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But now that you've reached a new stage of life — and maybe have relocated or retired — making new acquaintances can be a little trickier. Close relationships with others are vital to your health — physical, mental and emotional — your self-esteem and even your longevity, according to recent research. Get over the idea that everybody else your age already has all the friends they need. Work out at a nearby gym or the Y — but don't just do the machine routine: Join a class so you see the same people every week. "Don't put too much pressure on a fragile new friendship because that can scare people away," Paul says. Also see: Be a Better Friend Not only do you have fewer opportunities to meet new people, but "there's also a little more resistance to forming new relationships later in life, and your skills can get a bit rusty," says Marla Paul, author of The Friendship Crisis: Finding, Making, and Keeping Friends When You're Not a Kid Anymore. So if watching Grey's Anatomy is the highlight of your week, or you find yourself enthusiastically chatting with telemarketers, you probably need to make some new connections. "Nobody wears a sign that says 'I'm looking for a friend,' but there are a lot of people out there in the same boat," Paul says. Accept invitations, even if you suspect it won't be the night of your life. If someone doesn't call you back immediately, don't assume they simply don't like you. Most have a variety of classes, activities and even trips. It will expose you to new people and give you a little extra pocket money to boot. Pursue your own interests — concerts, lectures, tai chi, cooking classes, whatever. You can connect with old friends and friends of friends — who just may happen to know someone in your area.

=========================================================================== AARP: Free membership to forums, numerous topics How to register on AARP =========================================================================== Over Fifties ? Send private messages to other members and allow others to contact you.? Here members get together to practice their skills at posting messages on our Discussion Groups or engage in general conversations.This publication is part of the Healthy Eating & Physical Activity Across Your Lifespan Series from the Weight-control Information Network (WIN).The series offers health tips for readers at various life stages, including adulthood, pregnancy, parenthood, and later life. This publication is one of many handy guides from WIN that you can use to develop and maintain healthy habits.They may lower your risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.They may even help you ward off depression and maintain orthopedic health (related to bones and muscles). When you meet someone you like — a salesperson or someone seated next to you at a lunch counter — take the initiative and ask for an email address.

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