How keeping acquintances as friends can improve your social life, and how to do it
Improve your social life: keeping acquintances as friends over time
In high school and college, it was easy to maintain friendships. You would see each other in classes, in the hallways; everyone went to the same parties on the weekends, and everyone lived nearby. Unfortunately, as we grow older, we take on many more responsibilities, like full-time jobs, families, volunteer work, and maintaining a home. We become more and more isolated within our own schedules, and it can feel like you haven’t the time or energy required to maintain friendships. Friends are so critical to a fulfilled and happy life, though. They provide an opportunity to step out of hectic schedules and just enjoy the company of someone who doesn’t live within the all-too-familiar walls of your home. They are, essentially, an escape — and we all need to escape sometimes, no matter how wonderful your life may be.
Like a romantic relationship, friendships require work. You have to make an effort to stay in contact with friends; otherwise, they will slowly turn into strangers. If you have to write a note to yourself to remember to stay in touch with someone during the week, then do it. There is nothing wrong with making your friendships an item on your checklist — after all, that should be one of the most enjoyable tasks to complete! Here are a few ways to keep acquaintances as friends over time:
1. Make Plans. You can’t expect to just call up a friend for dinner a day in advance and have them be available. Just like yours, their schedule is a mess. Make plans way in advance to do something special. Go to a ball game. See a play. Go to a dinner theatre. If you have plans — especially plans that require tickets — then you are less likely to break the plans. Plus, it will give you something to look forward to. If you just make plans to have a home-cooked dinner for four at home, you could be tempted to cancel — just so you don’t have to cook for extra people! You should look at your time out with friends as a time to soak up happiness — not pile up dishes in the sink!
2. Annual Vacation. Over sixty percent of Americans go on vacation each year, so even though it might seem like an impossible dream, it is actually quite feasible. You don’t need to share a hotel room. In fact, you don’t even need to be in the same hotel! One consideration is renting a vacation house to share, or renting two (or more) that are nearby. Taking an annual vacation with friends can become a cherished tradition that you will never want to miss. You can even bring your families — hopefully (if you have kids), your children will form great friendships through the years as well. Just make sure to coordinate these vacations months — even a year — in advance. That way everyone has time to reserve the time as vacation days at work.
3. Ladies’ and Men’s night. Sometimes we need to take a break from the opposite gender. Plan a poker night for the guys, complete with beer, pizza, and chips. Or just get together to watch a sports game, or to attend a concert. Women should pamper themselves, and really relax during their female bonding time. Go to a spa and get facials, mud wraps, or makeovers. Go to a cafe and sip cappuccinos while you enjoy some much-needed girl talk.
Life is busy, but we have to require ourselves to take time out to enjoy life and good friends. We need to vent about our lives, and our friends to vent about theirs. Your friends will support you in good times and hard ones, so it is no wonder that they are such an asset to our personal happiness. Good friends are like good wines — they get better with age — so don’t forget to keep in touch, and remind your friends how much you love them!