Hi and welcome to Ask Mellindi, a weekly (or bi-weekly) column in which I answer all your questions about gameplay, mods, builds — or whatever Sims 4 topic you find yourself needing help with!
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Hi, Mellindi! I’m so happy you’re doing these, I have a question for you regarding something that I’ve ALWAYS struggled with. My question is; How can you manage to keep other households/sims involved with your main household/sim? Whether it’s friends or family that don’t live with my main sim, I always struggle to keep them involved in activities to keep their relationships up and show them off in my gameplay. I often get too fixated on the main goal of finding a love interest and having babies for the next generation, that I leave out important friendships or other family relationships.
Hiii! I’m so glad to hear this because these have been a lot of fun to write 😊. I feel you on the struggle with keeping up relationships outside of the household though. That was my biggest struggle for the longest time. It’s like once my sim fell in love they would barely interact with anyone else and once kids came along — it was RIP to their social life, lol! I hated all my sims being hermits and barely having any relationships with anyone else including extended family, so I had to make a change and that change was — making socializing a priority.
Now, the thing about socializing is that it doesn’t have to be this big ordeal, unless of course you want it to, but it can be small things that you weave into your sims’ daily lives so that it doesn’t feel like it’s taking away from your main goals. Some of my favorite ways to do this are:
- Inviting sims over for dinner. I mean, your sims have to eat, right? So why not have them do it with a few of their favorite people? To keep this event low-key though, I usually break the guests up into groups. So maybe a couple (sim and their partner) Monday night, then the grandparents over on Wednesday night and the sibling with the spouse and kids on the weekend since they’re the larger group. Since part of our quest to prioritizing socializing is actually getting our sims out the house more, have these dinners at a restaurant once a week or pack and meal and have it at the park. There’ll be tons of sims there providing even more opportunities for your sims to meet new people. As an added benefit, if you have the More Children at Parks mod by Bienchen83 installed (scroll down to/search for ‘morechildrenatparks’) more kids, toddlers and teens will spawn at parks providing even more opportunities for the little ones to make friends. (There are three versions of this mod but I personally use version 1).
- Accepting invitations for hangouts. Okay, I don’t mean every single invitation because they can get a little out-of-hand at times but occasionally — at least once or twice a week — say yes to an invite. Now, I know this one is a little harder to commit to because it takes your sims away from home and more importantly whatever they were working on but that’s kind of the point 😉. If you’re worried about the host’s event being a little bland, I recommend making a habit of keeping things in your sim’s inventory like the fold up card table, books, tablets, toys and other things that they can use to keep themselves entertained in between conversations. Socializing over meals is one of my favorite things to do (if you haven’t noticed already, lol) so while they’re there, have your sim prepare a meal for the whole group. To keep this from becoming a problem, I recommend purchasing the ‘Always Welcome’ rewards trait or using a mod like More Welcome by Bienchen83 (scroll down to/search for ‘morewelcome’) so that the host doesn’t see attempting to feed their family as some grossly inappropriate behavior. If you rather the host prepare the meal instead (great idea if they’re a much better cook), you can use the Ask to Cook/Bake mod by LittleMsSam that allows your sim to click on the stove or refrigerator and ask any sim to prepare a meal for them.
- Starting a Club. Clubs are a great way to have sims spend time together with their favorite people. Contrary to popular belief though, club activities don’t actually have to center around hobbies or skills and really can just be about hanging out. Activities can be as simple as performing friendly or funny social interactions, watching TV, playing games, etc… You can have one club for everyone or divide it up! There could be one for the whole family, another for siblings, another for friends — the possibilities are truly endless. And the best part about the club feature is that if you go too long without starting a gathering, your sim will get bored from not knowing what’s going on with the club and club members will call to suggest you start a gathering — which is a perfect way to remind you that it’s been a while since your sim has spent time with others. To customize your sims’ clubs even more, check out the More Club and Holiday Icons mod by zerbu.
- Special Events. The calendar is your best friend when it comes to scheduling social time. Once my sims have a solid group of friends and acquaintances who they enjoy spending time with (this includes extended family as well), I usually take some time to add events to the calendar throughout the seasons. Events can be big ones like Harvestfest Dinner or the annual Winterfest Party or smaller ones like my sims’ wedding anniversary or sleepover events for the kids. Planning these things in advance, keeps me on track so that I don’t forget about everyone else and the little pop-up reminder you get the day before the event gives me enough time to set-up any necessary decorations. If you need more ideas for events to add to the calendar, check out this article which is all about family activities.
Finding ways to incorporate other sims into your household’s daily activities is the easiest way to make sure they stay-in-touch so I hope these tips get you one step closer to the balance you’re looking for.