Dinner and a movie. Everybody knows this one. Don’t worry. It’s not one of the ways I’m about to recommend. Sometimes you want to do something special with an old friend, a new one, or loved one. Getting dinner, or grabbing a coffee can get old really fast. A night at the opera might be too formal or too pricey. Finding casual places to connect can be difficult. With technology, making new friends might be easier but really connecting on a personal level has become even more difficult. Satisfying that urge to bond with people can sometimes bring more grief than it’s worth. The planning, the worrying, and then finding out that you’ve chosen the wrong activity or the wrong person to share it with can be really discouraging. Here are a few easy, no-pressure ways to get to know someone and find common ground.
Explore Bookstores Together
This is perfect for both casual acquaintances, old friends and even for dates. The magic of a bookstore and that instant feeling of comfort that can be found in the alluring smell of paperbacks make for a very pleasing backdrop to whatever conversations you are going to have. Getting to know a person’s favourite novels can give an insight into a person’s character. It also gives endless opportunities to start conversations that are deep and full of meaning. A bonus is that getting to exchange book recommendations with your friend will expand your literary horizons. Bookstores are the perfect setting if you are looking to connect on a personal level with a person without feeling too awkward about it.
Take a Walk
A walk in the park, a walk around the neighbourhood and if your fitness level is at the right point, even a nature trail hike can be a fun thing to do together while getting to connect with people. The feel of the wind on your cheeks and the chance to talk without feeling any pressure to. A walk is perfect in many ways and the bonus? It adds points to your fitness goals.
Visit a Museum
A visit to a museum is a great way to spend time with a friend. Find out if you have a shared interest in art, and even if you don’t it doesn’t matter. Have fun staring at a piece of artwork or attempting to sound cultured in your descriptions. The knowledge that you don’t know what you’re talking about makes it even funnier so you can laugh together. Or enjoy each other’s company while soaking up the surrounding beauty. Art is fun and hanging out at a museum can easily hit the right note and make time pass quickly because you’re having so much fun.
Have fun Creating Recipes and Baking Together
If you’re both into cooking then spending a day baking together can be a great way to bond. Create fun recipes or try to create outlandish recipes, it doesn’t matter. What really matters is that you’re having fun and chatting naturally while mixing and stirring and baking. Make the hangout, even more fun by being carefree enough to eat from the baking pan or try a baking competition to see who’s better at creating stuff with the same ingredients.
Binge Watch TV
Choose a series that you both haven’t watched before and spend time watching it together. While it might seem like a bad idea to watch TV together because you have to focus on the shows and will have little or no time to actually connect, think about it for a minute. No pressure to talk because you are watching TV makes the conversation flow smoother and if things do get boring, you won’t notice because you’re too busy trying to focus on watching the TV show. Depending on the show you choose there could be lots of chances to pick conversation starters and gain insight into a person’s character.
Sign up for Classes Together
Sign up for yoga, or Pilates, or any of the numerous dance classes available, or even a self-defence class together. Having a yoga-buddy can be what you need to enjoy yoga classes. On the plus side, it will help motivate you to keep up with the class. It is also a great way to keep fit and stay friends even within your busy schedule.
Flea Market and Window Shopping
Go window shopping with friends and hit several high-end boutiques or explore a flea market together. These are fun ways to connect and you never know what you’re going to find. The conversations will flow naturally along with your dreams and hope. Try on stuff, even if you have no intention to buy and challenge each other to find an item first. Casual fun is the theme of the outing when you choose this option.
Reconnecting with old friends can go either way, it could be great or it could be the worst decision you’ll ever make filled with awkwardness and a realisation that you’re no longer compatible. Making new friends can also be an agonising process if you don’t set things up the right way. Any of these activities help keep things light-hearted and fun while also giving the two of you a real chance to discover your friendship and define its boundaries.