5 Conversations to Have on the Front Porch (with Sweet Tea or Something Spiked)

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

It doesn’t matter if it’s a grand wrap-around veranda or a tiny Juliet balcony looking out over the street — a front porch is a perfect place for conversations big and small. And those chats — whether intimate exchanges or idle gossip; talking truth or telling tall tales — with old friends, neighbors, lovers, soon-to-be-ex-lovers, what have you, are almost always improved by a cold drink.

Here are five types of conversations to have on the porch, plus their refreshing beverage counterparts.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

1. The Old Friend Catch-Up + Watermelon Mint Frosé

In this age of constant communication and voyeuristic technology, it can feel like you already know everything that’s going on in your friends’ lives — even when you haven’t actually talked in ages. Job updates, relationship statuses, ultrasound images, and more are all shared and liked daily by our digital villages.

The truth of the matter, however, is that social media is curated — even those #nofilter selfies. Beyond that, we all have at least one friend who just makes it virtually impossible to stalk them on the Internet! Their profile photo is a blurry childhood photo or a cartoon, their last post was in 2008, and they still have their job listed as a TA at your undergraduate institution.

The point is that you should really reconnect in person, and your front porch is the perfect place to do so. The combination of a warm night and a porch swing should have you reminiscing about your unrequited crushes from high school and their current-day counterparts like no time has passed at all, but if you need a little liquid courage, we recommend something cold and boozy, like this watermelon-mint frosé.

(Image credit: Samantha Bolton)

2. The Neighborhood Gossip Session + Lemonhead Wine Cooler

The Young and the Restless has nothing on the soap opera that is unfolding right now on your street! Your front porch is not only the perfect place to keep tabs on the comings and goings of your neighbors, but also the ideal spot to fill in your BFF — over wine coolers, naturally — on who hasn’t been keeping their lawn maintained, who’s moving out, and what house is getting a McMansion renovation. She, in turn, can give you the scoop on her block so you know to be sitting-on-ready when the house that has been in the same family for over 100 years finally has an estate sale — fingers crossed you get that great kitchen cabinet!

(Image credit: Roger Kamholz)

3. The Relationship-Defining Talk + Martini

From that first time you define the relationship to the moment you decide to put a ring on it, a front porch and a strong drink (go classic with a dry martini) can sooth the nerves. And since asking this person to be your new significant other or your forever one is an incredibly personal and private conversation, but also something you’ll probably want to share with the world, what better place than the location where the home meets the outside world?

On the other hand, when you have to make the tough decision that the relationship has run its course, the porch is also ideal. Situating that conversation in a place that feels private but isn’t actually inside a house can alleviate some awkward tension. If you’re on your own front porch, you can step inside and leave the heartbreaker (or heartbroken) on the other side of the door. If you’re on someone else’s front porch, it makes your exit a little bit less fraught to be able to just slip away without having someone awkwardly walk you out and lock the door behind you.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

4. The Re-Telling of Family Stories + Honey Bourbon Lemonade

Family legend is often more myth than reality, but there is no better place to tell (and re-tell) the lore of your particular tribe than the front porch — especially during that half hour between daylight and nighttime. Watching the sun go down and fireflies wake up is the perfect setting for the family stories that lean a little supernatural.

A big pitcher of alcohol-enhanced lemonade might loosen your grandmother’s lips just enough to get her to finally tell you what the dust-up between her and her sister was that caused them to not speak for 40 years.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

5. The New Friend Exchange + Sweet Tea

Making friends can be just as awkward as asking someone out on a first date — especially as we get older. Enter: the front porch. Invite someone new into this sharing space where your hospitality is front and center without forcing the intimacy of a more private environment. You can share chitchat and sweet tea and feel the friendship out without feeling, literally, hemmed in.