1. Don’t expect it.
The major key to having a great night out is to not expect it. Expectation is the #1 killer of fun. How many times have you hyped up something with your friends, being like “This party is going to be INSANE, OMG I CAN’T WAIT…” only to find yourself home at midnight, watching Netflix? Everybody knows that the most memorable nights happen by pure luck and surprise. Things start off unremarkable, then all of a sudden there’s a shift and it becomes something quite different. Everyone can feel the change. It goes through them like a jolt of electricity. A quiet knowingness sweeps over your group of friends that says, “Oh, okay. This is going to be the kind of night we’ll reference at brunch five years from now. This is a gift we’ll never stop unwrapping.” You don’t ever mention The Best Night Ever as it’s happening because you’re scared you’ll jinx it but everybody is acutely aware of what’s happening and loving it.
2. Be on top of your game.
The Best Night Ever is like cooking a soufflé. The slightest bit of disruption could cause it to crumble. A friend of yours has too many cocktails and you get stuck taking care of them for the rest of the night: destroyed. Your crush ignores you: destroyed. You eat something heavy before going out and have a stomach ache for the rest of the night: see you later! The fact that flawless nights out with your friends can still happen — even when there’s a million ways for it to go wrong — is a miracle. On The Best Night Ever, the stars align. It’s a Choose Your Own Adventure book and you’ve picked all the right paths. No one has to be taken care of. You’re perfectly synched to each other’s rhythms.
3. Don’t drive.
No one should have to drive on The Best Night Ever. Driving creates stress, wastes time, and puts a cap on the amount of fun you can have. You should be escorted to your destination. A few months ago, I shared a car service with some friends back to Manhattan. The night had a special buzzing quality that made us all feel more open with each other, and when “Together Again” by Janet Jackson came on the radio, we squealed with delight and asked our driver to turn it up. He did and then we all started singing the lyrics and moving around in our seats. The driver even joined in on the fun! It was a very nice moment.
4. Feel confident.
On The Best Night Ever, this is easy to achieve, because you’re already having such a great time. Still, go into the evening with a strong “IDGAF” attitude. Be the kind of person you’ve always envied, the person that enters a bar or a party and is able to immediately tune into everybody’s desires. It’s not impossible. Confidence is mostly just a trick. Only when people start believing the trick does it actually become real.
5. Find a one night stand friendship.
Find a brief emotional connection. It’s like a phone plugging into a charger: everybody just needs to get some juice. It doesn’t have to be with a potential love interest either. It can be a friendship one-night-stand. Those are seriously the best. You meet someone and immediately realize that they’re on your level, so you spend the night as a team, feeding off each other’s energy. And when it’s over, you’re just like, “Bye!” No need to exchange numbers and feel the pressure to meet up again. You both know what this was and are cool with it.
6. Don’t keep track of the time.
Time reminds you of a life that’s outside the one you’re currently experiencing. It reminds you of the lame night you went home at 12:30 AM because you had to be up in seven hours. It reminds you of watching the sun peek through the window and seeing “5:21 AM” on the clock and hating yourself for not going home three hours ago. That’s another important distinction to make: a lot of nights that seem like they’re The Best Night Ever because they were wild and crazy actually leave you feeling empty and miserable the next day. You wake up and find a shame spiral ready to greet you at the end of the bed. They are The Worst Night Ever dressed in chic clothing. A truly great night should have you feeling no regrets, no darkness. Things end when they feel right, not a second earlier or later. You wake up grinning ear-to-ear rather than embarrassed and hungover. You don’t wish you did anything differently because the night was perfect.
7. Don’t sleep alone.
Wake up surrounded by friends so you can all get something to eat and talk about the amazing things that just happened. Their presence keeps you awake. It keeps the buzz from last night still going strong, which is what it’s all about. You don’t want this experience to ever leave you and when it finally does, you will go out with your friends and look for it again. On the nights that leave you feeling depleted, you will feed off this memory and find the motivation to do it all over again. You will always go out again, chasing the high of The Best Night Ever, because you never know when it’ll strike.