• Keeping Friends

5 Ways to Keep Friendships Fresh

Published: September 3, 2010 | Last Updated: January 2, 2024 By | 2 Replies Continue Reading
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Dawn Williams Bertuca and Tina VanZant Bishop are Girlfriends-in-Chief at www.GirlfriendCelebrations.com, the premier source of girlfriend party ideas on the Web.

Today’s guest post by Dawn and Tina is the fifth in a weeklong series of posts on The Friendship Blog celebration of The Month of Friendship.If you’re reading this on one of the Friendship Circle blogs, then having and keeping girlfriends must be important to you. Perhaps you identified the need for new girlfriends in your life, for whatever reason, and now you’re ready to grow some new friendships. Or, you’re already blessed with good girlfriends but you’re looking for ways to renew and reinforce those female friendships. We’re here to help! In nearly five years of writing about the things girlfriends do together, we’ve learned loads about what does and doesn’t work when girlfriends get together.

On one hand, planning a successful girlfriend get-together is simple if you remember that the number-one thing that girlfriends like to do together is…you guessed it…TALK. Women crave connection. We need time to catch up on each other’s lives. We even have a physiological need to huddle together and talk, according to that now-famous UCLA study. On the other hand, it’s easy to get into a bit of a rut when it comes to girlfriend time. “Bunco” and book clubs are great excuses to get together and gab with the girls, but they sometimes turn stale. Girlfriends stop showing up, and eventually the group -and the relationships-fizzle out. So, what are the keys to making sure your girlfriend time stays fresh?

1. Understand quality time

Sandy Sheehy, author of Connecting: The Enduring Power of Women’s Friendships, says girlfriend relationships naturally strengthen if the women spend enough time together, are honest with each other, support each other equally, and each one feels she is getting something from the relationship. Does your usual girls night fit the bill? If your idea of girls night is balancing a wine glass and a catalog in your lap while a sales representative tries to sell you candles, makeup, jewelry or kitchenware, then you might be missing the point of “quality time.” You need opportunities to truly connect with your girlfriends without the distraction of a sales pitch.

2. Make friendship a priority

If having girlfriends is important to you, make some time for it in your busy schedule. Commit to making two phone calls a week, or extending one invitation a week, or whatever you need to get the results you want. Be consistent and don’t give up. “Put it on the calendar” is our constant refrain when giving advice to women who say they don’t have enough time with their girlfriends. We’ve found that gathering monthly is about the right frequency for most girlfriend groups. Why not designate the third Thursday of the month, for example, as your official “girlfriend time.”

3. Be specific

Instead of simply suggesting to a friend that you want to get together, take the initiative and make a plan. Invite your girlfriend to a specific time and place so she has to respond. Women who are busy and stressed find it much easier to say yes to “spa party at my place, Thursday night at 7″ than “we really should get together sometime.” You can get some simple girlfriend party ideas at GirlfriendCelebrations.com, or just invite the girls to a favorite restaurant on a specific date.

4. Build in meaning

Learning more about each other is vital to strengthening your friendships. So take your girls nights beyond eating, drinking and gossiping. Experiencing something new together (like learning to bellydance, running a 5K, or volunteering at a homeless shelter) is a classic bonding technique. Or, add a brief connecting activity that helps you understand your gal pals better. It doesn’t have to be lengthy, embarrassing, or corny. We purposely include fun and easy connecting activities in nearly ALL of our girls night party plans. It takes a tiny bit of effort, but pays off in stronger friendships-and that’s definitely worth it.

5. Review the evening

After each girls night, take a few minutes to evaluate. You may want to do this on your own, or together via email. How did the girls night go? Did it meet your expectations? Did you get what you wanted out of the evening? What would have improved the experience? What could you do differently next time? Finally, don’t forget to revel in your achievement. You did it! You made your health and well-being a priority by putting your girls nights on the calendar. Happy Month of Friendship!

Check out Girlfriend Celebrations for some great ideas for Girls Nights In and Girls Nights Out!

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Category: KEEPING FRIENDS

Comments (2)

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  1. Irene says:

    Hi Jani,

    It’s nice to have online friends but friendships also need “face-time” – and I don’t mean the FaceTime feature on IPhone. Being together permits you to have lengthier conversations that are more meaningful. If all your friends are too busy, you might want to see if you could add some friends to your roster.

    Remind your online friends that they would benefit from some time away from technology too!

    Best,
    Irene (who also spends too much time behind a computer monitor)

  2. jani says:

    What if my friends are alw too busy? it’s sad when i want to talk but cant find them. i only text and meet them online. At the moment my best friends are online.

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