How to Maintain A Long-Distance Friendship

Much has been written about the struggles of long-distance relationships. But what about long-distance friendships? While technology makes it easier than ever to stay in touch with friends scattered around the globe, liking each other’s Facebook posts does not a friendship make. Maintain your friendships with the following tips.

1. Have realistic expectations.

The key to any successful relationship is having realistic expectations – and that goes double for long-distance. If your best friend is moving across the country, don’t plan to have dinner via Skype every night! You must accept that the nature of your relationship will change: you’ll talk less, develop different interests, and make new friends. But the changed nature of your relationship doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Sure, it might take some adjustment at first. But you can still be incredibly close to someone even if you only talk for a couple hours once every few months.

2. Commit.

Having realistic expectations means you’re understanding if one of you drops the ball on contacting the other on occasion. It doesn’t mean it’s OK to blow off your friend completely! Any long-distance relationship (romantic or not) takes a bit more effort than it would if you were living in the same city. Treat the time you have together as sacred – show up on time for your Skype dates and ignore your phone when you’re chatting together.

3. Schedule it.

If you and your friend lived in the same city, you’d schedule a time to check out that new bar together. So why not schedule the time you talk? Make a standing date with your friend so you can stay involved in each other’s lives – whether it’s weekly or monthly. Got a big group of close friends scattered around the country? A monthly Google Hangout is an excellent (and fun!) way to keep in touch.

4. Take advantage of technology.

If your friend moved from Florida to Australia 100 years ago, you likely never would have heard from them again. Lucky for us, we live in 2015, so take advantage of that! Skype, FaceTime and use Google Hangout. Send them Whatsapp messages or Snapchat your random antics. Stalk them sometimes on Instagram so you can rave about their new haircut.

5. Plan to see each other.

Reminiscing as you chat with your long-distance friends is inevitable. But it’s important to make some new memories, too. Strive to plan a visit once a year – whether you go all the way to each other’s towns or meet in the middle. And if your friend is having a crisis, it’s nice to go comfort them if you’re able to.

6. Send real mail.

In an age when we struggle to reach Inbox Zero, getting some good old-fashioned snail mail is a real treat. So send a long a card for a birthday, a holiday or just because. Feeling extra-giving? A care package is a great way to show love. Send a housewarming package if she’s moved recently or just a basket full of things she misses from your hometown.

7. Maintain common interests.

There’s a reason you were friends in the first place – so strive to maintain the interests that brought you two together. Did you bond over watching The Bachelorette? Watch it together and talk about it. And if your interests do change, that’s fine too – you can always find new things to geek out over together.

8. Get creative.

As much fun as your monthly Skype dates are, what if you start running out of things to talk about? Get creative! Start a long-distance book club – you can each read the same book and then talk about them, or send each other your favorite reads. Create a private blog so you can keep up with each other’s lives, or go old-school and send a real journal back and forth. And if you want more creative ideas, you can find a bunch here.

9. Remember the little things…

When you’re far away, the little things matter. Text them when things remind you of them, no matter how silly it may seem. Give them a call when you have a free moment, if only for 5 minutes. And ask them about the small details – like how that workout they were dreading going to the other day ended up. In a long-distance friendship, the little things add up.

10. And the big ones.

The little things are important – but that’s no excuse to forget about the big ones! Make a fuss when your friend celebrates a birthday or gets a promotion. This is the perfect time to send them a real card and a care package! But that’s not all. If you’re making a big decision you need advice on, don’t forget to rely on your long-distance friends for advice too. Chances are, they’ve known you forever and will remind you of something you forgot about. And if you’re having a big event like a wedding? Invite them! Even if you know they can’t make it, at least extend the offer. And who knows? You might be very pleasantly surprised.

11. Forgive and apologize.

Acting passive-aggressively is never a good idea, but it’s especially poisonous in a long-distance friendship. If something your friend does bothers you, hash it out immediately. Also, accept that sometimes your friend will drop the ball and forget to contact you. She’ll call you once she remembers – and if she doesn’t, don’t be afraid to reach out first! You’ll appreciate the gesture when you’re the one forgetting to text for a while. And if you are the flaky friend? Apologize sincerely and remember to let your friends know if life is going to get a little crazy soon.

A long-distance friendship can be tough to maintain. But if with just a little effort, you can keep the most important people in your life for decades to come. So what are you waiting for? Reach out to that friend who moved across the country to whom you haven’t spoken in ages. I guarantee he’ll appreciate the gesture.

