Friends and Free Time (#21)

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“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What? You, too? I thought I was the only one.'” -C.S. Lewis

Building healthy relationships (note: this is plural), is key to living a happy and fulfilling life. Not to mention a longer one. In this episode, we talk about why it's important to continue building and seeking new friendships, the ways we go about maintaining ours, and some suggestions on how to go about it yourself.  

This is a chapter from our book, so if you want a deeper dive, go check out Dead by Tomorrow on Amazon.

Show Notes:

How To Make Friends Post-School


There's some great tips in here, and we pretty much have used all of them. Definitely a great resource.

Kevin Interview Episode


We reference this episode when talking about loneliness. Kevin has some great tips on meeting new people and getting involved in a new city.

Loneliness Kills


"The findings of this study confirm that social isolation is associated with higher mortality in older men and women but indicate that this effect is independent of the emotional experience of loneliness. Reducing both social isolation and loneliness are important for quality of life and well-being, but efforts to reduce isolation would be likely to have greater benefits in terms of mortality."

D&D Can Save Your Life


Loneliness kills. D&D is great for friendships and maintaining them, and will help prolong your life by providing a setting for building better, stronger relationships.

Dallas Frisbee League


Their Mission Statement is “To serve as a regional resource, promoting growth of Ultimate and instilling the spirit of sportsmanship at all levels of play.”  'We do that primarily through running leagues tournaments and women's ultimate initiatives, promoting youth, club, social and community events, and pickup games and partnering with the professionals and national organization and community of Ultimate.'

Group Dynamix

https://groupdynamix.com/We had a blast here, and can't imagine anyone not having fun. Check them out, or go find a similar team building venue in your city and give it a run with your friends. Who doesn't love archery tag?

Resolutions Episode


Daniel is still going strong on his inentionality with time. If you're curious about a simple goal on time management, check this episode out.

Fitness Addendum

(This has little to do with the episode, but we thought it'd be fair to leave in here)

Andrew built out a really simple google doc based on what he's taking and doing. It may not work for you. Heck, it may not work for him in the end. But, it's a great starting point if you're curious about such things.

-Bare Bones Fitness DOC-

Episode Transcript

Andrew: [00:00:19] Hey guys, welcome back to dead by tomorrow. We are glad to have you here. Again, this episode, we're going to be talking about friends and free time, which is a chapter out of our book, So us talking about friends and free time, we want to dive a little bit deeper into.

Why it matters what you do with your friends and how you spend your free time and all kind of aspects of that. So without further ado, how are you doing Daniel?

Daniel: [00:00:43] Pretty good. I, I was actually just stifling a yawn and it's not because you're boring. It's just, I'm just a little tired. We're going through adventures with the home right now. Trying to deal with some mold. So we're actually not living at our house at the moment. We're bouncing back and forth.

So we were in an Airbnb for a few days and now we're actually staying down the street with Brett and Angela because they're super hospitable.

Andrew: [00:01:10] It's like a long-term slumber party.

Daniel: [00:01:12] Yeah, for sure. And I mean, we both have daughters, we kind of joked like, you know, if this goes, well, maybe whenever Eden and Riley are wanting to have sleepovers, we'll just be like, yeah, actually a mom and dad are coming too.

So we're just gonna to,

Andrew: [00:01:25] Adult and child sleep or I, I don't even know what to think about that. So, But I like it. I'm a little jealous,

man. We are digressing here. Sorry guys. Let me bring you back around and before we actually get into friends and free time directly. We had talked about resolutions on the last episode.

And one of your resolutions happened to be with using your free time more intentionally. So where are we at on that? How's that going?

Daniel: [00:01:56] It's going pretty well. So specifically I was trying to avoid playing video games so low and then walk Jake. Every day and then listen to my Bible podcasts. So, Today I did walk Jake, but it was with friends setting to listen to my podcast, but I've also played uh, a little bit of X-Box solo. But I would say for the majority of the month it's gone really well, have walked Jake a whole lot more than I normally do have spent a whole lot less time playing X-Box than I normally do.

