Being in a long distance friendship can be touch. Use these tips to keep your LDF strong!
Between college, working on a cruise ship, blogging and growing up as a military brat, my life has always been pretty transient. I thought it was normal for people to move around their entire lives until I lived in a town where everyone knew each other since kindergarten. Most of my closest friendships have blossomed with distance because that’s how I understood friendships to be. You meet someone, become besties and then one of you moves away. Back in the day, I used to keep up with my friends with phone calls and written letters. It was a whole new ballgame when the internet became accessible to me. I could email my friends, and then later, I could message them on AIM. Nowadays, it’s all about texting and social media, and honestly, I think it is a huge factor in keeping up with modern long distance friendships. Social media has allowed me to reconnect with friends that I met while I was growing up and moving around due to my dad being in the Air Force. I was even able to attend the wedding of my best friend from fifth grade thanks to her finding me on Facebook while we were both in college.
Like being in a long distance relationship, long distance friendships can be hard, and they are not for the feint of heart. It’s easy to be a good friend to someone when you can physically be there for them, but what about when something happens and they’re a thousand miles away? People who can withstand a long distance friendship will be forever friends. There are some people who are meant to come into and out of your life for a reason or two, but the ones you put effort into having stick around and vice versa are the ones that are worth keeping.
So how can you make sure a friend becomes a forever friend even in a long distance situation?
SEND EACH OTHER WARM FUZZIES
When I was younger, I sent letters to my friends because that was the only way we could keep up with each other (seriously, how did we survive without the internet?). Now, getting something that isn’t a bill or a credit card application in the mail is such a treat. Send your long distance bestie cards for every occasion and even for no reason at all. Send care packages before they have a big interview or as a congratulations when something awesome happens. Sending things in the mail will never go out of style, and it’s an easy way to let your friend know you’re thinking about them. You can use a website like Postable to keep up with addresses and important dates.
SET UP PHONE DATES
Scheduling a set time to talk and catch each other up on the happenings of your lives ensures that you stay present in each other’s lives. Texting is great for convenience purposes, but being able to talk on the phone or video chat allows you to cover more topics and really feel like you’re connecting more than you would if you were communicating purely through written word or via social media.
SCHEDULE TIME TO SEE EACH OTHER
Having a long distance friendship makes for the perfect excuse to plan a vacation. Either plan for one of you to go see the other or go explore a new place together. Either way, you have something to look forward to and something to plan until the time comes for you to reunite. As soon as Taylor Swift announces her dates for her concert tours, my two best friends from college and I immediately start coordinating to see when and where we’ll get together to see her. For her 1989 tour, we met up in Chicago. For her reputation tour, we plan to meet up in Houston at the end of the year. Planning events like this together always gives us something to look forward to, and it’s an experience that we all get to share together.
DO THINGS TOGETHER, APART
Have you both been dying to see the same movie? Go see it at the same time even though you won’t be physically seeing it together. Are you both interested in reading the same book? Each buy yourselves a copy then read it and compare notes as you get through it together. Does a shared favorite artist have a new album coming out? Buy it and listen to it then share your reactions later. Is there a new show you’ve both been wanting to watch? Keep up with it together. Even though you physically can’t do some things together, you can still share some of the same experiences.
DO YOUR BEST TO KEEP UP WITH THEIR LIFE
Thank goodness for social media, y’all. It’s such an easy way to keep up with people, but at the same time, you can’t rely on it to be the only way you know about what’s happening in someone’s life. If your friend tells you they have a big presentation coming up at work, it’ll brighten their day if you wish them good luck the morning of. Keeping up with even the most mundane things going on in your friend’s life will mean more than you think.
Even if it’s just a picture of the mimosa you just had for brunch or a selfie after an extra intense work-out class, send random pictures to your friend and ask them to do the same. It will make y’all feel like you’re experiencing these things together.
BE PATIENT ON DAYS THEY CAN’T TALK
When you’re living in the same place, it’s easy to run into each other accidentally or fit them in while doing mundane tasks like grocery shopping, but when you’re apart, making phone calls and sending text messages is what you have to work with. You’re both busy living your own lives, and even if you’ve gone awhile without speaking to each other, it’s important that you do your best to not get upset if your friend isn’t able to talk at that exact moment. It doesn’t mean that they’re prioritizing you lower; it simply means they’re busy. The tables could turn and the same thing could happen to you, so try your best to be as patient with each other as possible.
Like I said, keeping up with a long distance friendship can be hard, but it’s totally worth it. It’s nice having someone in your life who has seen you through so much over the years. You’ll be able to reminisce on the old days, and even better, you get to make new memories and grow together, even while you’re apart.
Have you ever been in a long distance friendship? What advice do you have for keeping up with them?