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The Key to Long Distance Friendships

The Key to Long Distance Friendships

Friendships comes in a lot of different shapes and sizes. It could be a childhood bestie that begged your parents to let sleep over so you could choreograph an iconic dance to the 1999’s banger “Genie In a Bottle” in your bedroom – OR it could be the girl with the cute bag that you met at a friend’s 27th birthday and randomly hit it off with. Friendships, especially adult ones, are complicated. They are hard to find, hard to maintain, and most of all – hard to let go of if things don’t work out. But it doesn’t have to be like that.

Related: Are You a Bad Friend?

If making friends as an adult wasn’t hard enough – distance is an added complication that can set your relationship up for failure. When you think of friendships as a type of relationship (just like romantic ones) you realize that the same issues that strain long distance romantic relationships are the same challenges that plague platonic ones. So if you’re invested in keeping the spark alive, here are a few things that you can do.

Related: Are You In a Toxic Friendship?

Use Technology To Your Advantage

Gone are the days that you have to pull out a quill and parchment to chat with your bestie. In fact, you don’t even need to wait until nights & weekends to spare costs (if you don’t get this reference, just skip past it). FaceTime literally couldn’t be easier. In fact, it’s easier than texting because you don’t have to type! Use technology to schedule FaceTime dates and don’t cancel them. Seeing someone’s immediate reaction when you chat with them is such a special thing, and if you can’t see them in person – video chat is a great alternative.

Approach Long Distance Friendships With Grace

Schedules don’t always work out, and family responsibilities will always take precedence. If things don’t work out for when you schedule them, try to approach your friendship with grace and kindness. Between work, school, and being a functioning human adult, we tend to overbook ourselves. Long distance friendships take an extra layer of patience and persistence. Although, once someone cancels three times – just tell them to reach out to you next time they have time to chat.

Surprise Them

Wanna know the best way to stay in tune with a bestie’s life? Be a part of their life. Celebrate the big days and make the small ones memorable too. Bestie got a promotion at work or got into the grad school of their dreams? Celebrate it. It won’t cost you much. In fact, you don’t even need to Amazon prime them a huge thoughtful gift. It truly is the thought that counts and guess what costs under $20? An Uber eats delivery of cupcakes. You’re welcome.

Related: Why It’s Okay That Friendships End + What You Can Do About It

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Make The Effort

The most important thing to remember is that you have to make the effort. In any relationship, but especially a friendship and a long distance one at that. It’s so easy to fall off the radar. In fact, it’s natural. Out of sight, out of mind. But if you both want the relationship to work then you have to give a certain level of commitment to it. Try to meet up once or twice a year in a central location if you can.

In situations where you travel to see family and if you end up visiting their city, you better text them. There’s nothing worse than finding out your bestie was in your city from social media. You may have a packed schedule and aren’t able to see them, but you should send them a message, regardless. And if you’re the home town friend, try to be flexible in how and when you can see your long distance bestie. Family obligations are hard when people come “home to visit” so just keep that in mind. I once picked up a friend from the airport and drove her to her parents’ place because it was the only time that we could spend 45 minutes together. Totally worth it.

Final Thoughts on Long Distance Friendships

As with all things, where there’s a will – there’s a way. The rules for platonic long distance friendships are strikingly similar to those of romantic ones. Go out of your way, make the effort, and be flexible. You should always assume that you and your bestie are on the same team and both trying to make it work. If you start to feel like the relationship is uneven then you may need to reconsider how close of a friendship you have. (P.S. This is totally normal!) I recommend reading this post if you find yourself in that situation.

Besties are hard to come by, so don’t let a good one slip away! Long distance friendships can totally work, you just gotta try.