Now when Valentine's Day is around the corner, I was thinking about the people we love. Significant others, of course, but also our friends.
It can be easy to let friendships slide. Suddenly you haven't seen each other in months and you have no idea who they are dating or if they're still at that job they hate. You didn't mean to, but it's just been so crazy with work and that trip you took.
It can be really hard to find the time for your friends. It can even be hard to find the time to actually do something with a live-in partner, depending on what's going on in your life, so how will you manage to schedule a get-together with that friend who lives thirty minutes away?
Whether it's doing something fun together, or just talking about what's been going on over a cup of coffee, here are five ways to make sure you get that quality time together!
1. Decide that it's important and follow through
As with everything else in your life, you need to make this person a priority. I'm not saying that you need to meet up on a daily or weekly basis, but make sure that you don't let months go by before you realize that you haven't seen each other since last autumn. (It goes faster than you think. I'm totally guilty of this.) Make it something you actually pursue. Maybe a monthly coffee date to catch up?
2. Schedule it in and treat it like an appointment
Especially if one of you or both are very busy! I just spent a few days trying to schedule a date with a friend I haven't seen in a while and in the end we managed to find a day two weeks out where we both were free, so sometimes you need to be quite forward-thinking to be able to get together.
And just because you won't get charged a no-show fee doesn't mean that you shouldn't see it as a less important appointment. You both have busy lives and took time out of it for each other, so make sure that you don't disappoint them. (I expect the same courtesy from them.)
Photo by Matheus Ferrero
3. Set alarms
If you've read How to schedule your day -- A guide for the easily overwhelmed, you know that I'm a big fan of setting alarms as additional reminders. It's so easy to forget things, even if you looked at your calendar this morning, so set an alarm half an hour before you have to leave to make sure that you don't get there late or forget altogether.
4. Don't hesitate to be the one to reach out
If you haven't heard from each other in a long time there's no need to cast blame on anyone. You don't know what's going on in their life and it can be anything from just being super busy to being depressed and just unable to reach out and ask for help. You really never don't know, so don't let pride stop you from letting them know that you miss hanging out with them and suggest a date to meet up.
Related article: 10 practical ways to help a friend with depression
Photo by Court Prather
5. Have a list of activities to do
Sometimes the problem is to come up with something to do. Do you want to just hang out in the house again, or do some activity? In that case, what type of activity? For how much money?
To ease the decision fatigue for you I've put together a Friend Date Bucket List for you with 20 different ideas, ranging from easy to epic. You can of course use it with your partner too, because really, apart from gazing longingly into each other's eyes, what's the difference between a friend date and a normal date? You're spending time with someone you love, and that's all that matters.
So print this out and start planning!
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Hi, I'm Erika!
I know what it's like living with anxiety and depression, but living and living are very different things. I believe in practical tips and methods, and I will use them to help you be the brave, daring, darling individual you are.
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