Formal as in activities at or related to the temple, watt, monks. Other than polite chatting at the temple I have no experience with other Buddhist outside of cyberspace.
The suttas seem to encourage the fostering of lay relationships, I had hoped to draw from others experiences to give me some perspective on the subject.
I am of nature to decay, I have not gone beyond decay.
I am of the nature to be diseased, I have not gone beyond disease.
I am of the nature to die, I have not done beyond death.
All that is mine, dear and delightful, will change and vanish.
I am the owner of my kamma, heir to my kamma, born of my kamma, related to
my kamma, abide supported by my kamma. Whatever kamma I shall do,
whether good or evil, of that I shall be the heir.
Thus we should frequently recollect.
- Upajjhatthana Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya v.57