with everyone, like my reader learned by going to a widow support group.

Adopt a dog

I don’t need to read more research about how dogs help with meeting new friends, but the University of Australia just published another study on it. People with dogs are emotionally, physically, and socially healthier. I think that it would help a widow to get a dog – and I have the perfect dog for a widow! Tiffy is a seven pounds miniature poodle, and all she wants is love and cuddles. It feels great to pet her, and when I walk her everyone wants to come say hi.


Helping people will help you as a widow help yourself, because you’ll feel more connected and less isolated. I volunteer as a Big Sister (but it hasn’t helped with meeting new friends, to tell you the truth), and will start volunteering as a book club facilitator at a retirement home for seniors next month. Hey – that’s another way to meet new people for widows: move to a retirement community! I’m mostly kidding, but I bet lots of people meet new friends there. Another option is a volunteer position that puts you in a position to help other widows.

Take up a new hobby at a seniors’ or community centre

Book clubs, bridge meetups, garden tours, seniors’ yoga classes, walking groups, and cooking classes are good ways to meet new friends. On a related note, have you searched the internet for “help for widows” with your location? When I search for “help for widows Vancouver BC”, I find a list of Meetup groups that encourage widows to meet new friends while trying new hobbies and activities.

I know it’s hard to meet new friends. It takes effort, time, and the willingness to be vulnerable and possibly risk rejection. But, finding friendship is important because, as Helen Keller said, “Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”

widows help meeting new friendsHave you read any books that offer help for widows? Finding Your Way After Your Spouse Dies by Marta Felber is an excellent source of support and guidance.

What do you think about these tips for meeting new friends? I welcome your thoughts below.

If you’re more worried about money than making friends, read Help Figuring Out Your Finances for Widows.

7 Tips to Help Widows

These tips aren’t for widows, they’re for people who want to help widows grieve and move forward with life. These tips to help widows are from Widow Connection. If you’re a widow who feels alone, you might share these tips with your friends and family.

1.  Please do stay connected. There is already a huge hole in our universe. Do not assume widows need ‘space’ to grieve.

2.  Please do say you are sorry for our loss.  We would rather you tell us you do not know what to say than tell us your story of loosing your friend or even close relative  We may be able to listen to your story later, but not now. Do not tell us you understand.

help for widows meeting new friends

3 Ways to Meet New Friends – Help for Widows

3.  Do call and ask specifically, “Can we go for a walk together? May I run errands for you?  Meet you for coffee?  Do not say, “Call me if you need anything.”

4.  Do refer to our husband’s acts or words—serious or humorous.  We are so comforted by knowing our husband has not been forgotten. Do not leave our husbands out of the conversation.

5.  Invite widows to anything.  We may decline but will appreciate being asked.  Do not assume we no longer want to participate in couples events.

6.   Do accept that widows are where we are.  Marriages are brief, long, healthy, dysfunctional, intense, remote.  Death comes suddenly or in tiny increments over years.   Again our experiences are so different, as are we.  So is our journey through grief. Do not assume we go through the outlined grief process ‘by the book.’

7.   Walk the talk.  Do not make ‘conversation only’ offers.   “We’ll call you and we’ll go out to dinner.”—and then not follow up.  Yes, we are sensitive in our grieving, but we’d rather hear you say, “I’ve been thinking of you.” than make a ‘conversation only’ offer.

If you have any thoughts on these tips for helping widows, please comment below. I’d love to hear from you, especially if you’re feeling sad or grieved in widowhood.

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18 thoughts on “3 Ways to Meet New Friends – Help for Widows”

  1. Hi Lorraine,
    I completely know where you are coming from. My husband died nearly two years ago and he was a very private person as well, he wanted to pass away at home which he did. We were together for 40 years and had no children. I have a stepson, and our so called friends have suddenly disappeared and I hardly hear from any of them or see anyone and that includes some of my family. I still work and that is the only thing that is also keeping me going. I have realised that I need to make “new friends” who have the same interests as I do and am finding it very difficult at my age of 68. I do not want to enter into any relationship apart from that of friendship. I have not been able to find a site just for that. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  2. I am so grateful for the comments. My husband and I were together for 23 years before he died a horrible, prolonged death, of which I was the only one privy to the horror. He was very private, and all his care fell on me. When he finally died, I frequented the places we both went to for years as a couple to hang out with all our friends. The reaction was many single guys hit on me, people took advantage of me, and now, after over a year and half of his passing, I am isolated in terms of ‘friends’, but my work life is my life line. I love what I do and everyone with whom I interact. But thirty years living here and all those people I called my friends, not one made more than that off-hand – I’m here if you need me’. How does one find ‘friends’ under those circumstances?

  3. It’s true Rebecca , I also still grieve so much and just can’t see how I am alive with so much grief …. in fact I am unwell and that’s due to so much grief ….. I can believe how someone can die from grief. My friends think I should have gotten over my husbands death by now !!! I was 53 when he died and will be 60 in a couple of weeks …. how have I survived ? Friends seem to think you can just forget the love of your life ….. it’s not true …. we can’t and it’s just existing now .

  4. I am the same as you. I’m 54. He and I were both 47 when he died unexpectedly. I just want to be with him. Kids are grown. No grandkids. No friends anymore. I’m just done. I want my husband back. I want my life back.

  5. Dear Nancy,
    I lost my dad on July 26, 2017. He and my mom were to be married 67 years on 11/11. She is lost without him needless to say. She is 87 years old..does not drive, has back problems… loves to be outside gardening but due to back it makes it difficult. All she knew was gardening, cooking and going to the bank and shopping weekly with my dad. He was 91 but still drove quite well. His death was sudden. Stroke then heart attack. It has been tough on everyone. I suggest various things for her to try to get involved in but she is not ready for change. All I can do is suggest and be patient with her. I have been scanning the internet for groups such as you suggested..”Befriend a Widow” with no success. I believe something like that would be fabulous. Learning to skype with one another and making friends would be phenomenal. I am not sure how to pull something like that together. I am not computer savvy. But oh what a wonderful tool for all the widows should they choose to want to participate in it.

  6. I understand totally Rebecca…. I totally do … I was 53 when my husband died …. I am 59 now …. a part of me died when he did… I felt the same as you and still today I have moments where life is unbearable … it’s strange as we don’t want to live either but we do …. somehow we just die just because we want to …. we are here and somehow we survive and the pain slowly slowly eases but can come back in huge waves…. it’s good to make new friends… if you can . Kim

  7. all i want is my husband new friends would not be as deep. i want him and i will die of grief. i hate being without him. i have a few friends 3 sweet cats and a broken heart. i do not think i can go on without him. we had friends together. i love him. i want to stay in the past. it was a wonderful dream and better than anything. this present reality is a night mare. i will die of grief i think. i do not want to be here without him. my soul mate my love my husband my best friend my partner in everything my favorite person. no. nothing no one else. lonely and can’t start over in my 60’s my heart hurts i am dying of grief.i love and miss him and need to keep his memory alive. i am writing about him and organizing his things. thus i live with him and my whole life is in the past and sorrowful. i want hm i weep for him i grieve him i love him. 2 years weeping. no end in sight til death. all is sad

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