Maintaining friendships in the real world is hard work. I recently moved away from my university town and it has made keeping in touch with people a LOT harder. Things are easy when all of your friends are located within a 20 minute walking radius from you. And it’s even easier when you have classes or extracurriculars together three times a week. Once you graduate, that convenience vanishes as quickly as your excitement over your expensive piece of paper.
There is one trick I have found though that has helped keep some of my relationships alive:
SCHEDULED THEME DAY.
Yes, I am serious, a theme day for friendships. My friend came up with it, and it is ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT.
It’s simple really. We picked a day of the week that we will always hang out on (Mondays for us) and we do activities that start with M every Monday. So far we’ve done movies, manicure’s, martini’s, and Milestones (a chain restaurant where we live!) and the possibilities really are endless. It’s the easiest way to make sure that you’re consistently seeing your friends since you can expect and plan for that period of time to be occupied every single week.
Now, some of you may be all up in arms because I’ve started to schedule in my friends. SUE ME.
While some people see scheduling as restrictive, I choose to see it as the opposite – the thing that gives me my freedom.
By dedicating time to my friends I am giving myself the forward warning and “permission” to enjoy myself for those few hours. With some forward planning, there are so many hours in the vweek that you can use to enjoy time with the people you love.
The best part of this theme day is that we don’t necessarily have to always be together in person to enjoy it! Maybe we Skype and do manis together, or maybe we use that fancy app that lets two people watch Netflix AT THE SAME TIME (yeah, it’s 2016 so these things exist and it’s called showgoers).
At the end of the day, maintaining friendships when there isn’t a centralized location tethering you together can get REALLY hard. That’s why sometimes all it takes is some thoughtful planning, a willingness to be a little dorky, and a lot of love for your friends. So find a day, find a theme that works for you, and keep those friendships alive!