Liked this? Check out 10 Friendship Mistakes You Need to Stop Making!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

 

 

Much has been written about the struggles of long-distance relationships. But what about long-distance friendships? While technology makes it easier than ever to stay in touch with friends scattered around the globe, liking each other’s Facebook posts does not a friendship make. Maintain your friendships with the following tips.

1. Have realistic expectations.

The key to any successful relationship is having realistic expectations – and that goes double for long-distance. If your best friend is moving across the country, don’t plan to have dinner via Skype every night! You must accept that the nature of your relationship will change: you’ll talk less, develop different interests, and make new friends. But the changed nature of your relationship doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Sure, it might take some adjustment at first. But you can still be incredibly close to someone even if you only talk for a couple hours once every few months.

2. Commit.

Having realistic expectations means you’re understanding if one of you drops the ball on contacting the other on occasion. It doesn’t mean it’s OK to blow off your friend completely! Any long-distance relationship (romantic or not) takes a bit more effort than it would if you were living in the same city. Treat the time you have together as sacred – show up on time for your Skype dates and ignore your phone when you’re chatting together.

3. Schedule it.

If you and your friend lived in the same city, you’d schedule a time to check out that new bar together. So why not schedule the time you talk? Make a standing date with your friend so you can stay involved in each other’s lives – whether it’s weekly or monthly. Got a big group of close friends scattered around the country? A monthly Google Hangout is an excellent (and fun!) way to keep in touch.

4. Take advantage of technology.

If your friend moved from Florida to Australia 100 years ago, you likely never would have heard from them again. Lucky for us, we live in 2015, so take advantage of that! Skype, FaceTime and use Google Hangout. Send them Whatsapp messages or Snapchat your random antics. Stalk them sometimes on Instagram so you can rave about their new haircut.

5. Plan to see each other.

Reminiscing as you chat with your long-distance friends is inevitable. But it’s important to make some new memories, too. Strive to plan a visit once a year – whether you go all the way to each other’s towns or meet in the middle. And if your friend is having a crisis, it’s nice to go comfort them if you’re able to.

6. Send real mail.

In an age when we struggle to reach Inbox Zero, getting some good old-fashioned snail mail is a real treat. So send a long a card for a birthday, a holiday or just because. Feeling extra-giving? A care package is a great way to show love. Send a housewarming package if she’s moved recently or just a basket full of things she misses from your hometown.

7. Maintain common interests.

There’s a reason you were friends in the first place – so strive to maintain the interests that brought you two together. Did you bond over watching The Bachelorette? Watch it together and talk about it. And if your interests do change, that’s fine too – you can always find new things to geek out over together.

8. Get creative.

As much fun as your monthly Skype dates are, what if you start running out of things to talk about? Get creative! Start a long-distance book club – you can each read the same book and then talk about them, or send each other your favorite reads. Create a private blog so you can keep up with each other’s lives, or go old-school and send a real journal back and forth. And if you want more creative ideas, you can find a bunch here.

9. Remember the little things…

When you’re far away, the little things matter. Text them when things remind you of them, no matter how silly it may seem. Give them a call when you have a free moment, if only for 5 minutes. And ask them about the small details – like how that workout they were dreading going to the other day ended up. In a long-distance friendship, the little things add up.

10. And the big ones.

The little things are important – but that’s no excuse to forget about the big ones! Make a fuss when your friend celebrates a birthday or gets a promotion. This is the perfect time to send them a real card and a care package! But that’s not all. If you’re making a big decision you need advice on, don’t forget to rely on your long-distance friends for advice too. Chances are, they’ve known you forever and will remind you of something you forgot about. And if you’re having a big event like a wedding? Invite them! Even if you know they can’t make it, at least extend the offer. And who knows? You might be very pleasantly surprised.

11. Forgive and apologize.

Acting passive-aggressively is never a good idea, but it’s especially poisonous in a long-distance friendship. If something your friend does bothers you, hash it out immediately. Also, accept that sometimes your friend will drop the ball and forget to contact you. She’ll call you once she remembers – and if she doesn’t, don’t be afraid to reach out first! You’ll appreciate the gesture when you’re the one forgetting to text for a while. And if you are the flaky friend? Apologize sincerely and remember to let your friends know if life is going to get a little crazy soon.

A long-distance friendship can be tough to maintain. But if with just a little effort, you can keep the most important people in your life for decades to come. So what are you waiting for? Reach out to that friend who moved across the country to whom you haven’t spoken in ages. I guarantee he’ll appreciate the gesture.

Liked this? Check out 10 Friendship Mistakes You Need to Stop Making!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

 

 

  • Comments