Three kids, a whole lot of faith, a mountain of lessons learned “the hard way” and each other. When you get right down to it, these are just a few of the things that define us as a couple. We're each others best friends and biggest cheerleaders, but one of the most important things my husband and I have learned together is how to find other friends that we can do life together with. Having friends who we both can claim as ours, together, has been one of the biggest blessings of our marriage.
We’ve been together since college and we’re fortunate to have a great group of people in our lives who we’ve come to think of as family. But a few years ago, we moved clear across the country and were forced to really dig into the fine art of making friends all over again. I’m not going to sugar coat it—it was a bit daunting at first. But, little by little, we met people we really clicked with, and through those experiences we also learned valuable lessons about how to create new friendships, together.
I don’t know where you find yourself in life . . . maybe you're like us and you’ve recently moved to a new area, or maybe you’re just starting out as a couple, or maybe you just find yourself looking for more people you can do life together with. No matter your situation, I want to share a few things that worked for us. And I have good news: it isn’t nearly as difficult as you may think.
Here are 3 things that worked for us:
Date nights. Sure, we love going on dates just the two of us, but doing double dates with friends? It’s like the icing on the cake! A night out on the town tends to bring out the best in everyone, and this is a great thing to do no matter if you’ve known the other couple for a long time or if you want to get to know each other better. Granted, depending on the season we’re in, we don’t always have time to do this regularly (ahem, Mr. Reinhart we really need to step up our game here!!), but uninterrupted adult time with other couples can be really fun. If you have kiddos at home, try to set up a regularly scheduled babysitter and make it your goal to invite another couple along next time you venture out.
Play dates. If you’re like us and you have small kiddos, this is a great way to get together without the need to nab a sitter. We like to do a standing park date with other friends who also have kids. We meet up at a local park and then each of us takes turns getting pizza, so we can feed the crew and spend some quality time together. The kids get to play and the adults get to talk—it’s a true win-win situation!
Group get-togethers. This can be a fun way to broaden your circle. Begin by choosing your focus: maybe you want to host a small group, start a supper club or just share quality time with neighbors on the front porch. No matter which you choose, the idea is to begin by inviting the couples you’ve already connected with, and then ask them to invite other couples to join in on the fun.
Over the years, we’ve used a combination of all these things but, no matter which method you choose, we’ve found that consistency is key. Try to incorporate one or more of these things into your calendar and you’ll start to see your circle grow in no time.
Have another idea to share? Let us know in the comments below!
Photo Credit: Stacy Kokes