New Zealand Woman’s Weekly

Buddy system


Administra­tor Liz says it came as a “nasty shock to the system” to get to the age of 55 and discover she had no friends. Her best friend since school days died when they were in their 40s, and she then developed a close bond with the wife of her husband’s best mate. But when that couple split up, and the wife moved out of town with her new partner, Liz was suddenly at a loose end.

“Our whole social life had revolved around this couple for more than 10 years and other friendship­s had kind of slipped away,” says Liz. “I was no longer in touch with school friends, and people I had socialised with in my 30s and 40s were mostly the parents of children my kids played sports with. Once the kids grew up and stopped playing sports, we stopped seeing them.

“I didn’t really do Facebook and I was quite horrified to find that my social circle had pretty much shrunk to nothing.”

Liz plucked up the courage to join a dance class and a book club, and has made a handful of new friends.

“It was hard because I am quite shy. I didn’t talk much to the other ladies at dancing until one of them organised for us to go and see a show together and now about five of us have become good mates.

“I’ve also got quite close to the workmate I go to the book club with. It takes effort, but it’s worth it.”

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