Friendship is one of the best things in the world: you have someone to talk to, to laugh with, to cry with, to support, and to be supported by. It’s nice to have a brunch-buddy or a wing-woman, but sometimes the people you’re the closest with live the farthest away. Like any relationship, friendship takes work. This is especially true of long distance friends. If your bestie moves to another State, or even another country, it can be sad – even if you’re excited for them – but that doesn’t mean that the friendship ends.
Whether your mentor is leaving you for London, your childhood friend is heading to an out-of-state university, or you just accepted a job half-way across the country, here are 6 tips on maintaining that bond, no matter the miles between you.
1. Schedule dates.
Whether you Skype or video chat on your phone, make sure you get some face-to-face time. Going from seeing someone every week (or, more likely, every day), to never being able to see them can take a toll on a friendship. Schedule video dates with your long distance friend to catch up on everything that’s happening in their life.
2. Make an effort to learn about their new life.
This might make you sound like a mom-friend, but making a conscious effort to learn how they’re doing – if they’re making new friends, if they like their new home, etc. – will show that you genuinely care about them. You’re making your friend a priority by staying updated on what is happening in their new life.
3. Don’t cause them FOMO.
This can be difficult, especially for Millennials. In our desperate need to share everything we do with everyone we know on social media (don’t deny it – we all do it), you need to be careful to not come across as trying one-up your long distance friend. If you make someone feel as though they’ve been replaced, forgotten about, or that you’re doing better without them, then your friend won’t want to work as hard to maintain the friendship. No one wants to torture themselves with FOMO.
4. Send them random messages when you think of them.
You should schedule times to speak with your long distance friend, but you should also send them texts, Facebook messages, Snapchats, or shout outs to them on Instagram to let them know that you’re thinking of them. You want them to know that, even though they’re far away, that they still mean enough to you that you wanted to speak to them. Even if you aren’t able to start a conversation at that moment, you will make their day a little brighter.
5. Share what you’re excited about.
Don’t intentionally make them feel as though they’re missing out, but if you have a promotion coming up, a concert next weekend, or a you’re taking a fun class with an amazing professor, share it with your friend. You want them to know what’s going on in your life so they can be excited with you. Encourage them to do the same!
6. Plan a trip to visit.
This might take some serious financial cutbacks and months of savings, but if you’re able to, schedule a long weekend or a vacation and go visit your friend. Skype dates are fun, phone calls are informative, but nothing beats being together in the same place. Things will fall right back into how they have always been: the same jokes are hilarious, the same topics of conversation keep coming up, and you’ll reminisce about the good old days when you were both in the same city. Now, however, you’ll be able to make new memories in a new place.
Friendship is what truly makes us happy. Being able to speak to, share news with, and be around a friend is one of the greatest things in the world. Cherish your friends and make sure to always remind them how special they are to you. Even if it gets hard, or distance gets in the way, best friends are forever.