6 Reasons You Should Schedule a Lunch Date This Week
Before the COVID outbreak halted get-togethers and meals out, it was my goal to schedule a lunch or coffee date with two of my acquaintances (which I define as people whom I am friendly with but don’t really know on a personal level) every week. As restaurants and cafes have started to find ways to keep clientele safe while dining in, I have started to think about incorporating this habit back into my weekly routine.
After spending the summer of 2019 working as a communications intern at a non-profit which taught me to “slow down and listen,” I craved deeper conversations as I transitioned back to typical life at school. I began asking people on coffee dates, and the more I went on, the more benefits I saw, not only for me, but also for my guest.
This is one of the easiest, yet most impactful habits I have, and I can’t wait to bring it back into my life. And you should too!
- Taking the time to sit down for a meal, allows both you and your guest to slow down. Too many of our breakfasts are eaten in the car, and too many of our lunches are eaten in front of our computers. Our society pushes us to work continuously, but people weren’t made for that. Inviting a friend to lunch or coffee is a great reason to take a pause in the middle of the day.
- People are awesome, and real conversations help you find out why. When you meet someone once, and the only conversations you have from that point on are “How are you?”s in passing, you will never have the opportunity to learn all of the cool things they have going on. Everyone has secret talents, a passion project, or an interesting story from their childhood, but you probably won’t know about them until you sit down and ask.
- Having real conversations helps build real connections. Loneliness is on the rise. Many people report that they have many friends, yet feel alone. Perhaps the depth of friendships is a contributing factor here. You may not have a new best friend after one time grabbing lunch together, but over time, having intentional conversations will certainly strengthen your friendship.
- People don’t always have opportunities to talk about themselves, and giving the space to do so allows them to feel heard. Everyone likes to talk about themselves, especially when somebody is really listening. If you can use your lunch date to make someone feel like you really care about them, I bet both of you will feel better for the rest of the day.
- Chatting with an acquaintance builds social skills. This is especially important for my Gen Z gang, whose people skills have likely been weakened by technology. Try to put your phone away and talk to someone over lunch. If you do this once week, you will be on your way to becoming a great conversationalist.
- Get out of your comfort zone. Asking someone you may not know very well to get a meal together can be intimidating. Holding a conversation with someone you may not know very well for an hour can be even scarier. I believe that there is value in regularly trying things that are a little scary. Our fear is often misplaced, and learning to fight it can be a good thing.
So what are you waiting for? Get out your calendar and find a time for lunch this week.