And so. just going forward throughout the year. I may not try to be as strict as I've been in January, but I'm going to definitely think on, okay, this was a good habit. And I feel like if I'm going to, change anything up, it would just be being less strict because I now see more of the benefits to these resolutions that I made.

Andrew: [00:02:49] Very cool. I'm glad you're keeping up with it. So part of the reason that. This episode got scheduled. When it did was we just had one of our, I don't even know what to call it in a, in a public sense because we call it things. We shouldn't in a private way, but we had our big guys kind of gaming session day thing.

We normally would do this, as a group altogether, but we did it slightly remote this time, at least for a few of us. So. Do you want to dig into a little bit of that to explain how you know, we're we're front-loading here. We're we're going to explain the end result of this episode before we actually dig into the details.

Daniel: [00:03:24] Yeah. So this is our big guys gaming thing, as opposed to the little guys, one important distinction to make. this is a tradition that I guess. Really started around my bachelor party because, five years ago we were planning to do a bachelor party and we're just thinking about what would that be?

And you know, as you planned it, I just told you some of the things I want to do, which is pretty much just hang out with. My friends we love playing halo. We love doing, I love doing active things and also star Wars. What does it force awakens force awakens happened to be coming out around December.

And so what we did was we just got everybody to come in to Dallas. We all stayed at my house. We went to the midnight release of star Wars. We all dressed up. That's where the infamous slave Leah Kurt experience happened. I think you actually have that on your socks now.

Andrew: [00:04:21] Well, I have his face though. The rest of the body is unfortunately covered by his face,

Daniel: [00:04:27] Yeah. You know,

The real secret behind the picture. so we went to group dynamics. They have this warehouse where they have like obstacle courses. They have Dodge ball, they have bow and arrow tag boxing, like all this crazy stuff. So we went and just played for the morning. And then that evening we did a good old fashioned halo system link and it was just a blast of a weekend.

And it was also. Fairly simple to do it. It wasn't crazy expensive. It was just fun to have all of our friends in one place together and to kind of have an excuse around it. And so that was my bachelor party. And then the next year there was another star Wars coming out and we just kind of felt like. why don't we continue this tradition where we all come to Dallas, it's kind of central to where everybody lives. We can play some halo, we can watch some star Wars. And that became a thing that we did pretty much annually. And so this year we didn't have star Wars and gathering and big groups is kind of frowned upon.

And so instead we just hopped on some Xbox, we played a little destiny and. Made a day of it. And that's something that I've just found really valuable. Just taking this time to say here's an event, we're all looking forward to together. We plan on it where we put the day aside and yeah, it might just be playing video games, but it's just fun to look forward to, to have that dedicated time with friends. And I think it's, by being intentional about that, it's really kept those relationships growing and thriving.

Andrew: [00:06:01] we, we jumped into this and why I'm having Daniel. Talked about what we just finished was this is a big, it's not a lot of effort, but it is a lot of intentional effort. I guess you could say where we are choosing, Hey, we need to set this date. We need to put aside this time. You know, There's a lot of moving parts where it's not hard necessarily, which as we know, we don't really like the word hard.

So it's challenging to coordinate six to eight guys to meet up and block off their entire day. But it's really rewarding, especially as dudes who may not be able to hang out with each other as much in a personal setting. This really helps with loneliness. That's something we talked about with Kevin's episode, and that's why this is such a big topic for us is having friends and being sure to put aside time, you know, you have free time.

We all have free time and putting some of that free time aside to. Go hang with your friends and whatever form it is. It's really important. And it really has brought value to Daniel and eyes and all of our friends kind of live. So it's build stronger relationships. It helps us keep each other accountable.

There's a lot of different aspects that come into this that are really important. So I'm going to steal one of Daniel's favorite things. Cause he's usually our study guy, but we did this kind of a little get better program.

And one of the aspects most recently was talking about loneliness, which as you probably know, on Kevin's episode, we talked about, and it is one of the leading causes for male death. So being lonely literally leads to a premature death and a lot of guys, and I think this also applies to girls. The study I happened to find just was specifically oriented towards guys, but we really suffer from this kind of thing.

