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Keeping Up Friendships

We all know how important friendships are. Studies show they’re even good for your health. But with our hectic lifestyles, staying in touch can go by the wayside, so here are some tips to keep friendships strong.

• Make a standing date: having coffee or lunch once a month means not having to come up with an occasion to get together.

• Sign up to take a class together — or meet at the gym.

• Create special rituals: go away for a weekend to camp, or hold an annual celebration. Over the holidays, I participated in a progressive dinner — where you have each course in a different home — with some neighbours. We immediately decided to make it an annual tradition.

Keep your ears open and try not to miss milestone events, or difficult times. Drop off some baking or flowers. And on a big occasion, make a fuss!

A genuine compliment can be one of the best gifts you can give to any friend. On the other hand: refrain from giving unsolicited advice.

Despite the list of resolutions, we can all make mistakes in our relationships. If you haven’t been in touch with a friend for a while and haven’t felt comfortable trying to get back in touch, drop the guilt, make the first move, and reach out.

And on the other side, if you have a friend that you enjoy in every way except that he or she is haphazard or late in getting back to you on time, decide if these things are really important to you or whether you can overlook them and just enjoy the time together.

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