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  • Writer's pictureLena Jennings

Dating your Friends

As you get older and you move out of the social spaces in which you naturally make friends: school, class, sports, extracurriculars, and with COVID now work. The consistency in which you would normally see friends lessens with age simply because we’re out of the environments that make cultivating and maintaining friendship easy because you don’t have to go out of your way to make friends. As you get older: schedules change, friends move out of the area, and of course people change.

Friendships evolve because the two friends change. In order to maintain that friendship it’s critical for you to be intentional in making time for one another. It’s easy to go weeks without seeing a friend and sometimes even talking to them because life gets hectic. The friendship might and can fade over time if someone doesn’t out forth the effort to plan a date night. Yes a date night.

Friendships are relationships too and they need to be nurtured. With friends across the country and world how do I ensure I stay connected to what’s going on in my friend’s lives? These 5 simple steps:

Find a cadence that works for everyone. Are we FaceTiming weekly? Do we see each other each month to grab dinner? Are we planning a yearly trip together? For some that may be a random phone call but if you’re like me — make sure you are committing to a day/time in your calendar. My best friend lives in Madrid which is 8 hours ahead of me so we get weekly FaceTimes Friday mornings PST before I get my workday started. We also meet up each year for a trip: the first year we took a trip to Paris and this past year we went to Park City, UT! What’s the next P city we can visit?

Have something fun you look forward to with one another. Another one of my best friends we loveeee to eat so every month or so we try our new restaurants in the area but our one consistent thing is we get Salt and Straw ice cream. Catch us every month sampling all the flavors because what’s date night without Salt and Straw?

Check in. Actually talk with one another. Texting downs focus it for me: I need to hear the emotion in your voice. Share stories about the big things but also share the small things. I’m a huge detail person so please don’t leave out any insignificant fact because I want the picture to be painted like I was there. It’s important to lean into the moments and be fully present in conversation because these moments matter. trust is built in the small moments where we can be candid with the good the bad and the ugly.

Random packages mean the whole world. My new thing is writing hand written cards for friends and sending them off unexpectedly. It’s the greatest joy to receive a package in the mail from a friend. It doesn’t have to be anything big but just something to say I’m thinking about you. It’s the small things that matter most, don’t wait for a birthday — send a “just because.”

Have something special that you two bond over. Share a song, have a favorite restaurant, a favorite movie, a favorite travel experience that connects you both over and over again. For me and another best friend it’s a song, restaurant, and country all in one. When I hear “I wanna dance with somebody” I always think of her. We go to the same restaurant each time for date night for the best Italian food outside of Italy with our boy Stephen. & for us both to be well traveled our favorite country is Turkey. So yes I guess you can say things are pretty serious.

Friendship is essential to the soul. So whatever it is make time for those who matter because relationships matter.



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