So being able to be intentional with your free time and work with your friends is really important for you. And this is just one of the examples that Daniel and I have for this. We play video games on Monday nights a lot. There's a lot of different stuff. So I'm going to throw a question your way, Daniel.

What has been your most. I don't know, like your best option on making friends.

Daniel: [00:07:56] I would say where I've made the most new connections where I've maybe went in didn't necessarily know anybody or maybe knew one person has probably been ultimate Frisbee. there's a really good. League association in Dallas. And so I played ultimate Frisbee leagues with the city for a little while, met a lot of people through that.

And then through a coworker actually found a pickup group that watermark church is loosely in charge of, I would say and continue to do that. So it really made a lot of friendships through the sport. So I mentioned. Brett. And Angela earlier actually met them in just a ultimate Frisbee league.

We were on the same team and we're like, Hey we, we both liked Frisbee and started talking a little bit more. And we're like, Oh yeah, we both like the Mavs. And we live in roughly the same area. And so it kind of hit it off there. And then Brett invited me to come play an alumni tournament with him and Arlington.

And so. Uh, hopped in a car and got to spend about 45 minutes talking and found out like, Oh yeah, you're a pastor's kid as well. And you're the oldest brother of three siblings got two sisters and it was just, it was kind of eerie how many similarities there are. And so all of that just started from.

Totally randomly playing Frisbee. And there've been a lot of things like that, where there's this initial connection of we're doing something together. And then we get to talk a little bit and find some of those similarities. And I think that's something we've talked about before with guys, especially, and it's not limited to guys, but.

It tends to be more true where if you've got an activity that you're doing together, it becomes easier to form some of that relationship and some of that bond. And then you can talk and learn a little bit more about each other from there and see if there's any sort of deeper connection.

Andrew: [00:09:37] Yeah. It's, It's hard to just jump in with people and be like, Hey, here's my life story. And here's all my flaws. And. Here's my annoying ticks and uh, let's be best friends forever. And people are like, no I'm, I'm good weirdo. you know, Doing something like a league and that's something we've talked about before is leagues are a really good way.

You're talking maybe a hundred, $200 for a season. If you're in an expensive league, I think I played soccer league in Amarillo for like 40 bucks for a season. You have all these different options. They're pretty cheap. And you make friends like Brett, who's now one of my friends like, I'm not going to say like, Going to go spend the night at his house necessarily, but Daniel's ability to have met somebody at his Frisbee league affected my life all the way across Texas, because now I'm friends with Brett and I get inspiration from him and I had another happy face and you know, he's going to come onto the podcast probably one of these days.

And there's all these cool connections that come from it. So leagues are a great option. I know one of the things that. I did was D and D. And that was actually with a bunch of people in Amarillo that knew Daniel had his family and some of their friends and that door opened into bringing me a whole lot of new connections.

You know, I met people from a coffee shop that were baristas and the owner of a coffee shop and came strong friends with them. And then just going down that rabbit hole brought all these new people and. There's just so many different options of ways to meet people. you know, Whenever it's hard because after school it's really hard to make friends.


Daniel: [00:11:00] Would you say that sports leagues have been the best way for you to make friends or w what kind of tops the list for you?

Andrew: [00:11:07] It's a toss up for me, honestly, for meeting new people, the sports leagues are really good, but I also really liked the D and D Avenue because on the sports kind of front, at least when I was playing soccer, it was, you could go into playing a little too much and you didn't have to interact with your team.

Short of communication about what you're doing on the field. And that might've been a soccer problem. There's also my own old man soul where we were playing it. You know, The games would start at seven o'clock or eight o'clock and then they wouldn't finish till nine 30, 10. I was like, guys, I gotta go, I gotta get to bed.

