Luckily for me, I have two couples who still include me, myself and I ... on a regular basis. Thanks Bob and Paula ... and Eli and Rae. Love you! I also have a couple of great married lady friends who are great about leaving their hubby behind for some girl talk.
Believe it or not, it takes some effort to find new people you might want to befriend. The first step, just like AA, is to admit you want more (some)(one) friends. It's not a character flaw! It's just so ... human.
Remember you will need to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a congenial person. It's hard to NOT take it personally if you invite someone for coffee and they say no. I've learned to not say "want to get together for coffee?" Now I say would you have time for coffee next Weds? If I make the effort three or four times with no success, I step back from that person. Believe it or not ... sometimes they will eventually call back! And sometimes they don't.
After a get together, one on one or small group, determine if you are compatible. Does this person listen as much as talk? Are they too upbeat or too whiny? What topics do they bring up ... bad health, potty habits, family trouble ... or something new happening in your area or an activity they think you should try or politics on a non argumentative level. Another important aspect for me ... similar physical ability. I can't join them in a half marathon but maybe I could do a 5K walk!!
Another thing that is important to me is having the same standard of living. I can't afford to (or choose not to afford) go to $200 dinners at new restaurants or take a cruise or whatever. When I do meet up with wealthier people, I just admit that I can't join that particular activity due to financial constraints but would like to go to see the movie XXXXX if they'd like to go.
Initiate a more intimate event. Yep. Invite them to your house. Dust off your recipe box. Or make it a potluck. Or it could be mugs and muffins one morning. Or a dessert bar. Or wine and cheese.
Really, making the first move is probably the most important. It's a palm sweating experience. Every time. Kinda like being in an elevator. Do you start a conversation? Or sitting next to someone on a crowded bus or plane. I chat for a few minutes, then casually say how much I enjoy the peace and quiet of a 5 hour plane ride so I can crawl inside my book (or magazine). Because I really do enjoy being unavailable for a bit!
Last and most important. Just say yes. Many times I think I'd rather NOT do that but accept the invitation and climb out of my comfort zone. Just now. Leslie invited me to an Island Art Party. AAAAAHHHHH! I'm embarrassed by my lack of talent and already I'm sweating. Since I'm in the middle of writing this .... it was an omen to say yes.
Oh. My. Goodness.