I’m going to make a confession. I do not do well with change. Through every phase of my life, I have struggled with the major changes that came with. I had it when I went away to college. I had it when I graduated from college, lost my safety net of what had been my routine for the last four years, and moved away from all of my college friends, turning them all into long distance friendships. I had it again each time a friend moved further away and instead of living just an hour and a half away in our college town, where I knew I could visit anytime, now lived hours away, or even many states away.
Long distance friendships can be hard. I feel like they force you to realize who your real friends are. Sometimes, people you think will be lifelong friends fall off the face of the earth quickly when you no longer live near each other. It’s important to nurture those long-distance friendships, so today I’m going to share a few tips to help you do that.
Schedule Phone Dates
Talking on the phone might sound old-school, but it’s the surest way to have real communication with your friend and know what’s going on in their life. I need to get better at this with my long distance friendships. Maybe you haven’t tried a phone date with your long distance friend. Schedule one for this week and I guarantee you’ll find yourself chatting for hours because you hadn’t even realized how much you missed that real connection! You could also trade this in for FaceTime.
Find Unique Ways to Stay In Touch
Maybe you and your best friend love Snapchat and your favorite way to connect is sending each other comical snaps each day. Or maybe you’re a little more old school and prefer writing each other letters, or sending greeting cards. Whatever it is, it can be super fun to find a unique way to stay in touch!
Give Grace, Be Understanding
One of the unfortunate realities that come with long-distance friendships is that you’re not there for their day to day life and might not know everything that’s going on. You might not know that they’re super busy at work, and that’s why they haven’t had a chance to text you back. Or they might have a sick kid at home, and that’s why they haven’t read the book you were both going to read and discuss. Give grace to your long distance friend, and if you’re feeling frustrated by their lack of contact, know there might be something going on that you aren’t aware of. They’ll fill you in when they have time!
Create a Mutual Goal
One way to create a unique connection in your long distance friendships is to create a mutual goal and become accountability partners. This is how, despite the fact I haven’t met them in real life, I’ve been able to create real friendships with fellow bloggers. We started off discussing blogging and sharing ideas and tips, and have created real connections past blogging to get to know each other on a more personal level.
Don’t Rely on the “Like”
With social media, it’s so easy to feel like you’re connecting with a long distance friend when you’re really not. It might seem that “liking” their latest picture on Facebook or Instagram is a way to stay in touch with long-distance friends but put in that extra step of effort to make a personal one-on-one connection. At least spring for a text message!
Set Financial Priorities
One of the realities that come with long-distance friendships is that if you’re ever going to see each other in person, someone has to travel. I recommend creating a travel fund in your budget and put aside a certain amount each month so you can make a visit. Obviously the further away they are, the more of a financial commitment. But you’ll get to see your friend, and take a vacation!