Cause I'm getting up at six. Bye. And so I was missing out on some of the social aspects that would be involved in a league where you're hanging out beforehand or after hand. Because that's really how that synergizes as well. So there's still plenty of people. I met And they came from these sports leagues, but that said, I really liked the D and D option better because it was a lot less investment in terms of. Like physicality it was more involved and more intimate where I was getting to know people better on a personal level versus like, Oh, this guy's really good at running, or he can kick really well.

It was, Hey, I can see how this person works. We're having conversations while we're playing. We're spending roughly two hours together and you really get a more intimate experience and get to fast forward on the. Small talk, I guess you can say

Daniel: [00:12:18] Fair enough.

I'm curious when it comes to friends, I feel like. There are some people that really like to have friends meet friends and all of that. And then there are other people that kind of like sequester their lives where it's like, okay, these are my D and D friends. And these are my church friends.

And these are my Frisbee friends. And we don't want these friend groups to meet. Where do you fall? As far as that goes,

Andrew: [00:12:50] It drives me nuts when nobody wants like that compartmentalization kills me. I think that is. And it's artificial. You're throwing up walls for no reason. And to the people who do this, I'm sorry that you might feel attacked by this. But I think a lot of people do that are not being authentic with themselves and they throw up those walls between different social groups and settings, because.

They are this person over at church, but they're this person on the other hand, over on halo night. And then there's this completely other person at, D and D or with their wife or whatever it is. I think the compartmentalization is super unnecessary and it usually is an indicator that somebody is being an authentic.

I said I'm biased because I just dislike it. So take it with a grain of salt, but that is where my feelings lie. What about you? I think you're on the same boat.

Daniel: [00:13:40] Well, I'm definitely not a compartmentalizer. I've very much love having different friends, meet each other and will purposefully try to make that happen as much as possible. Cause I just feel like it's, I dunno, I like these different people and I feel like they might be interested to know each other and maybe they get along and maybe they don't, but at least you meet some different people.

But for me I, I do feel like there's an aspect of. Maybe, I don't know, being different people in different settings and having a fear of maybe being judged by groups that know a little bit more about you. So I think that's true. I think it also is stressful trying to have two groups, sort of meet each other where you're the bridge person, you're the connection.

And if it's awkward, it's on you. Or if people don't get along, it's on you. And so I think that's another thing that may. Keep people from doing that because if you're hanging out with your friends you're typically doing it because you want to have fun and enjoy each other's company.

And so maybe it just feels a little bit stressful or awkward to bring multiple groups together and just not being sure about, I don't know, not being totally confident that those friends will interact well. But I dunno for me I think it's still worth the awkwardness and worth some of that stress because, I think it's really cool to see friends, become friends with friends and, to introduce people to different backgrounds and perspectives and all of that.

I think it's valuable.

Andrew: [00:15:03] Yeah, absolutely. There's a worry in all of us that we're not going to be worthwhile. And this might be part of the loneliness. I'm just slapping together jigsaw pieces that might not go together. But I think there's a part of us that whenever we're introducing our friends to other friends, we're like, Oh no, what if they become friends?

And they stop pointing out with me and. That fear that you're going to get left behind. If you, if you've got this really cool person over here and this really cool person over here, and, you know, it could be, you have this really cool girl, you know, and you have this really cool guy, you know, and I think some people have this fear where like, Oh, if I, if I introduce them and they hit it off really well, and they start dating whatever, what, they're going to stop hanging out with me and they're going to become each other's priority and I'm going to be second rate.

And I think there's a lot of. Unfounded fear that is involved with people doing that compartmentalization. So that could be it too, which, nobody wants to be left out, but that is, they're probably not, not great friends. If they're leaving you out, if that's the case, like, I wouldn't worry about that.

If whoever you are, don't worry about it.

Daniel: [00:16:01] Yeah, for sure. And if you're worried about that and thinking about that probably means you're not being a truly genuine, authentic friend either. So that's just a fact of life is that there are different seasons of time. friendships change based on, yeah, people getting married, people, having kids, people moving there, been a lot of.

People throughout life, where at that season and time they may have been some of my closest friends and then things happen where I don't know, they move and I'll still be friends with them. But the, priority changes are how frequently we interact change and that's okay. That's fine.

