A few decades ago, the dinner party was used as a tool of social mobility and flaunting ones status. While the stuffy, prim format of multiple courses, place cards, and schmoozing your boss over chicken Marbella may be antiquated and frankly unrealistic for this generation, the dinner party is having a renaissance.
In many studies of determinants of success and quality of life, millennials have ranked
friendships at the top. However, in a society that is not structured to foster this innate need for connection and belonging, it takes more than a vague promise to grab coffee at some point and neither party following up! In an increasingly solitary society, there is something special about having your loved ones over and sharing the tales of your week over a home-cooked meal and a bottle (or a few) of wine.
Let me set the scene: the candles are burning, the sauce is simmering, the group chat is popping off with ‘omw’ texts…dinner parties are a great way to punctuate your weekly routines by building anticipation. Anticipation of a positive event releases dopamine in the brain and can be beneficial to our overall wellbeing.
Hosting a dinner party is also a great way to feel like you’re giving back to your community. Rather than being a consumer, it offers you a chance to be a creator and contribute something meaningful and memorable to your circle of friends.
Remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect! The bread may be a little burnt and the sauce may be a little too salty, but the connection is the most important thing here. Whether it’s a chance to show off your cooking chops or just some cheese and crackers, keep in mind that the purpose of why you’re gathering is the chance to build bonds and memories.
It’s easy to get swept up in our own lives and not check in with those around us, but a simple gesture can go a long way in the social and emotional contentment of ourselves and our loved ones. It doesn’t have to be a white-glove eight course tasting menu, but let this be your sign to host that less shiddy dinner party!