Food & Fitness

Building healthy relationships with loved ones: monthly lunch dates

Just over a year ago, the mother dear decided to instigate monthly lunch dates with the godmother dear (as well as with me and the honorary godmother dear. The sister-traveler would obviously be there as well if she wasn’t, well, traveling all the time and living in Iraq ;)). This has become one of my most favorite things to do each month.

As I grow older, more and more I’m aware of how fast time goes by… and how I never seem to spend enough time with friends and family. That’s where regular dates come in so handy!

monthly lunch dates

The dessert at one of our monthly lunch dates last year. Yum!

The idea behind the monthly lunch dates is that we have a standing date on one Friday of each month. We rotate between the four of us on who chooses the restaurant or cafe, and at each lunch, we pick a date for our next lunch so that the next one doesn’t end up happening six months down the road.

There are a few reasons why these monthly lunch dates are awesome:

First, and perhaps most obviously, the monthly lunch dates gives us all a chance to see each other regularly and spend time catching up. Before starting these lunch dates, we’d only all get together a few times each year around the holidays—because the time just goes by so fast!

Second, it enables us to share our favorite restaurants with each other, and also to find new ones and try them out.

Third, it provides a safe space to have fun and indulge. No judgments about our intake of French fries and creme brulee!

Fourth, it’s something that it’s just so nice to look forward to each month. It breaks up the day nicely and is such a lovely way to start the weekend.

Building healthy relationships with the people you love

We can get so busy and caught up in our day-to-day lives that weeks, months, and years can pass us by without seeing people we love. It’s not intentional, of course, but somehow it just happens. That’s what’s so great about doing monthly lunch dates!

I have something similar to this with some of my girlfriends from high school—we do wine and cheese together once every couple months or so (and the few times that we’ve gone longer periods of time without doing a wine and cheese, it’s generally because we’ve had a cocktail party, or a Halloween party, or celebrated someone’s birthday, and so on).

It makes such a difference to have a regular type of event or date with friends. In university, I often went to the gym with one of my closest friends, and we would teach each other different abs exercises or strength training exercises.

It doesn’t so much matter what the type of event is, so long as it is something you all enjoy and can continue doing fairly regularly… and when you do something like a monthly lunch date, regular wine and cheeses, or weekly gym visits, you’ll never have to experience that regret of “how have three years gone by since I last spoke with XYZ?”

What do you do to build healthy relationships with the people you love? How do you ensure that time doesn’t fly by and years don’t pass without seeing your closest friends? Share in the comments section below!


  1. Contemplative Fitness

    Nice. Next week I’ll be moving back to San Diego. Though I have no family there, I spoke with my best friend yesterday. For 15 years we lived 5 minutes from one another and saw each other maybe twice per year.

    Yesterday we made an absolute pact that we will ocean kayak together at least once per month. I believe we will fulfill that!

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