What we're about

Inspired by an article I found in “The New York Times” about female friends past fifty, I decided to create my own women’s friendship group in the East Bay. I believe it’s an unfilled niche because there are plenty of meetups for 50's singles, 40's professionals, and 20's of every persuasion. But 50's friends? Nada. If you're a 50+ woman who lives in the East Bay, and interested in new female friends, you've found the right place. We are a great group of dynamic, interesting, and supportive women. After a few meetups, you will begin to know our active members, and you will form friendships....not overnight, but over time. So come prepared for conversation and camaraderie.

One of the greatest joys of my life is meeting new people. Everyone has a story, something to share, and something I can learn from. Meetup groups allow you to meet a diverse group of people that you may not have otherwise met in your small circle or at regular hangouts. Some of the women you meet may become close friends, but at the very least you’re sure to encounter people that make for an interesting story later!

I recognize that there is this overwhelming desire for women to establish community, to create authentic relationships with friends over shared interests. I started this group because I wanted to help others truly expand their social circles and develop real, authentic female friendships — that aren’t just a flash in the pan, women you can lean on in hard times, and women that share some of the same interests as you. So far, I think I have created a pretty good platform for friendship.

A study by the “Industrial Psychiatry Journal” published in “Psychology Today” showed a significant relationship between depression and loneliness in older women. It suggested that “female friendships can be the key to happiness in older women, but they’re not often treated as such.” It’s not emphasized as much as exercising or eating well, but it’s just as important, according to the study.

Joining isn’t enough. Cultivating new friends is a skill. You can’t just show up and expect friendship to flower. You’ve got to find people who are right for you, meet them more than halfway, and remember that by 50, most of us know ourselves well enough to be fussy about who we let into our lives. That is why I think it’s critical to find groups where people reveal themselves, so you can shortcut the process of deciding who is a potential real-deal pal. That is also why I believe small and intimate is better than big and boisterous. When you have half a dozen women hanging out at someone’s home having a good time — it’s much easier to get to know each other than at a crowded bar or restaurant. That is why I limit my group sizes to no more than six women at a time. This also makes sense during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all attendees must wear a face mask that covers the nose and mouth. We will also practice physical (but not social) distancing by making sure we are at least six feet away from each other. Also, please refrain from shaking hands and hugging each other, however virtual hugs are totally fine! Welcome to our “new normal!”

I take the time to get to know you and truly welcome you! It totally sucks when you go to a meetup and you don’t know anyone — we know this. When you attend one of my events, I always make sure to welcome you into the fold! Not only do I make it my mission to make you feel like part of the group, but our established members do too. You won’t ever feel excluded!

We have a little bit of something for everyone. Into arts and crafts? We’ve got that. Want to learn something new? We offer interesting lectures! Like books? We’ve got a book club! Fitness buff? We host a hiking event several times a year. Like to give back — we do too, there are organized volunteer events. Travel enthusiast? We host day trips to fun places in Northern California.

I do all the planning for you — all you have to do is just show up! I want to make it easy for our members to attend our events — all you do is RSVP and show up! You can attend as much, or as little as you’d like each month. If you feel like you never have anyone to do anything with, you will automatically have a full calendar.

Our members are truly some of the kindest, most supportive women around. I have always held the position that women should support each other, not attack each other. We should all lift each other up, celebrate wins, cry over losses, and cheer on each other whenever we need support. Whether you’re the newest member or one of our originals — we always have your back!

If you’re a regular Meetup user, you’ll soon discover that even the biggest, most popular meetup groups trail off in popularity, planning and events. You can join at one point and it’s really active, but six months later there have been no events, no organized meetups or even any activity in the group! Smaller meetup groups, are often started with fantastic intentions, but once the reality of planning all of the events hits the organizer, things end pretty quickly.

I try to post at least one event every month. I will only cancel events if there are less than three attendees or if the venue is closed. Yes, planning all of the events takes up a lot of my time, but I’m willing to invest my time and energy because I truly want to help all of us make new female friends! Of course, there are other female friendship meetups, but East Bay Finding Female Friends Past Fifty is different. You’ll find that this meetup tends to have many more events, there are discussion groups, and polls to help me come up with ideas for events that the majority of my members want. If you would like to be an Event Organizer and post your own events, please let me know and I will add you as an Event Organizer at no additional charge.

I require a recent close-up photo of yourself that shows what you look like so that I can tell one member from another. Having a good photo will reassure other members that you’re a real person, and starts building trust before you meet. Please don’t use blank or generic photos. Having no photos on your profile is a missed opportunity! A great photo tells the story of who you are. As the Organizer your picture is an essential tool for helping me to remember who you are. In your meetup profile photo, please do not use group shots, distance shots (I need to make sure you are a woman and not a man because this is not a dating site for men), faces obscured by scarves, sunglasses or hats, images of animals, flowers, cartoons, etc.

For events, it is frustrating when guests cancel at the last minute or don’t show up. So it’s essential, as a member of our group, that you have your EMAIL UPDATES and NOTIFICATIONS turned on in SETTINGS both on your desktop computer, AND ALSO ON YOUR CELLPHONE APP. It is also essential to check back frequently in the days before a scheduled event—stuff happens and if you’re on the waitlist, you might still be able to come if someone cancels at the last minute.

For instructions on how to change your settings, go to my home page. Click on MORE, then click on MESSAGE BOARD. Now select "Email and notification settings." Make sure you've checked all the boxes that allow me to email and notify you. The Message Board is only available on the desktop computer application; you can't see it on the mobile app.

To edit Settings on the mobile app, go to your profile icon, (bottom right corner), then go to the 3 dots icon (upper right corner). Select "Push notifications", then select "Change email updates." Make sure you check all the options.

One more thing. . .

There is a $10 annual membership fee (approximately 83 cents a month) to help cover my costs in running this group (I pay $198/year) and my time. It’s extremely time-consuming to post new events and respond to the numerous private and public messages I receive each day. New members will receive a free 30-day trial subscription.

I look forward to meeting you!

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DeYoung Museum (San Francisco)

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