Monday, August 14, 2023

The Science of Friendships

There are summer vibes in my neck of the woods. Children riding bikes, friends shooting hoops in the road, adults meeting for dinner, couples on dates, people meeting at the beach, and vacations shared together. Maintaining connections with friends in some ways has never been easier. We can text, call, video call, connect on social media, and email. In other ways, it is harder. We get distracted by our everyday responsibilities, work, devices, and overload of commitments. As a parent, it can be so tricky to keep a friendship alive with another adult. Recently, I ran into one of my old friends, a really good old friend, whom I had not seen in several years and only spoke to occasionally. Life (parenting, work, family, busyness) got in the way. Seeing her was lovely. Our kids got to meet, and we were able to sit and talk and catch up, hoping to meet again soon. Today, my children were playing basketball on our block with several other kids in the neighborhood. This was not planned in advance, as many playdates often are nowadays, but rather an organic mix of friends out and about in the neighborhood. It is very healthy to have kids organize themselves into an unstructured activity without the direction of adults. Note, kids still need to be supervised, but that can be without an adult directing or organizing the play for them.

Adults can play too! You may enjoy swimming, biking, hiking, pickleball, singing, playing instruments, crafting, shopping, talking or another fun activity. I encourage you to reach out to a friend or maybe a few friends and connect. Friendship is good and important!

For more information about the science of friendship, see The Science of Why Friendships Keep Us Healthy: