9 Ways To Keep Your Friendships Fresh

Feeling a little out of reach from a friend here's a few new ways to recharge the friendship.

Like any other relationship, friendships can become strained or start to feel tired. Sometimes it can be from doing the same things over and over again. Other times it's having been a while since you last saw each other.  These things can cause tension in the friendship.

Here is a list of ideas to spice up your friendships and reconnect with your loved ones.

1. Exchange a “Just Because” Bucket

An idea that has been circulating recently about creating a “just because” bucket. The idea is to buy them something every time you find something that reminds you of them “just because.” After you fill the bucket, you give it to them and bask in how well you know them—or laugh at how much you don’t. You can make it more interesting by choosing different themes for each turn you take.

Some ideas being: Candy, Self-care, Movies, Books, Thrifted Items, Make-up, Gift Cards, Home Goods

the Just Because bucket
the Just Because Bucket

Then you can even take it a step further. When you exchange the movie bucket, make it a movie night. Or for self-care have a mini spa night complete with manicures and face masks.

Now even as you and your friend go ahead with this, feel free to set parameters. Not every person in every friendship is the same age or at the same place in their life.

Some people are more well-off. This can cause tension. If one person buys their friend a $30 necklace the other friend might feel bad then they can't reciprocate. Other times what goes on in a person’s life may influence what they want to give or receive.

While someone in high school might love movie passes, someone in college might be more interested in receiving some snacks. These “just because” buckets make the person see you are thinking about them.

2. Create a Friendship Bucket List

Doing the same activities you always do, can tire you, instead, create a list of wild things you want to do together. It can be as simple as watching the sunrise on the beach or going to an amusement park together. Take the time to plan. Or, it can also be more elaborate such as planning a trip to Rome or Hawaii.

Understand that some things might take more time to plan. While a karaoke night or wine and paint night might be easy, a cross-country road trip might take more effort.

creating a list of things to do with your friends
add a cross-country road trip to your bucket list 

Make it a goal to cross at least two things off the list each year.  Don’t stress about getting everything done right away.  Feel free to add to your lists. This makes sure there is always something spontaneous to do if movie night gets boring.

Build up to the bigger things by having a conversation about the money, dates, time.  Make a plan to save so when the trip to Hawaii comes along no one feels stress and you can have fun together.

3. Find a New Common Interest

No matter the age you reach it is never too late to try something new. It can be planning to try a new lunch restaurant once a month or once a week. Find a new show you can both watch and obsess over. A new common interest can be different from the bucket list.  

A bucket list might include individual moments you want to share together. But, making the effort to find a new common interest can bridge the gap of distance or lack of time.

find common interest with friends
find common interests with friends

As you grow up and take different career or life paths it can be harder to coordinate a time to spend together. Even something as simple as a once-a-month dinner can be hard to figure out.

Instead, choose a show on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, live TV, etc. to watch. It can give you both the chance to watch the same show and connect about it on your own time. It will give you something to talk or text about every day, a reason to keep in touch.

Consider trading shows rather than picking one to watch together. Pick a show you think your friend would like—choose something they wouldn't choose for themselves. In return, they pick something for you, and you keep each other updated as you both watch what they picked for you.

This activity doesn’t need to happen at a certain time or together which allows for flexibility. Additionally, it can be a way to let your friend in on a special part of your life without too much pressure or stress.

4. Plan a Day for Each Other

The little ways you show you know and care about each other can have the most effect. As such, a way to show your friend you care would be to show them a day full of fun. There can be two ways for you to plan this day. You can either plan a day for them or plan a day for you.

plan a day for each other
plan a day for your friends

While the latter might sound a little selfish it could be the chance to open them up to who you are. Or open them up to what they are missing. Maybe you like the idea of skydiving but your friend is too scared to try it. Meeting in the middle you could take them to an indoor skydiving place.

Or you detest the spa, but it is the only thing that helps them relax. So you plan a spa trip for them knowing their life might be under a little stress right now.

5. Have a “Date Night” Together

Like every kind of relationship, setting aside time to see each other is important. Lives can be busy, and it can be hard to ensure actual time with each other. Just texting each other can be enough to stay connected, but it can feel like you are growing apart. without getting that same effect that comes from spending time in person.

date night with friends
date night with friends

As everyone’s lives are different it makes sense that it can be hard to make time for your friends. So as such, you should make sure to plan and dedicate time to seeing them. Plan “date nights” with them. This means brunch, clubbing, dancing, a movie night, working out, or going on a walk together.

Setting aside time with your friends shows them they are important and that while you might not always be able to hang out you still enjoy your time together. 

