I often feel like the energy I put into my friends is far more important than the energy I put into my husband. After all, we live together, so it’s not like we are going to “grow apart” (don’t worry, I see the hubris in this sentence).
Well-cultivated friendships also help my marriage. They insure that I don’t pretend that one person can fulfill all my emotional needs and absorb all my crazy.
The problem with friends, however, is that they don’t live with me. So it takes special energy after the college years to make sure that your friendships are as blissfully banal as your marriage. Here are the strategies that my friends and I have attempted to achieve optimal friendship habits:
1. Stop moving away (I have already failed this one many times over)
2. Email/call your friends with the same passion you would a long distance lover.
3. Start a blog that is only read by your friends.
4. Organize repeating, themed, partners-included events that everyone can count on. We had a Twin Peaks club that met once a week and watched one episode each time. We ate dinner before hand (always a potluck so that nobody was over worked). Camping is also ideal (but a little too hard).
5. Schedule frequent, partners not included drinks, walks, or lunches. There is no way around the “work” of this. We are adults, it takes effort, so put it on your to do list.
Dana is a nanny and graduate student in Brooklyn.