5 Ways to Keep Old Friendships Thriving
BY DAVID COMYN
Remember when you were younger, in the busiest phase of your life? You probably looked forward to a time when you’d have more leisure to do what you wanted to do, freed of so many family and work commitments.
It may not have worked out quite like that. You might now find your days are taken up with different kinds of commitments – taking part in clubs, looking after the grandchildren, indulging in new hobbies.
This can make it all too easy to fall out of touch with old friends. In your busy schedule it may feel like there’s just no time to keep in touch with them – but it’s important that you do make time.
Why? Because old, long-standing friendships are what have helped to make us the people we are today. Not only this, we have countless shared experiences to look back on together. Just reminiscing about them can help us enjoy them all over again.
There’s also strong evidence that having a close network not just of family, but friends too, is good for our mental wellbeing.
We’re also likely to have many shared interests with the people we’ve known during the course of our lives and now could be the time to share them again. So, if you feel the time’s right to rekindle or reinforce those links, here are five ways you could do it.
Send Birthday Greetings
As we get older, birthdays might not be the exciting events they once were. But they’re certainly well-worth celebrating. And what could be nicer than to receive a card or even an email from an old friend whose shown that they still remember the date? It also gives you the chance to give some news in the message that you sent, and even suggest a possible meet-up in the year ahead. Sure, you might think a card at Christmas would be the same, but a birthday is a personal, not universal, event. And that’s going to make the communication all the more meaningful and heartfelt.
Set up a fantasy sports league
Even among old friends, there’s nothing like a little healthy competition. It’s not always easy to get together for a night’s bowling, or even a game of golf. So why not compete in a virtual way instead? Fantasy sports have become bigger than ever in recent years covering all kinds of sports. Setting up your own league is a great way to share your enjoyment of a sport, as well as a way, let’s face it, of showing off your skills of prediction and analysis. So this could be the perfect time to get into fantasy basketball or any other sport that you and your friends enjoy. The leading fantasy sports sites make setting everything up as easy as possible and, once you start playing, it’s the perfect excuse to keep in touch with everyone on a weekly basis.
Plan some vacations together
Hopefully, one thing you do have more time on your hands to enjoy these days is vacations. They may be weeks away by the ocean or city breaks and more cultural trips. It also means that you may have more time to get away with friends. Whether you’re vacationing in a hotel or an Airbnb, being on neutral ground makes for a more relaxed atmosphere than if you’re hosting yourself. It can also be fun getting together to decide where you’re going to go, especially if it’s somewhere you’ll all be visiting again from your past.
Get into social media
Forget all those stories about social media being for young people. It’s our generation who are now starting to use it a great deal. It’s also a fantastic way to keep in touch with friends old and new. Whether you set up a WhatsApp group with a funny name like The Five Musketeers or let everyone know what you’ve been up to on Facebook or Instagram, it’s a fantastic way to strengthen the bonds between old friends.
Another great way to keep in touch, even if you’re in different States or maybe even countries, is through one of the online meetings platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The possibilities are almost endless for you. You could organize weekly quizzes with a different person setting the questions each week. Book and movie clubs are also incredibly popular these days and you could get together to share opinions about the month’s chosen title. You could even have virtual dinner party – everyone follows the same menu and eats the same courses at the same time. It might not be quite like being in the same room, but it’s fun, nevertheless.
So there you have them. Five fun ways to keep in touch with old friends. They may take a little effort to set up at first, but it’s going to be well worth it in the long run!