If you are anything like me, keeping in touch with friends can take a back seat to work, housekeeping, grocery shopping, and mom’s taxi service. A dilemma that strains even the best friendships. We all want to improve our relationships but often struggle with consistent communication, the foundation of any good friendship. Fortunately, with a little creativity and planning, we can keep our best buds close.
The Tools of Communication
- One of the best ways that I have found to stay in touch with friends and family is through a social website like Face Book or My Space. It’s not that they are any better than the phone or standard e-mail; they just allow you to have all of your contacts in one location. You are able to keep up with what’s going on in their lives with a click of your mouse. With advanced security options, these sites can be safe and provide you with a fast, easy way to share the latest with anyone, anytime, and anywhere.
- Sending a quick text to your best friend can be a lifesaver if you suddenly get bogged down with work or the kids. At least it lets them know you didn’t forget about them. I don’t recommend texting as your only form of communication; that’s like cheating on a test when you don’t have to. Try to mix up your digital contact with telephone and in person chats.
- Though technology is thriving in the coolest ways ever, I still believe in sending good, old-fashioned cards and letters. People, especially women, love to receive personal, hand-written notes in the mail. I know it makes me feel special when I know someone takes the time to think about me. Sending a simple card or note is the perfect way to save your friendship from the impersonal rut.
If you have many friends who run in the same circles, you might try hosting a party or simple pitch-in barbecue to bring everyone together. Better yet, takes turns with each other. This month, have a game night at your place; next month, have a wine tasting at Kathy’s. Share your homes, food, drinks, and families; it’s the best way to do life with those you love.
The Structured Approach
I am in the middle of being structured and unstructured, so I can go either way on this topic. However, I have found that keeping track of how often you contact your friends can be helpful. It can be as simple as jotting a note on your calendar or setting a reminder on your phone or palm pilot to remind you to call a certain person. The point is to do whatever works for you. Another good way to create true bonds is to set a regular appointment to meet them. Do lunch, a movie, or a class together once a week to bring consistency to any relationship.
The grandest and most exciting way to strengthen any friendship is to get away together. Leave the spouses, the kids, and work behind as you whisk away to a hotel with your best friend. Get facials, massages, go to the museums, take a cruise; be creative with this one. The goal is to have fun and create memories that will stay with you both for a lifetime.
The Way of the Teenager
Do you remember when you were a teen and all of your friendships were so close; nothing could tear you apart? Well, there is a reason for that. First, most teens spend a lot of time keeping their friends close. Friendships are a priority to them because they find comfort, peace, and support from others who are experiencing similar situations. I asked my two daughters how they keep their friendships going: they both said they talk a lot. We can learn something from this way of thinking.
Long Lost Friends
Sometimes we just lose track of people all together. This usually happens when we don’t do any of the things we talked about in the previous paragraphs. Weeks, months, and even years can fly by without us even thinking about the friends that we, at one time, could not live without. If you find yourself in this situation, try to make contact with a simple gesture like an “I miss you” card; that is if you know where they are. This brings me to the next point. Locating lost friends can be as easy as Face Book friend finder or difficult enough to warrant a private investigator. Decide how important the person is to you and dive into the search accordingly. When you get back in touch, it is likely you will have lots to talk about as you make up for lost time.
Good friends are worth your time and effort to keep in touch. However, if they don’t respond or return the love no matter what you do to participate in the relationship; you just might need to let it go. People change and move on; that includes you.