Jul 31, 2019

Making Time for Friends - Realistic Friendships & Stress-Free Ways To Have Fun

Is it just me, or does it ever bother you when you're watching a show or a movie and all these fictional friends have limitless time for each other? They're constantly hanging out in the show and never seem worried about their job or adulthood responsibilities. They drop by unannounced whenever the mood strikes (Which, apparently, is often) and their other friend is always home when they do. WHAT? What kind of witchery is that? Who lives like that? Who pays their bills? How do they have so much free time to never work and still be able to afford that apartment in NYC?! Ugh. Unrealistic friendship goals suck. Thanks Hollywood.

Reality

If you're lucky in that you DO get to see your friend as often as all that, then that's great! I'm glaring at you, but that's honestly amazing. For the rest of us, it's not that easy. It takes effort to maintain any kind of relationship in your life, and friends are no exception. 

I don't know about you guys, but my friends are like a magical balm that slows down this hectic life and they never fail to make my soul happy. I don't feel as if I see them often enough, though. So, how do I make time to see them more often? I mean, each one of us has our own busy lives to juggle outside of our little circle. As such, I've learned that it's not simply about me making time for them, but how we all put in the effort to make time for each other.

coffee date with the girls! (All Rights Reserved)

Simple Expectations 

Try to not expect the world of your friends all the time. Offer friendship, not stress. If you have a friend who's busy and hasn't made time for you in a while, let them know that that's okay. Be understanding. Sometimes we go through moments that require a little solitude. 

We all get caught up in our own individual lives and families and the next thing we know it's been a month or so since we last saw one another. I totally get it. Being an adult means responsibilities and less free time. That's a-okay. But sometimes you just gotta gather your pals around you and let the rest of the world fall away for a little while.

I have six pretty amazing pals and it is often difficult to get us together at the same time. Usually we opt to meet in smaller groups here and there when we can. The other day a couple of my girls and I decided we need to make coffee dates more routine in our lives. 

Life Tip: Never say no to coffee. Ever

Mudleaf Coffee in Plano, TX

Lost In The Moment  

We found a super cute local coffee shop and spent a good four hours there. Actually, I think we may have been the last people to leave. 

To say it was cathartic to set around and do nothing but enjoy good company is an understatement. We spent our time drinking iced coffees, talking about things we're passionate about as a group, and sharing our viewpoints on how life is going. It was such a relaxing atmosphere that I didn't realize how long we had been there until I saw the baristas cleaning up for closing time. 

Cute little coffee shops give off a vibe of being in the moment. If you or your friend don't like coffee, I'm sorry. Honestly, I don't understand you. I mean, just look at this delicious cup of magic. Blueberry iced latte. Can you say addicted

Cue drool
Anyway, before I get even more distracted with the coffee part of this post, let me get back on track. Friends. This post is about time with friends. (I type this out as I longingly stare at the picture of my iced coffee...) Ahem

Like I mentioned earlier, it's straight up magical when you're with like-minded souls. Souls who share your passions in life. Sometimes we go far too long in between seeing one another, but the key thing to remember is that it's nothing personal. I have noticed some people assume their friends are too busy for them. In reality, they're just simply busy. It doesn't mean they don't want to spend time with you. Patience and understanding are the best building blocks to a healthy friendship. 

(Credit: Unsplash)


Activities That Don't Prevent Conversation Flow

I try to avoid activities that deal with phones, theaters, or other settings that require you to separate or be silent when I hang out with friends. I want to make the most of our time together. If you're looking for a few ways to spend time together where you can all still chat, then I've got a few ideas. 
  • Coffee Shop: I mean, I couldn't start somewhere else. This one is obvious. 
  • Friend's House: Most of the time we'll gather at one of our places and talk for ours or watch conspiracy vids on YouTube. We may pause each video a thousand times while we all talk about what we're watching and our theories, but it's a blast. We usually try to freak ourselves out. Hello, shadow people. (You can't see it but I'm doing a finger cross and hissing)
  • Fresh Air: If the weather is right, get outside and do something together. Picnic, visit the local botanical garden, explore a park, or go for a walk. 
  • Book Store: One of our favorite activities is hitting up book stores. Half priced books is our jam. 
  • Get Spooky: Say what you will, but we love being a bit spooky. We love having metaphysical days and conversations together. 
  • Paint and Wine: I'm the artistic friend in our group. I once surprised everyone by drawing a bunch of images and bringing over my watercolors. We had fun eating cake, drinking wine, and getting messy. I taught everyone how to watercolor paint and we all got to take our pictures home for a nice memento. Actually, we need to do this again. 
  • Nickle Arcade: This one really depends. Sometimes it isn't easy to converse when at an arcade, but they're still fun. Who knows, maybe you can still chat while you dominate them in Street Fighter, causing them to mock you because you lured them in by telling them you're no good at games... Oh, just me? Okay. 
  • Be Moonstruck: This one is more personal to my group, but we're all obsessed with the moon. Spread out a blanket in your back yard, get some snacks and drinks, and head out to stare at the moon and share secrets or just talk. 
  • Girl's Night In: You're never too old to have a sleepover. Ever. 
  • Themed Party: We love planning dinner parties together. We'll sometimes to costumed ones for holidays. Do one just because it's a random Friday. No special occasion needed. 

Spend Time Wisely

Our time is very valuable and I often try to show my friends that I appreciate them. We're not jet-setting off,  taking weekend trips, or spending lots of money on shopping sprees. What we ARE doing is giving each other our undivided attention when we do meet up, though. And that's all it really takes, isn't it? That's why a simple coffee shop date to chat can feel like the highlight of your week. 

Always make your tribe feel valued and let them know that it's okay if life gets a bit hectic. There should be no pressure to always show up. That just causes them to feel overwhelmed, which, in turn, can prolong the time in between getting together. When you do meet up, it's up you each of you to show each other that you appreciate one another. That's best done by being in the moment and finding something to do together. 

What are your favorite activities with your friends?
How do you make your friends feel important?
What is the best friendship advice you've learned over time?

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