That's part of life is that things change and grow, but. Knowing that means that if you see something good that could take place, you should promote that. Even if there's a risk that maybe, you know, your two friends do hit it off, get married, move to Hawaii and you never see them again. You know, at least they'll always think back to man, like the Andrew Guy that Daniel Guy was great.

Like we never would have met each other if it wasn't for them, I'd much rather have that be the case.

Andrew: [00:17:03] Yeah, I'm cool with that. All that goes back to kind of what we talked about with free time, these aspects of friendship, you can grow with them. And that's, that's what this is really all about is being intentional and growing. Your relationships with other people during your free time.

Like, you know, We all work, we all have responsibilities. We have to follow. There's either kids running around there's your wife or your husband that you have to pour into and work with and all the different things that are non-negotiable in your life. And then there's that time, that free time where we get to choose what we do.

And a lot of people will say, Hey, this is I'm tired. And. I would rather just watch some Netflix by myself or go to the coffee shop and read a book. And there's nothing wrong with those things. Like getting that personal recharge time, getting alone time is great. But when it becomes your defacto state where you're like, ah, I haven't talked to my best friend or my three other great friends.

In a couple months, because I've just been too lazy and watching Netflix and up to shenanigans, that's where this is really important. You need to be intentionally setting aside time where you're like, all right, cool. Here's my non-negotiable time. Here's this hour on Sundays where, you know, I get coffee with a guy, friend of mine.

Two of our mutual friends, Jake and Colton. Sorry if I'm calling you guys out on this, I thought this was really cool. I had lunch with Jake just the other day. And he's really good about this intentionality and he and Colton meet up almost every Thursday and just chat and make sure they're good to go.

And I had no idea this was going on and I see both of them all the time. And I was like, that is so cool. Like being able to do something that, where it's like, Hey, Thursday night, let's hang out, chat. Just talk, make sure everybody's good to go. Like, That is awesome. Monday nights we have our game night and like, it can be inconvenient to set aside two hours every single week for a group of guys.

Right. It's D and D that's. Why D and D groups fail is like one dude's like, Oh, I can't make it tonight. And then the next week another girl's like, I can't make it. And. All of that kind of stuff is really shouldn't happen as often as it does, because if you're intentional with your free time, you can set aside your responsibilities and say, this is when I take care of business.

And this is a sacred time that I am working on my relationships outside of immediate need. And that's so important.

I'm going to lead the witness here a little bit because there's, there's somewhere. I want to go with this and I'll see if you get there or not. But we talked about kind of our yearly tradition where we do the star Wars video game thing, but there's also been a lot of other things we've done as well.

Do you have a favorite memory with friends? You know, Something non spousal related that pops to mind? I'm going to see if I can jump off from it.

Daniel: [00:19:40] All right. Sounds good. There are a ton of good memories with friends. It's funny, like all the little things that you remember. And I was actually tossing the Frisbee with Sam earlier this year, and we were just talking about all this. Like you remember this time in college, remember this time in high school.

And so I think there are a lot of little things like that, but what has been. Really cool with friends I've been very intentional and Hilary, and I've been very intentional about not just, you know, Hey, we're going to go catch a movie together. Or, we're going to hop on a play Xbox together, but really carving out bigger time, commitment, money, commitment, activities, and encounters with friends.

And so that's looked like. Doing trips, like going to different cities um, you and I going, you know, not just doing Spartan races, but actually traveling somewhere to do a Spartan race. And I think those have been some of my favorite memories. And so I know. One of the first couples trips we did Hillary and I went to Gulf shores with Michael and Amy.

And originally that was supposed to be a trip where several other friends came and, a lot of people ended up bailing. Actually, everybody else ended up bailing on that trip. And so it was just the four of us. And it ended up being so fun. It was just a fun road trip. It was fun. Stay in, hanging out at the beach, having that smaller group.

