A Key Ingredient to Meaningful Social Interaction with Your Neighbors

When was the last time you scheduled a dinner out with friends, an afternoon walk, or a zoom call days or weeks in advance only to find that when the appointment came, you were just not in the mood? Or the reverse—have you declined an invitation and then had your schedule open up and wished you had some company? 

Social interaction was not meant to be so scheduled, prescribed and budgeted. Social interaction should happen spontaneously more often than not. We enjoy the most spontaneity with those people to whom we are closest. I never schedule a time to talk to my mom on the phone, I just call her, and if she doesn’t answer or she’s busy, I might call my sister or think of something else to do. My husband and I don’t schedule evenings ahead of time deciding which nights we’ll read after the kids go to bed and which nights we’ll sit and talk about our days or work on a project together. We decide that evening. Sure, we schedule a date night once a month, or more realistically once a year, but our casual regular interactions are unplanned.

And so it could be with more of our relationships if only we lived a bit differently. If your best friend lives down the street, you can pop by her house on your way out for a walk or drop something off and stay to chat for a while. We can see when a neighbor is outside working in their garden and go say hi. If the neighbors are out barbecuing it’s easy to holler an invitation over the fence. In cohousing communities across the country, neighbors gather for meals, bike rides, music, conversation and games, and usually without an appointment. 

Have you always wanted to live next to your best friends and be able to live more spontaneously with them? Now is your chance—call them up and tell them about Bozeman Cohousing!