I got my first dose of long-distance relationships through my friendships when I moved to another state from my childhood friends for college. I was 18, and a total mess, and frankly, have no idea how my friendships survived because none of us has any idea how to maintain our friendships on top of term papers, weekend parties, silly boyfriends, etc.
Fast-forward a decade later, and I’m so happy to say that most of my friendships are intact. Like all relationships, it took hard work, and it hasn’t always been easy. It takes effort from both parts, and this really became most apparent to me over this last year; after several years of living only a couple of hours away, at most, from my close friends, my life took me to Cincinnati, a decent plane ride away. For the first time, I couldn’t just drive to New York City for a weekend getaway with my girls, or run over to one of their houses with the gift of an iced coffee.
These important things are what have kept my long-distance friendships not just alive, but thriving.
Celebrate The Little Things
I have a group chat with my two best friends from college. At least once a week, one of us will spark the conversation to talk about what they’re up to. We are one another’s cheerleaders, so when it comes to career and personal wins, we share it all and root each other on. Even if we don’t have anything going on, we always ask about one another’s weekend plans or updates.
Look Forward To Something
My day job has me doing a lot of traveling around the year for expos and events. So, whenever my destination leads me near to my old stomping grounds, I make sure to schedule an extra day or two for just my friends. I plan as far ahead as possible, and we collectively make plans to get together at a location that works for everyone.
Time is the hottest commodity because it’s not something that you can ever get more of. But if you want your friendships to survive, you have to make time for one another. I take 30 minutes on most Thursday evenings to talk to one of my best friends on the phone and catch up. She’s usually in the car on her way to pick up her daughter, and I’m usually trying to close out my workday, but it’s the only time she’s available so I work my schedule around it because she’s important to me.
Take Advantage Of The Holidays
The holiday season is the only time any of us really have free time. This year, we’ve planned ahead and decided on have a friends-giving celebration while I’m in town. The year before, we took a day trip to come together for a big Halloween party that coincided with a friend’s birthday. We will pretty much look for any little excuse to make an effort to come together. And it’s hardly ever easy, but we never regret it because we’re just so happy to reunite even if it’s for a few hours.
Do Something Kind
Long-distance friendships are the perfect way to get back into some good old-fashioned writing. I like to write cards for holidays, birthdays and just because. You can take it a step further by Venmoing $5 for your friend’s a.m. latte run, or send them a bouquet to celebrate a special occasion. My friends usually like to tag me in hilarious memes throughout the day as well. You don’t always have to use major gestures to keep in touch, but despite the distance, your friends should feel like you’re there for them.
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