I came home early from London last year due to the pandemic last year which was hard. So as a pick-me-up my friends planned a “girls’ night” for me. We did a wine and paint night.

She even went as far as to secretly get another friend of ours to show up. It was exactly the thing I needed. This little date night not only reminded me how much I missed my friends while I was in London but it also served to lift my spirits. 

6. Set aside time to take photos together 

Some of the best of friends have no photos together. That doesn’t mean if you have a ton of photos, you’re not best friends. But some friends tend to spend so much time in the moment of things they can forget to take a picture of said moments.

take photos with friends
take photos with friends

While it never hurts to spend the time at the moment it can be harder to reminisce on the moments. There are some of the best days of my life in which I don’t have anything other than the memory which I know will fade.

Even as they stand, they fade. So, spend an hour doing your make-up, enlist someone to take some photos, post them to social media or save them. Whatever you do, make sure to grab some evidence of those special moments and people who exist in your life.

There are so many events and days where I have no photos of the time I spent with my friends because we were so focused on seeing each other. On the one hand yay for us not being glued to our phones, but on the other, I don’t have photos to look back on when I miss them. Taking time at the beginning of each event preserves the rest of the memories made that night. 

7. Send each other Memes, Quotes, and TikToks

Sending each other memes and other funny gifs and or TikToks can be a way to not only show your friend that you are thinking of them, but it can also grow some possible more connections. It shares not only that you are thinking of your friend but something that either you are interested in, or you think they might be interested in.

send memes to friends
send memes to your friends

TikTok's can be fun to share because maybe the video relates to something or someone you both love, or it could be just something funny you saw. These are just a small way to connect with your friend say, “Hey this made me think of you.” 

One recent thing I sent some of my friends who also work in retail was a quote that said something like “When you complain about us to our manager, we don’t get in trouble we just make fun of you later.”

My friends who have worked in retail—with or without me—loved it because it’s true. Most of the time, we laugh that someone wanted to talk to a manager because we explained we couldn’t honor an expired coupon or some sale that is no longer going on. 

8. Explore Yours and Each Other’s Zodiac Signs 

Astrology is the study of how distant, cosmic objects can have an influence over emotions and things in our lives. 

Whether you believe in it or not can be a lot of fun to explore. No matter what you think you can always find some attributes from whatever your house is in connection to your personality.

Sometimes the videos on TikTok or the memes on Instagram hit just the right spot and you can have a lot of fun laughing about what they got right or what they got wrong. This can be a way for you to call one another out in a fun way that is more akin to gentle teasing.  

zodiac sign jokes can be shared with friends

My friends and my best friend constantly swap memes and videos about each other and our zodiac signs. Her being a Gemini and me being a Pisces we play on each other’s two-sidedness and emotional insecurities respectively.

But that doesn’t mean that we don’t also swap stuff that builds each other up as well. We make sure to always include a few positive notes about our signs. Occasionally, we also send ones about ourselves 

9. Bake and or Cook Together with your best friends

This is a great way to spend some time together. And the best part is at the end of it you will have something you can eat. It can also be a good way to share some of your histories. Maybe you grew up on your mom’s chicken curry or your dad’s lasagna.

Cooking and baking can be amazing ways to share some little things from your childhood. Or maybe you grew up eating fast food and restaurants so this would be a great way to learn how to cook. Maybe you are Asian, and your friends are Cuban, Dominican, Polynesian, Jamaican, Indian, Polish, or any of the other hundred and ninety-five that exist in the world.

cook with your friends
cook with your friends

Cooking and baking together can be a great way to test out recipes or maybe create a new fusion dish that wouldn’t have been otherwise thought of. Even if they aren’t necessarily good or interested in cooking, they can do some of the simple prep work and having that person with you while you cook. It can be fun to just relax and enjoy the smells and conversation of the kitchen. 

I love to cook and bake and it’s something I do with my friends all the time. Letting them choose the recipe or just the relaxation that comes with hosting a cookie night and everyone brings a recipe and bakes their favorite Christmas cookie. In the end, we have all shared something of ourselves and have about one hundred cookies to munch on while we watch a movie.

These ideas and activities are fun and fresh ways to figure out how to reconnect with a friend. Whether it be because you feel as if you have been losing touch with them or because you appreciate them.

+Not every idea will feel right. Take some and forget the rest or take them and alter them.  Try instead of trading TV shows, you trade clothes.  The goal is to find a way to spend time with that person who makes your life better—whether it be virtually or in person.

I'm just a girl out here trying to make a living doing what I love to do.

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