How to Build Friendships with Other Families

By September 14, 2016 February 22nd, 2018 Communication, In-laws & Family, Time

With the crazy fast pace of the world these days, having a family of your own–plus keeping up with all life’s demands–can feel very isolating. It takes all you’ve got just to get your family through the day…so you’re not sure how to even begin building intentional friendships with other families.

The good news is, it’s possible! You can build relationships with other families, and have fun doing it. Today, we’re sharing 3 practices you can put into action right away to start getting connected with other families.

  1. Get Connected

Friendships are built on having things in common–whether it’s a sense of humor, shared experiences, or similar life circumstances. Seek opportunities to connect with other couples who have similar interests and values as you have, and with whom you have a strong rapport.

Interest groups, classes, Sunday school, and small groups are all good places to start as you seek other families to befriend. Be patient in the process of getting to know them, and don’t rush into any relationships; instead, take it slow and get to know the people you’re connecting with. Having patience and peace in the process will help you as you explore which friendships are going to be healthy connections for you and your family to cultivate.

  1. Show Openness

Be open to getting to know other families, and project that sense of openness to the new people you meet. If you appear closed off or uninterested, you won’t seem as approachable to others.

Even if you’re nervous, don’t wait to be approached. Find someone you’d like to introduce yourself to, and jump right in. Be friendly, receptive, and show your interest in getting to know them.

It can be easy, once you’ve made a few close friends, to stop making an effort to bring other families into your circle. Be aware of this, and commit to continuing to meet new families and broadening your circle over time.

  1. Practice Hospitality

Work together with your spouse to invite other families into your home, one at a time. Take turns having each of them over at intervals, and spend time getting to know them (and letting your children get to know one another). Do whatever you can to help them feel welcome and comfortable in your home.

Get out your calendar and work together to chart out times to invite people over you’d like to get to know. Once you’ve decided on dates for the month, determine to include someone around your table on each date, no matter what.

If you put these 3 principles into practice, you’ll be able to establish some meaningful, lasting friendships that will be mutually rewarding, both for your family and the other families you get to know. Give it time, and before long, you will have a community of friends who’ll be there through thick and thin.

How did you and your spouse establish friendships with other couples or families? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

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7 Comments

  • Betty and Jack Guenthard says:

    I have a question on how to help a couple who are divorced but want to reunite with each other. We have been mentoring them but they have a load of issues that can’t be resolved. If they decide to split again how do we help them?
    How do we end the mentoring process?
    Thank you.

  • Carol Ann Buchanan says:

    We also are mentors. We like to find appropriate material to work through with couples. Your knowing them and their issues would be a great guide. Did they take any preparation when they first married? If not, you would not go wrong by going through Saving Your Marriage before It Starts material with them. The topics covered are timeless! Just an idea.

    We also know when we are over our heads and never hesitate to refer a couple to a respected professional counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist as per their needs.

  • Lucy says:

    Can you send out a similar topic as getting to know families for friends but for mature couples over 55 when you are either new to town or just kids are grown people moved away or passed away and you have to almost start from scratch. Suggestions on approaching people who act like they are already set with their life-how do you find the ones with an open door?

  • Spencer says:

    Getting to know someone requires some degree of vulnerability especially when interacting with people in a new environment for the first time.

    One should portray a welcoming spirit with some reservation when little is known about the other person.

    Everyone is not open to a lengthy conversation during an introduction. Brief “surface talk” about a topic of interest is a great start. Feel free to express the desire to meet and talk again later.

    There’s no magical trick that say, all will be fruitful, just trust your gut and start a conversation. Some people have lost the skill of enjoying basic face-to-face conversation… this requires you to practice the art of talking.

  • Jane says:

    Hi….thanks for your words about making new friendships with other families…its been a long time for my husband and I to start trying to make friends with another couple/family..too long in fact but you cant change the past only the future so we have had a first meeting with another family through the needs of our youngest child who has suffered the loss of 2 good friendships and was getting too isolated ..in truth my husband and I too from back when we were missionaries in south America where we gelled with 3 couples..2 in particular so have been suffering those loses also….the other family made us feel very welcome and were interested in us which was so lovely after so long..I want to be the same in our home soon and hopefully the friendships will grow ..i realise now it can take awhile for esp our daughter to want to trust others and want to make a new friendship ….I will read your words again..many thanks

  • Markin W says:

    Great article, especially #2 and the practicality of #3

    I live in a co-housing community because it help strengthen daily interaction and common interests between neighbors. However, #2 was important to me because we also need to look outside our immediate neighbors and be welcoming to “outsiders”

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