We’ve all been there at some point, whether leaving for college or moving because of a new job. Everyone ends up with friends at opposite corners of the map. It’s a challenge no one seems to think can be surpassed, but it is common misconception to believe long-distance friendships are doomed. While the friendship may change, it can still stay just as deep and loving as you left it, if you take time to nurture it.
I know it seems obvious, but no one thinks to do this. Make sure you keep your friend updated; talk to them about the latest events in your life, ask questions about theirs, and keep up with general small talk. If you can’t set aside enough time to catch up more than once a month, this friendship might not be as important as you thought. Granted, not everyone has this time, and it can always be possible to pick up where you left off. It just takes much less work to keep updated, creating less strain on the relationship.
- Nurture your mutual interests.
You two became friends because of something. Whether you bonded over a love of an activity, or grew into a particular hobby together, you love doing something together. Even if it’s binge-watching a Netflix series, find something outside of yourselves to talk about.
- Keep it balanced.
Don’t place too much pressure on your friendship. Just because you’ve been friends longer, doesn’t mean there isn’t room for more. You’re going to experience feelings of jealousy, but be honest with yourself. Your friend deserves the same amount of companionship that you do. Make sure you grow bonds with new people to keep yourself mentally healthy and prevent your friendship from becoming toxic.
- Care packages.
There’s nothing quite like getting a physical object from someone you love. The thought of holding something they touched is often good enough, but getting a heartfelt letter or a small gift is even better. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just spend a few dollars on something that made you think of them.
- Don’t rely on social media.
Sure, Facebook is great to keep up with acquaintances, but this isn’t just an old high school crush. If this is a friendship you’re truly serious about keeping up with, you’ll have to go beyond stalking their status updates and into the realm of personal discussion. Being mutual followers on Twitter is great, but it won’t keep you in touch like personal interest will. There’s always room for Skype in a relationship!
Most of all, don’t worry. Friendship can’t be forced, and the two of you were already close for a reason. Let what’s already been built grow stronger using the tools of communication within your grasp. You’ve been friends for a while; this is just a new test for your friendship.
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