How to Maintain Your Long Distance Friendships

Time and distance has nothing on you

Long distance relationships are never easy, especially when it comes to being away from your very best friends. Separation from the ones who unconditionally have your back and love you is difficult, but distance brings about a new dynamic to a relationship that tests its true strength. Whether it’s a matter of moving, going to college, or traveling, most friends will experience the struggles of long distance at some point or another.

My best friends and I have had a great deal of practice when it comes to maintaining our long distance friendship over the years. The four of us, or the Fab 4 as we call ourselves, met in middle school and blossomed an unbreakable bond.  

long distance friendships

I didn’t understand just how strong this bond was until we all went to different high schools and colleges.

I quickly learned that my friends are like stars: I can’t always see them, but I know they’re always there.

We’ve been friends for nearly eight years now, and, as you can imagine, we’ve undergone life changes and growing pains that shaped who we are. Breakups, changing career paths, and some of life’s toughest moments take place when we are hundreds to thousands of miles away from one another.

Every time we see each other, it’s as if no time has passed at all. We sit around a table of food and take turns updating the others about our lives. This isn’t to say we don’t talk at all when we’re apart, but sometimes there’s just so much going on that some information falls through the cracks.

long distance friendships

Two of the four will be studying abroad in the upcoming school semesters, which means time and distance will be between us more than ever before.

Here are some of the ways we’ll be far away but closer than ever:

Group Chats

In the age of technology, it only makes sense to take full advantage of it! Establish a group chat with a fun name you’ll check whenever it pops-up on your screen.

Even if you aren’t blowing up each other’s phones with play-by-plays of your lives every day, it’s important to keep your chat alive. Send old photos, funny GIFS, and inside jokes whenever you’re missing your gal pals.

Video Chat

Finding time to video chat can be difficult, but cherish the moments when you and your friends can make it work. My friends and I haven’t been the best about this ourselves; however, we’ve talked about setting aside time every other week or so to catch up face-to-face, or at least screen-to-screen.

Creating a set time in your schedule to chat with your girls will not only ensure you’re keeping each other in the loop but will also give you something to look forward to.

long distance friendships

Be Understanding

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from having a long distance relationship with my best friends is to be more understanding.

Everyone has their own schedule and set of responsibilities to get through each day. While it may seem a little frustrating when your friends don’t respond, try not to get offended if they don’t answer your calls or texts for a few days.

My friends and I do this to each other all the time, but it’s only because we want to wait until we have more time to dedicate to a more in-depth conversation.

This is a two-way concept, though. No matter how busy or stressed we get, we know when we need to drop everything and pick up the phone. Nothing is quite as important as being there for your friends, even when you can’t physically be with them.

long distance friendships

We treat our friendship the same whether we are sitting right next to each other or are a continent apart.

The Past and Present

When my friends and I can’t be together making memories, we like to take strolls down memory lane. We’ll send each other old photos, laugh about our funniest moments, and think about how we ever managed to survive before we met.

Looking back on past moments lifts me up when I’m missing my girls most and makes me that much more excited to be reunited with them.

We have impromptu photo shoots every time we are all together to document how we’ve changed yet pretty much stayed the same over the years.

Something we enjoy doing most of all is discussing our futures together. Among our long list of crazy dreams and far-fetched thoughts is living together in a petite apartment in New York City, standing up in each other’s weddings, and planning extravagant play dates for our children.

Although we don’t necessarily know what the future holds, maintaining a dialogue about the past and future helps keep us focused about what’s important and all that there is to look forward to.

long distance friendships

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Also published on Medium.

Journalism and Mass Communication Major, Barrett the Honors College at...