We all have those friends that we can’t or don’t want to meet with every week, but that we nonetheless want to stay in touch with. Maybe this is a childhood friend who lives in a different town, an ex you’re on friendly terms with, or even a cousin or some other distant relative who you want to stay part of your life. It can be hard to keep those connections alive as the years go by, especially if you had to move cities to start college. If you want help dealing with these issues, here are some tips that can help you keep old friendships alive.
1 – Don’t text all the time
Quality over quantity is what you should be looking for when staying in touch with old friends. Maybe you two used to text each other every day back when you used to hang out together, and if you can still keep that pace now that you’re apart that great. But chances are, less face time will mean that you two have less to talk about. And trying to force conversations will lead to things feeling cold quickly. Not to mention that it can be impractical if you’re both working and/or studying.
Don’t be afraid to go days or even weeks without any contact. Let conversation topics pile up so that by the time you two do talk — or even meet — you have lots to talk about. If you’re the forgetful type, it can be helpful to pick a date for when you’ll text them again, and set a reminder on your calendar.
2 – Play games together
Enjoying various games together is a good way to hang out without having to meet in person, and it helps make sure you two always have something to talk about. There are even games out there designed specifically to help old friends get together and take trips down memory lane.
The board game Boom Again is a good example of this. It is a trivia board game with questions related to the shared culture of the boomer generation. In other words, the questions relate to cultural elements and historical events that took place in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, and the game tokens that come with the game are period-specific. It’s good both for people who live those eras and for younger people who want to learn more about those periods or play something with older relatives.
3 – Get routines going
One way to keep an old group of friends going is for everyone to commit to a certain routine. This could mean having a group call every so often, getting everyone together the same day every week, or even just playing games together once a month. The only challenge is getting everyone to commit to making room in their schedule to keep a routine going.
4 – Remember special occasions
Birthdays, Christmas, thanksgiving, and various other holidays and special occasions provide a good opportunity to help you stay in touch with old friends. If you have been talking to them, you should make sure you say something on these dates. And if you slipped up and haven’t texted someone in months, saying hi on their birthday or during a holiday is a good way to break the ice and restart the friendship.