Social interaction is critical to wellbeing, yet nursing home (NH) residents typically have low rates of social engagement. This study asked NH residents about factors that keep them from fulfilling their preferences for social contact. NH residents (n = 255) were interviewed using the PELI twice, 3 months apart. The study found that almost half of social preferences were associated with barriers, and that preference importance shifted based on a person’s feelings about the quality of social interactions and level of interest in the activity. Providers can use study insights to develop more satisfying social opportunities for residents.