issue #284: how to make friends these days 🌰

Issue #284 - September 9, 2022
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A cozy dose of comfort for your inbox. A weekly newsletter with musings on and recommendations for downtime.

the magic of late summer / Photo: Charlotte-Anne Fidler

Happy Friday !

Friendships have changed during the pandemic. Many of us are finding our friendship footing again, whether it's because of a big move we made during the pandemic, missing our regular friend meet-ups, or perhaps one (or both) of you have entered a new life transition or stage. I've certainly lost touch with some of mine, and have fumbled on opportunities to create new ones. I'm trying not to get too down on myself, though; in most of my relationships, I trust our bond and recognize that a "lost" connection is often temporary and just requires a bit of work to reignite.

Plus, we're all just trying to figure out how to juggle schedules, commutes, travel, and outings again. As Hu writes in her piece:

"Whereas the pandemic helped put a definitive end to certain friendships, others petered out in ghostly whimpers. When limited to texting and phone calls and the odd celebration on Zoom, one gradually learns which relationships are held by enduring fondness and which will crumple amid structural collapse." 
The best friendships are the ones that retain that enduring fondness, regardless of the number of hangouts, the ones that feel like we can pick things right back up even after a months-long break. "This is the hardest time to make friends in human history," says Dr. Marisa G. Franco, who's just published the book Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make—And Keep—Friends. The "organic" way to make friends is a myth or relic of the past as IRL community has crumbled in recent times. All the more reason to be kind to yourself and approach it all with good humor and intention. It's okay to feel like the dork who's excited to meet new people. :)

How are your friendships shifting or evolving? What's been working for you? What questions or conundrums do you have? We'd love to hear. Send us a note by hitting reply or emailing us at ❤️


P.S. Important programming note: We won't be in your inboxes these next two Fridays as we're taking some time off to rest and reset for the new season. You can check out our archives, in the meantime.

when you're kinda feeling fall, kinda still in summer. Photo: Alessandro Malossi

This Week's Recommendations

curated this week by Alisha
  • Two (very different) book recs 📚:
    Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown was published in 2016 but has recently popped up here and there, so I finally picked it up. While the general premise is simple—that we should focus only on what is essential in life (and work)—the way McKeown guides the reader through each "step" of getting there is what makes this book shine. Especially loved McKeown's emphasis on the importance of "play" in our lives.

    People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry has been recommended to me a *million* times and now...I'm finally reading it. Stashed into my travel tote and all.

    (Check out our bookshop for our past book recs.)
  • Speaking of friendships: Listen to this Happiness Lab episode on the secret to making friends as an adult. A key takeaway: be vulnerable!
  • The thing I've texted most of my close friends about: This suction vibe from Dame is the real deal. 😉 And our friends at Dame are giving our readers 20% off with code GNI20. Get it!  *Sponsor 
  • Packing smart for travel: After hearing people rave about it, I just bought this backpack for our upcoming trip to Europe. The luggage sleeve feature and the little compartment for shoes sold me. (Also considered their belt bag.) 
  • Planning 'fits: Have you ever considered planning your travel outfits via a deck? I just did this and, as a very visual person, it's been a game changer. (I have major packing anxiety and it often takes me hours to pack.) I created one "index" slide with all of my tops, bottoms, bags, etc., then created slides for different outfit ideas so I could see what bottoms could mix and match with various tops and shoes. Overpacking is a thing of my past.
  • Setting boundaries: A key takeaway from this podcast episode with Nedra Glover Tawwab that resonated: Boundaries must be communicated. One must not assume another person knows about your boundary.
  • Mid-sized tote bags for fall: J.Crew has some really good ones right now! I scooped up this one, and am seeing this one everywhere... 👜
  • If you're feeling crafty: One of our readers, Shawna, runs a modern punch needle supplies shop. Right now, she's raising funds for an ergonomic punch needle tool, if you'd like to support.
  • Watch: This isn't necessarily *new*, but Netflix recently recommended that I watch the last season of Junior Bake Off and wow—it was just the calming and wholesome palate cleanser I needed after watching intense shows like House of the Dragon. (How great is Liam as host?) 🧑‍🍳
  • Lol: New friend vs. old friend.

This week's Sponsor:

Hot girl summer => canceled plans fall

As sweltering summer nights give way to breezy fall evenings, there’s simply no reason to leave your couch (or your 23rd rewatch of When Harry Met Sally), especially with Dame's Aer as your companion.

If regular vibes aren’t your go-to—and you’re a particular fan of oral stimulation, for that matter—Aer might just become your most-reached-for toy. 

The Aer has made masturbation more like actual sex,” says one user, while another says it’s “the first toy to ever wow me.” That’s because Aer isn’t a vibrator—instead, it mimics the flutter of a tongue and the suction of a mouth, perfect if your preference is toward feather-light stimulation and a gentle rhythm. Aer has five patterns and intensities for an arousal kickstart, an intense peak, and everything in between. 💥 

Dame is offering readers 20% off sitewide with code GNI20, so you can try out any of their toys, supplements, or accessories. 

Miss Flo!

This Week's Reads

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