So you’ve thrown away your garbage and now have recaliberated your daily schedule to reflect your values, increasing your overall happiness and search for purpose. It’s time for the next important questions on the spiritual spring cleaning journey: With whom are you going to spend your time? Why?
We know it’s important to be selective about who we spend our time with, as well as the importance of being brave and bidding farewell to those who no longer serve you and vice versa (see: snip, snip, snip), but now we’re talking about the next later of selectivity: creating a cast of characters that represent our different interests. People who are partnered may have thought in their early dating stages that they would always want to do the same things; this isn’t always the case. When I drive to Charise’s house to record our podcast and Brent is playing video games downstairs, we’re all able to breathe a sigh of relief because we get to do what we want.
How do we decide who goes where in our broader friendship puzzle? Well, it shouldn’t be too difficult to decide because meaningful time spent together will often feel effortless. It’s very possible that the friend you take to bar trivia is not the same person you take to hike on the weekends. A friend who you can count on for a ridiculous Snap story isn’t necessarily going to be the person you walk your dog with. This is okay: not every one of our friends has to be a ride-or-die in order for us to spend quality time with them.
I used to be uncomfortable with the idea of acquaintances. On my never-ending quest for meaning, purpose, and authenticity, I’ve militantly declared that I’d rather spend all my time developing life-long friendships rather than “wasting” time with people on the fringes. I don’t believe that strategy is as effective as I once thought. As a person who doesn’t take a lot of experiential risks (intellectual and personal risks, yes–but new activity risks, hell nah), I’ve appreciated the people in my life who model a more lighthearted way of being than I would have chosen for myself. More than ever, I’ve tried to find people whose values are compatible with mine, yet actively live the characteristics and virtues I’m trying to develop.
What would it look like for you to ask someone on a friendship date? A low-risk round of drinks to talk about a common interest, a walk through a forest, or even watching a Netflix series together could be new ways of assembling a bomb-ass supporting cast in your life–some of whom are series regulars and some of whom make special appearances, but who support your plot line all the same.