You've Gotta Have Friends! 35 Ways Busy Women Can Stay Close

Having a hard time keeping in touch with your girlfriends? Life is busy. That’s why the Love community is sharing 35 of their own tried-and-true tips for staying close. Take a look, and try one for yourself -- and your friends -- today:

Relive Your Youth

"When my best friend from high school visits, we do the same everyday things that we did back then -- get a cup of joe, make a chicken stir-fry and head to the movies, where we don't buy anything because it’s too expensive." --bermidor

"Every Christmas, I go to see family, but also make sure to get in touch with friends from my hometown. It’s great because we get to visit old haunts, play pool, go jogging and otherwise relive high school year after year." --jphowze

"My grown-up girlfriends and I have been known to have an old-fashioned slumber party, complete with face masks and issues of YM!" --lizzy985

Start a (Small) Club

"My friend and I go to movies together, and take turns paying. It’s a little thing, but we feel as though it’s our own special movie club. We always critique the movie afterwards and catch up on life, so it keeps us in touch." --valjoma

"When I see a book that I want to read, I buy it for a friend who I think will like it too. We get to read it at the same time, and then catch up when we talk about it. This is easier than being committed to a real book club, but just as much fun!"
--Nancy

"Once a month, my friends and I have a special lunch together. We actually call ourselves the Dining Divas. It’s fun because we take turns hosting, which means picking a food theme. Last month the hostess picked salads, and everyone brought a different kind. The month before, we all made German dishes, but it really doesn’t matter what we eat -- we’re guaranteed to get together!" --cl-taurus29

29 more ideas including culture, girl talk and more >>



Get a Dose of Culture

"A friend buys season tickets from a different ballet or dance company every year. She is sure to find someone who wants to go each time, and we get to plug a surprise cultural event into our schedules!" --infotechmom

"I have a group that is always up for seeing a new show or museum exhibit, so we try to hit one together every month." --Nancy

Be the Glue

"Sunday night is a great time to call faraway friends, because people are home, it’s a nice start to the upcoming week and we get to recap the past weekend together." --kfeller

"I'm the person someone else calls to find out what's going on with a friend in our old group. After being friends for so long, I don’t want to lose our connections, so I make an effort to keep everyone up to date. Plus, I get a chance to talk to those friends who are a little less organized!" --goldies76

"I know someone who invited a group of her favorite women, none of whom knew each other, to go out to dinner. She had wanted to see each of them but knew she wouldn't have time to do so individually, so she got them all together, and even treated for dinner (which was exceptionally nice)." --eileen

Get High Tech

"Thank god for email! I’ve kept up very close friendships with my best friends from high school because of it." --ilgirl97

"I keep in touch with wonderful friends here on the Relationship Resolutions message board. We visit each other daily. They know about issues I can't really talk about, but need to write down. Then, my board friends read, relate and respond!" --ladyroberts

"When her husband became terminally ill, my best friend wrote me daily emails. When her grandchild was born, she sent electronic pictures. Now, my life has been turned upside down because my son is disabled, and I know if not for email, IM and message boards, I would be climbing the walls. We can pour our hearts out with these things, and even when there are no words, there are always emoticons!" --memere_h

On the next page: Easy ways to celebrate together >>



Write Real Letters

"When my son was in boot camp, I wrote him every single day. It completely surprised me that I could be so diligent and could think of so much to write! Now, writing real letters is my favorite way to be in touch with friends too." --cl-jilvin

"I lived in San Diego, but most of my friends were on the East Coast. Writing letters made it interesting and fun to keep in touch. The cool part is that the letters I saved tell a great story about that time in our lives." --eileen

"It's easy to keep in touch with letters because my friend and I can write from airplanes, subways and during breaks in our days. We both love it because it feels as though we're part of the rhythms of the other’s life." --jphowze

Get Physical

"I go to the gym with the same group of friends almost every day. Then, once a month, we show off our stamina and go out dancing." --ladyroberts

"Four of my buddies and I take an exercise class together. One of them drives 25 miles to work out, just to be with us. It’s a plan that’s good for our friendships -- and our health, too!" --cl-jilvin

Celebrate!

"I always mark my friend’s birthdays with a phone call, paper card or cyber card." --cl-taurus29

"I have a group of nine best girlfriends -- really. When a birthday comes up, it’s tough to find time and babysitters, plus presents get expensive. So we have ‘girls only’ birthday parties on weeknights. The birthday girl gets to choose where she wants to go, and we get to spend quality time together!" --Renee

On the next page: Great gift ideas >>



Give No-Reason Gifts

"When my best friend or I see something in a store that we know the other will like, we get it! Then when we see each other, we have our own special gift-giving ‘holiday.’" --judy77

"I’m crafty, so I create books with quotes about friendship, journals with scanned pictures of us and lists of memories. I give these to my friends to make them feel good, and they are really fun to flip through down the road." --kfeller

Include Husbands -- and Kids!

"My girlfriends and I treat each other’s kids like family. Our whole group has a monthly nonalcoholic, kid-friendly ‘happy hour.’ I love being an ‘aunt’ at these events, since I don’t have my own kids yet." --Renee

"Every Mothers Day, for the past eight years, my friend and I have our husbands take us deep sea fishing." --cmjohnnie

Get into Girl Talk

"The glue that holds my best friends together is great communication. We're so different, but we have meaningful, colorful, wonderful conversations." --carlaabigail

"I have my wedding coming up, so a lot of conversations revolve around it. But I always ask my friends how they are doing, or say something nice like how great someone’s new haircut is." --cl-sjessie

Combine Business and Pleasure

"When I did work from home, my friends kept me busy with assignments from their offices and great referrals from their business contacts." --mommy2k

"I was instrumental in getting a government job a for my friend. Now, after only one year, she has been promoted! I’ve really enjoyed watching her flourish in her personal as well as professional life." --Candice

"If I see an article that relates to my friend’s career, I always clip it or send the link to her by email. This is helpful and keeps us in touch." --mgc2000

On the next page: Vacation tips >>



Be Getaway Girls

"We’re planning a trip to England and Ireland in 2005, when the first of us turns 40. (Not me!) I've always said I want to visit, so a couple of years ago my friends said, ‘Stop just talking. Let's all plan to go!’" -- cm-leslieh

"We have an annual girls’ trip -- no husbands or boyfriends allowed. Okay, we only went away once, but the first trip was such a success that we're going to do it every year, just for a weekend. It doesn't even matter where we go, as long as we go together." --Hayley

Keep Friends in Your Heart Always

"The true test of good friendship is being able to let a year pass without being in touch and still being able to pick up where you left off." --jennie1215

"The quantity of time you get to spend with your friends isn’t important. Sometimes it’s years before I get a chance to see my pals, but when we finally get together, it feels as though we haven’t been apart at all. We have a bond that time can't take away." --Sandi

"Sadly, I am outliving many of my friends. (I'm quite the senior here at iVillage.) As each year goes by, loss makes me realize how precious life is, and therefore I try hard to spend as much quality time with friends as possible. I make sure that interactions I have with everyone -- both close and distant friends -- are positive, supportive and filled with laughter and love." --cl-geeliz

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