One of the reasons why going to college, moving to a new state, starting a new job and growing up is hard is because most of the time we end up leaving a friend or two behind. Long-distance friendships are a part of being a grown-up, but it doesn’t mean it hurts any less!
These types of friendships might require some extra planning and creativity to keep up, but here are five easy ways to maintain a long-distance friendship.
- Use technology to your advantage
Technology now offers so many new possibilities and opportunities to stay connected. Snapchat is an easy way to document a special event in your life and send it to your friends ASAP. Instagram, too, is a simple way to check in on your friends and their lives.
Besides social media, there is also Facetime, Skype and now Zoom, offering the opportunity to see your friends through a screen. Scheduling weekly Facetime calls is a way to catch up with your friends and see them as much as you can.
Life can be really busy, and mapping out an hour to talk can help you if you’re someone who never knows when to get off a call or can go on for hours even if you have an essay due that night.
- Stay Connected Through Common Interests
Common interests can serve as a reason to reach out to each other. If the common interest you guys share is a TV show, text each other after every new episode. If the interest is reading, send each other book recommendations. The common interest doesn’t matter, as long it helps build and maintain that intimate connection. Even a small text chain about cooking can help you feel closer to that person.
Showing vulnerability will help you stay close with your friends over time, because while common interests are important, opening up important details about your life and emotions is key. Sharing important life events, milestones and downfalls helps you and your friends feel as if they were a part of it, even if they weren’t physically there. Being vulnerable about how you feel being away from your friends is also important, so they know the best ways to be connected to you.
- Send a Care Package
If you’re a big fan of gift-giving, this could be a good way to surprise your friend! A care package that contains your friends’ favorite goods is a great way to brighten their day from another state. The package could be ‘just because’ but also for their birthday or for holidays they celebrate. No matter the reason, it’s a great way to maintain a close friendship with them. You can also ask your friend to send you photos and videos of them opening it, so it feels like you were there.
- Visit When You Can
If you’re in college, spring break is a great time to make plans to visit your friends! If they live an airplane ride away, it might be a little harder. You can make a weekend out of it, and show them all your favorite spots to hang out and eat and vice versa. You guys can also make plans to take mini trips together when your schedules line up, somewhere that is close to both of you.
Sometimes friends are apart, either for a short time or a long time. Remind your long-distance friends that you love them and value them! Just because they live far away doesn’t mean it has to feel like that!