One of my goals for 2019 was to host a dinner at my house each month. I had done a lot of travel in the past few years but felt disconnected locally. The idea behind hosting dinners was to strengthen local relationships, plus to help connect other sets of friends. By bringing people together, I wanted to have a bigger part in my community.
Over the course of the year, I hosted seven events at my house. While this is below the target of twelve, I’m still happy with the result. The dinners worked as intended, so I’d like to continue with the project.
While I made an effort each month, sometimes it didn’t pan out. Dinners are actually a lot harder to coordinate than I anticipated! Here are some learnings from the first iteration:
- People are just as busy as me. On a few occasions, I didn’t plan far enough out and everyone I invited had plans. It’s sad that it can’t be a spur of the moment thing, but maybe that’s part of being an adult. Three weeks’ notice seems to be the right amount of time.
- It’s too difficult to try and curate the perfect guest list. While I’d love to connect some friends together, it made things way too complicated. In the future, I will pick dates and let people sign up for when they can make it. The guest list will be a little more random, but that’s ok.
- Cooking for everyone is unnecessary. It adds a lot of stress and takes away from what matters. Next year, I plan to have some of the meals be takeout. It should be easy to set the right expectations with everyone.
- For my own sake, I only hosted on weekends. I’d like to experiment with a weeknight dinner.
- Feeling like I have a small home, I kept most dinners to around 6 people. The truth is, more people can fit - and I used that as an excuse to not broaden my invite list. Dinners are a great way to deepen connections, so next year I want to invite more acquaintances.