Forget Zoom quizzes: there are much easier (and less competitive) ways to relight that friendship fire, even in the current circumstances. Firstly, don’t get complacent and presume technology can do all of the heavy lifting in your friendships from now on. Fine, Facebook is great for reminding us of everyone’s birthdays and alerting us to lovely memories of past years, often involving a music festival or rake of pints.
et a quick comment under someone’s status update isn’t enough to keep a friendship going; not really. A standard text chain or WhatsApp thread is convenient as we juggle home and work life, but it’s not enough, and your pals deserve better and more.
Keep things upbeat, so your pals will be reminded why they’re friends with you in the first place. Staying within the online echo chamber and giving out yards about pandemic deniers, COVIDiots and the Government often results in negativity. Sidestep the frustrating conversations and talk about the future instead.
There’s a lot to be said for the power of future planning. Put a date in the diary for a spa day, weekend away or even a holiday together that you can both look forward to. Think of the thing you bond over, whether it’s tennis, live music or gin, and make a vow to enjoy it together some day.
Face-to-face time is a great way to heap nurturing soil on to a friendship. You might not be able to put the world to rights with a huge boozy night out, but meet for a mid-afternoon coffee and cake, or a long walk in the park. And leave the kids/partner/dog at home so you can fully concentrate on bonding with your pal.
If your mate’s in another county/country, not to worry. A long hand-written letter or thoughtful gift in the post will go a long way towards sparking that platonic romance. It’s almost impossible to have a meaningful conversation about how we’re really doing these days (“eh, same as before”), but some honesty about your innermost feelings will go a long way here.