It happens in even the most dynamic of friendships: you get tired of the hassle and expense of going out all the time, so you start hanging out at each other’s houses instead. Over time this becomes a habit: not doing anything, not going anywhere. It might be fun sometimes just to sit and chat, and even to have some down time together, but when was the last time you actually set a date to go out and do something as friends?
In many ways, friendships often have to be treated like a romantic relationship would be. Just like couples, friends can drift apart and inadvertently distance themselves from each other when they don’t make a concerted effort to keep the friendship fresh and interesting. Sure, it is nice to have someone to relax and watch a DVD with on a Sunday afternoon, but that sort of thing gets to be boring after a while, and if you are only getting together to sit quietly in front of the television, the chance of having any memorable occasions is pretty slim.
Of course, it doesn’t all have to be bells and whistles — just heading out to do something fun once or twice a month is enough to give you something to look forward to, and something over which you can bond with your friend. Choose things you both like to do, or go places that remind you of happy memories you have together. You can even use this as a way to get to know your friend better than you already do. Take turns choosing activities, and don’t make excuses to back out. If your friend chooses going to the zoo and you think that sounds awful, go anyway. You’ll learn something about the things your friend enjoys doing, and chances are you’ll end up having a good time just because you’re doing something together. After all, you’ll get to choose the activity next time, and of course you don’t want her to make excuses not to do your fun thing, either.
One thing to be careful about is new romance. Often when we get a romantic interest in our lives, especially in the early stages of infatuation, it becomes disgustingly easy just to put our friends on the back burner and concentrate on dating instead. Sometimes when we’re caught up in love, we can go weeks or even months without even a simple phone call just to let our friends know we’re still alive. It’s a shame that so many people do this, because after all, your friends were there for you before this new love popped into your life, and in the unfortunate event that things don’t work out, your friends are the ones you’ll run to to help you pick up the pieces. You should take care to pay attention to your friends all the time, not just when you don’t have a boyfriend.
Friendships are important in our lives, and they should be treated as such. Nurture the relationships you have with those who are closest to you, and make an effort to show your friends that they mean more to you than just an occasional chat or a cup of coffee. Go out and do things, spend time together, and always strive to keep those ties strong. Friendships can last a lifetime, so make sure yours grow, instead of letting them wilt.