Most of us have bucket lists, the things we want to do during our lives, even if we don’t write them down. We have career goals and relationship goals, and we even have an idea of the places we’d like to travel to see. But most of us neglect to consider a friendship bucket list, and I think we all need one of these, too.
Maybe you don’t see the point. Why can’t we just have friends without expectations? Of course, we can. It’s great just to have friends and be a friend, but a friendship bucket list can help us make sure that we’re investing in those friendships and not just putting in minimal effort.
It’s not just about adding another responsibility to our lives. We all have plenty of those. Friendship helps us to live happier, healthier lives. It gives us necessary social support and an outlet to bounce thoughts, feelings, and ideas off of during our lives. It’s important for a number of reasons and it lets us know that we’re not alone, that we are loved and valued for reasons that aren’t just about family, sex, work, or convenience.
A friendship bucket list gives us an opportunity to evaluate the way we invest in some of the most important relationships in our lives. It may even help us set aside time to devote to these relationships rather than taking them for granted. This list is meant to enrich our lives, not add to our burden of things to do.
The Friendship Bucket List
Have a best friend.
A best buddy. A bro. A ride or die. We all need to have a best friend that we can count on. This person should be someone we love and trust who invests the same effort into the relationship that we do. Everyone needs a best friend. Yes, even if you are in a relationship with a partner you call your best friend.
Go on a friends’ trip.
We all need to set aside time to spend with our friends only. I have a regular girlfriend getaway with my best friend. We usually can’t manage more than a weekend, but we try to do it at least once a year, when we pick a place to go and enjoy a mini vacation from our regular routines. It’s a time where we can catch up on everything that’s been going on in our lives and enjoy some time together.
While local friends can day trip when time is a factor, it’s also important to plan trips that are further afield and last longer. Some great ideas include camping, going on a cruise, heading to the beach, staying in a cabin in the mountains, or even scheduling a golf or fishing retreat. Breweries, foodie events, festivals, and guided tours are also great ideas for a trip.
Have a brunch date.
Dates shouldn’t just be for romantic relationships. Get together for brunch with friends. Brunch is great for many reasons, including the fact that it allows for you to sleep late (assuming you don’t have kids who are early morning risers), day drink (for those who do), and have breakfast food. Make it a point to schedule a regular brunch date with friends just to take the time to hang out.
Have an adventure.
Check off an item on your bucket list together by choosing an adventure you’ve both been wanting to try. Sign up for a skydive or go on a long hike. Find something that you and your friend(s) are passionate about and do it together. Plan adventures and make memories with your best friend or with a group of members from your squad.
Challenge yourself, together.
Sign up for a mud run, warrior race, or another event that challenges you but is fun to do with friends. I’ve participated in mud runs and other races that don’t require that you be in the best physical condition. People of many fitness levels can participate, and it’s a lot of fun. Usually, you get a swag bag of goodies that often includes a t-shirt, snacks, and a medal just for finishing. Maybe a race doesn’t seem like your thing, but there’s nothing like crawling through the mud and sliding down bouncy houses for a bonding opportunity with friends.
Choose a cause that you share a passion for and sign up to volunteer. Volunteering is often hard work, but it’s made so much more fun when we volunteer with friends. It also makes the world a much better place. Spending time with friends doesn’t have to be about hanging out and having a good time only; it can also be about giving back to our communities.
Have a coffee date with a long-distance friend (or friends).
There are a couple of fun ways to do this. Host a Facebook party for a group of friends to meet for coffee (or beverage of choice). Everyone can chime in to say hello and catch up. Post life updates or hilarious memes, but enjoy the time. Everyone can post live videos or even have a group chat (video, optional) to spend time together.
For friendships of just two, have a video call over coffee and enjoy a little time together, even from a distance. Taking the time for our online friends is just as important as taking time for our local friends.
Send a letter or card to a friend.
A bucket list wouldn’t be complete without a little snail mail. Everyone likes to receive something that isn’t a bill or junk mail. Send a postcard, jot a short note, or simply send out a card to let your friends know you’re thinking about them. Don’t wait for a “special occasion.” Having a good friend you can count on is special enough to warrant a handwritten note.
Step outside your comfort zone.
Do something you’ve never done before, and do it with your friends. Have a “Yes Night” where you say yes to trying new things—whether it’s a new restaurant, type of food, or just an activity you’ve never tried. Take a tiny step outside of your comfort zone by going out to sing karaoke, signing up for a trivia tournament, or even trying out an escape room. There are so many options, but take turns trying new things and supporting each other through it.
A friendship bucket list can be a way to remind ourselves that friendships are important relationships that require our time, attention, and appreciation as much as any romantic relationship. When we make time for our friends, we’re also making time to remind ourselves that we have people who love and support us with no strings attached. We all need that.
Our friends are often fierce in their support and encouragement, but no one wants to feel taken for granted. While many of our friendships have to take place across distances or online by necessity, we can make time for those relationships that mean the most to us to show our friends that they are seen and valued. And it’s fun, too!
What would you add to this friendship bucket list? Comment below to let me know what friendship activity you think belongs on this list.
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