I think we would have had fun with the bigger group, but that was just a really special time for us and really just kind of cemented a lot of our friendship so that ultimately we started doing even more trips together. So we did Gulf shores and then we went to Boston. We went to Hawaii, we went and visited in California.

you know, that that first Gulf shores trip was before any of us had gotten married yet. And I think just seeing how much fun we had together made us feel, not weird about the fact that we moved into the same apartment complex, like right next to each other. And, yeah, so that was a great experience.

And then I think. Another really fun. One that stands out was, um, getting to go to Las Vegas with a whole big group of people that was, lots of guys and girls. We just got a huge Airbnb in Vegas. Did a lot of hiking and gambling and saw shows. And again, it's just something that. I think is really special to have a group of people that likes each other enough to put up some money, to really spend a lot of time together to get close.

Um, Yeah. that's been pretty life-changing I would say.

Andrew: [00:22:18] This is why we have a podcast together. Cause that's the direction I was hoping you were going to go. So that's what I wanted to point out was you can have some really incredible experiences that. Shift from what we were talking about. Something not being too challenging to plan to these are legitimately difficult and challenging experiences to plan, but I highly recommend investing time and money like this on something yearly.

you know, and it's not just me. There was a book I was reading that talked about the guy who created Tom's. That is one of his, what he says was like his saving grace was his. Big group of friends. Once a year, twice a year, they plan this really big trip. They go and spend a week hiking in the woods or camping on the beach or, you know, Vegas, whatever it is, they're doing these big trips and doing something like that, I would almost say is more important than doing just the, take your significant other on a vacation and go hang out or whatever.

Like If you had to choose between. Planning a really big trip with a big group of people or multiple friends, or even just a single couples. Like the Hawaii trip I crashed of y'alls, but doing something like that, where you are going to have to coordinate a little bit better, but in the end, you're going to have your friends with you on a vacation like that.

And that's what it really is. This is almost taking the spot of what a normal first one consider vacation. Bringing your group, your social circle with you on these kinds of trips. It's coordination is very difficult. We're not going to pretend here. It is very difficult and it's usually fairly costly and it might save money overall for everybody, but in terms of every person, like not, everybody's going to be in the same boat.

So it's going to be difficult and kind of expensive compared to playing video games. But it's 100% worth doing something like this once a year, because the relationships that grow out of that are so much stronger, you meet new people on the trips and you get better acquainted with some friends that you might not already be close with.

And it's just, I can't even talk long enough to go on about the benefits of this. So doing that kind of thing has been one of my favorite things that we do. Post-college like, I miss a lot of things about college, but this recaptures a lot of the social aspects that I miss about that learning environment that I think a lot of people don't get post-college or post-school

Daniel: [00:24:27] Yeah. And it's one of those things it's not going to be, Hey, I just met you. Do you want to travel across the country together and sleep in a shared space and all that? There are some people that, where that works out. And you can form some of those relationships really quickly, but, it is something that's going to take intentional effort.

It's going to take, actually hanging out with somebody regularly on a weekly basis, daily basis, whatever, getting into a routine where, you know them, you feel comfortable with them and you can dive off into to do something like that. It's, it is investing in a relationship and I wouldn't say that, That's something most people are comfortable with after just playing a sports like together and maybe grabbing a beer afterwards a time or two.

And so it will take effort and time and money to plan the trips, but also to get those relationships to the point where you know, that that is something that's going to be beneficial, but it's absolutely worth doing. There's no reason not to pursue it.

Andrew: [00:25:21] absolutely. This is like the Gardner method. It's intentionality time effort, but worth it in the end. . So, I totally agree with that, Daniel. And before we go down, any more rabbit holes, we're going to close it off here. If you want to learn more about this, check out the show notes, come check out the website, check out the book.

We have a lot more information, other places. So thank you for coming on to Debbie tomorrow and listening again with us. We hope you guys enjoyed it. We have a lot of guests lined up for this year, so we're excited to bring a whole different level of content than we did this last year.

If you have anybody else you think would be good for us, have them give us a shout. Otherwise, thank you. And we look forward to connecting with you soon.