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How to spend more time with your friends

Dinner table with a large group of friends

According to Epicureanism, having good friendships is one of the most meaningful pursuits in life. One of the things most likely to give you comfort, joy, and meaning. If you don’t have any friends, the first step would be to start developing new friendships. The good thing is that there are so many people on this planet, and many of them would also like new friends, so the odds are your side.

If you are fortunate to have some good friends but don’t spend as much time with them as you would want to, it could be good to think about how to integrate your friends into your life.

I’m a huge fan of creating systems for things that are important. Since friends are so important, it’s an excellent area to think of some good systems. A great way to integrate your friends into your life is to combine spending time with friends with things that you already are doing. Having a weekly regular time makes it more relaxed because you get to see each other regularily and don’t need to plan so much.

Here are some ideas of ways to integrate your friends into your life:

Eating meals together

Probably the most obvious way to spend time with your friends is to eat some of your meals together. A pretty popular way that does not require so much effort is to team up with a couple of households in the neighborhood and take turns cooking. It’s usually not so much more time-consuming to cook for a bigger group, and the reward is also that you get free pre-made meals on the nights when it’s not your turn to cook.

If you want to avoid cooking a good option could be to create a standing invitation to meet at a local restaurant. Weekly “Taco Tuesday”, or Saturday brunch can be some good examples of this.

My husband and I have a system where we have a standing invitation for our friends for Sunday night dinner. This has really become the highlight of our week and is a great way to spend time with our friends. Spending this time together every week, brings us so much joy, laughter, and meaningful conversation and support, that we can live on for the rest of the week.

Having your children play together

If you and your friends have children, it could be a good way to create regular times spending time together with the whole families. This could, for example, be like meeting in the park every Saturday at 11 AM. Everyone brings a dish to eat and you share. Or maybe you could have a game night together every Friday?

The kids can play together while the adults can sit and talk. It can also be very beneficial for the children to have multiple safe adults and role models around for them to regularly see. It may create a very special bond that they will keep into their adulthood.

Living together

If you want to spend a lot of time around your friends, living together could be a good option. Can you create a small co-op? Rent a duplex together? This is probably a more realistic approach for younger (or single adults). But a lot of adults can also enjoy living together as you also can share chores like child-rearing or cooking. If you do choose this route, make sure there is also some space for solitude and privacy.

If you do not actually want to live with your friends but still want to spend a lot of time together, you could consider living close by your friends. Living in the same neighborhood could be a good option for this.

Video calls

If you don’t actually live close to your friends, you could set up a weekly video call. Again, just pick a time and date that works for everyone and try to do it weekly. This could also be combined with a meal if that would make it easier to find a time.

Outdoor recreation

You can also combine seeing friends with physical activity or recreation. For example, meeting up for tennis every Sunday morning or taking a weekly late-night walk.

Some outdoor recreation might be more of a seasonal occasion. Some examples of this would be a fishing trip every spring or a twice-yearly camping trip.

Make new friends

If you are having a hard time getting your friends aboard, or they don’t have the time to see you that regularly, it might be worth considering making some new friends. That doesn’t mean dump your old friends, but I think it is important to have at least some friends that actually have the time to see you.

Another reason to consider making some new friends is if none of your friends live close by. It is important to sometimes hang out with people in person too. It can bring a lot of joy and value to know people nearby to do activities with — in the real world.

Conclusion

Whatever system appeals to you, the key is to find ways to enjoy time with your friends regularly without having to plan it each time. The reward and joy from setting up a system like this can really prove itself priceless over a lifetime.

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