Hi Polka Dots,
Thanks for sharing your story with us. I am so sorry to read that you are feeling so lonely and struggle to make new friends. I know it is not always easy!
We recently moved to the country where we know no one and I found that difficult at first. I joined the local Country Fire Service and have met people there. I wouldn't say I have real "friends" there but at least I meet up each week with like minded people as we do our training.
I also joined a Church and have met new people there. There may be groups or clubs in your region you could join, a bit like Jack has mentioned. It does sound like you have certainly tried in the past, hopefully you will continue to try and connect.
I was unable to have children and quite often felt very left out when my circle of friends invited each other to their children's birthday parties but I was never included. So I understand the hurt.
It is a shame that your friends don't just want to have a girl's night. Have you suggested something like that?
Like Jack mentioned, you are always welcome to write here how you are feeling. Hopefully other people may come up with some ideas and solutions for you.
I hope you are able to continue doing the activities that you enjoy, that will certainly help your self esteem.
Some of my best friends are older than I am by about 15 to 20 years.
Don't stop trying to chat and connect with people. You never know how things could work out with the next person you connect with!
Cheers for now from Lauren