As we get older our friendships become even more important to us than they were when we were young. Unfortunately, friendships also become much more difficult to maintain. The stresses of life and the time it takes to care for a family–these all eat into the time we’d prefer to be spending hanging out with our besties and sharing stories. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen your friend-family, here are some tips for ways to bridge those gaps and make friend time a regular thing for your social circle.
Chances are, you and at least some of your friends have a few favorite shows in common. Maybe you spend every Friday morning texting back and forth about Scandal. Or every Monday morning hanging out on Slack, chatting about the Walking Dead. Instead of talking about them after the fact in whatever haphazard manner you can think of, why not get together and watch the shows as they air? Watching shows live is a great way to bond and spend time together. Your friends can even bring their kids over to play with yours (under the watchful eye of a spouse who might not be into everybody’s favorite weekly serial) to keep the interruptions to a minimum.
For many people, their favorite shows aren’t shows at all, but are sports events. If you live in a city with a league team, why not chip in with your friends to buy season passes for everybody so that you can go to the games together and watch them live? If your city doesn’t have a team of it’s own (or if you don’t like your city’s team), you can still get together and watch games every week at someone’s house. Thanks to contemporary sports packages, you can watch pretty much any sport and follow any team you like. Follow this link to learn more details about Sunday Ticket options.
Tabletop games (previously called “board games”) have come a long way in the dast few years. These days there are tabletop games for every type of player. There are even shows dedicated to helping people learn how to play these games! Getting together every couple of weeks to play games is a great way for everybody to get their families together and to get in some quality friend time. The great thing about Tabletop Days is that you can play more than one game at a time, which helps keep everybody happy and entertained.
There are a couple of ways to approach movie night. The first is to get everybody together and go out to see a movie. Each family can pitch in some money to hire a baby-sitter for the kids for the evening (or you can see a family friendly movie if your kids are old enough to sit through entire movies in a theater). If you add a dinner out to the itinerary you can create a really fun mass-date night.
The other approach is to invite people over to watch movies together. This is a great way to catch up on movies you might not have gotten to see because of work or family obligations and to revisit favorite older classics.
Potlucks are a great way to feed a lot of people without having to do a bunch of cooking all by yourself. Every person brings a dish to share and then each person takes their own leftovers (and dirty dishes) home afterwards. Everybody gets dinner, nobody’s cleanup process is terribly extensive. Plus, getting together for a big family style meal is a great way to catch up with people you don’t get to see very often. Another added bonus for potlucks is that they can be paired with almost every other example of “great friend time activities” we’ve already shared.
One on One Time
As much as you might love everybody in your social circle, sometimes the idea of getting everybody together can be overwhelming. This is why, even if you can’t find a day when everyone is available, it is still important to get together and see whoever you can whenever you can. One on one time is just as important for maintaining your friendships as big group activities. Get together with one or two friends and go for a walk in the park or grab a quiet coffee somewhere and catch up with each other. Maybe visit a museum or take the kids to the park to play.
The point is this: there are ways to find time for your friendships. It will take some work and some planning but if you’re willing to put in the effort, your life will be all the better for it.