When I graduated from college, one of my closest friends wanted to ensure continued regular gatherings with our group. She organized a bunco night to make sure that people who attended would commit to the evening. Eight years later, we still gather once a month. We have lost a few friends and gained a few friends along the way, and we no longer play bunco, although we still call it bunco night. We gather, eat, talk, laugh and sometimes cry.
About two years in, our husbands, who thankfully all get along, decided they didn't want to sit at home alone once a month, so, they started "ocnub" night. They meet where we do, go out for dinner and a beer, and sometimes see a movie, or go mini golfing or to a nickel arcade (those boys just don't have quite as much to talk about as we girls do!).
Sometimes the couples gather together, but ultimately, our same gender time is of great value to each of us. We have taken a few girls weekends, and the boys have played with the idea but haven't pulled it off yet.
Now, we have kids, we have seen miscarriages, relationship problems, job loss and gains, family drama, marriages and so much more. We love our time together because of our similarities and our differences and are happy to set aside that first Friday of every month.