The kids have flown the coop, you’ve entered into the Golden Years of retirement, had a health scare or other major life change and are now considering downsizing. The question is, do you want a house, condo or apartment?
There are pros and cons to all of these options; a major draw of condo and apartment living is the lack of outdoor maintenance. With these residences you don’t have a driveway to shovel, grass to mow, garbage to drag to and from the curb, the list goes on. You pay fees to have all those things taken care of for you. The benefit is having more time to do the things you love.
The drawback, however (yes, there is a drawback here), is that those activities often lead to socialization with neighbours. And it is constant social interactions like these that make the transition from neighbour/acquaintance to friend that much easier.
In fact, researchers have found that there are three key conditions to making close friends: proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and the ability to let one’s guard down and confide in others.
Now, living in an apartment or condo certainly offers close proximity, and one would think it would offer plenty of repeated and unplanned interactions. However, personal experience and the sheer number of articles pertaining to the contrary show that isn’t always the case.
In large buildings with occupants of varying ages it is easy to become ‘lost in the crowd’. You might continuously miss encountering those that are near your age, have similar interests, or you might simply run on a different schedule than those who enjoy using the gym or occupying other common areas.
So, while living in a condo may offer more time to socialize, if you don’t already know people living nearby, maintaining an active social life can become difficult.
But not impossible.
Amintro is an online friendship-making platform and app designed exclusively for those 50 plus looking to expand their social circles. The service matches people based on their profile and close proximity for platonic friendships. The idea is to meet like-minded people in a safe space online and then head out to meet face-to-face in the community.
The more people you connect with and the more you are out and about, the more opportunity you will have to encounter those ‘repeated, unplanned interactions’. And the more you see and talk to a person, the more comfortable you are likely to become to open up and forge those true bonds of friendship.
Loneliness and social isolation are a major epidemic affecting millions of North Americans and a leading contributor to the mortality rate of older adults. Amintro believes you should be able to live wherever you want while creating and maintaining a robust circle of friends.
Written by Christine Tompa