Life takes us places. We do school, get jobs, find important relationships, and at every turn, there’s temptation to start somewhere fresh. It’s today’s natural order of things! But still, when a bestie breaks the news that they’re switching cities, it’s a hit.
Who’s going to pound your door down with a yoga mat? Who will meet you at the coffee shop between our places? Will you even go to that coffee shop anymore? Memories. Despite however accustomed we become to living the nomadic life, it’s (more than) sad to see a friend go, or for you to leave. But just because the best-friend-proximity has changed doesn’t mean your bond has to as well. Keep it tight; here’s a how-to on preserving your long distance friendship:
- Be Supportive – Wings are being spread- which could mean a new job, a new lifestyle and new circle of friends, or not. Support one another! If you pick up the phone to sobs, be the million-dollar lifeline.They’re reaching out because you feel like home, which is touching and sacred. On the flip side, if she calls to gush rainbows about all the newness, try to keep any territorial feelings at bay. Feel secure enough in your friendship to know that happenings in both of your immediate lives do not override your own history or importance. You’re on the same side; root for each other!
- Value Your Time – Friendship authority Ferris Bueller says, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” So when you do get the chance to see, call, Skype, or FaceTime each other, use it wisely! Give your full attention and get below the surface. If she’s coming in for a weekend and you want to go on a bender like the good old days, that’s cool. But make sure you are getting at least as much quality time as you are party time. Sure, take a commemorative photo. But Instagram later. There are only so many trustworthy people who will make you die laughing and bring you Ketchup chips when you’re sad. Cherish them.
- Don’t Keep Score – Who texted who, who called last— you’ve sent her three hilarious Snapchats and are wondering where yours are at. When you’re used to a comfortable back and forth, having that routine disturbed is a little disarming. Let’s remind ourselves that this is not a new love interest to be tiptoeing around; this is a really good friend of yours! Try not to put too much weight on exactly how you two communicate. That doesn’t matter so much if you’re following #2, appreciating the time you do spend. Some people can go months and years without talking to a best friend. But if you’re not like that and the emotional distance is getting to you, try talking about it honestly. Say you miss her! But do remember, it’s not always personal.
- Make an Effort – Make their day! We all get caught up in life sometimes but making an effort comes in lots of shapes and sizes. How good does it feel when a ridiculous, emoticon-filled text pops up and it’s from someone you love? That takes a few seconds. How often do you get a care package or a letter in the mail that you’re actually pumped about? That takes a few minutes, longer depending on your artistic talents. Keeping in touch shouldn’t be a chore and it doesn’t have to be if you have a little fun with it. Just make the same effort that you would enjoy receiving back. It’s only fair! Be Nike; just do it.
Everyone tends to get all judgey when they hear about couples undergoing a long distance relationship. They assume everybody is a lying, cheating stealer when released into the wild. It’s different with friendship! K, your friend may cheat on you… But that’s okay! You should encourage their infidelity. We’re all being blown in different directions. It would be silly to not engage in every opportunity, silly to ignore those impulses and/or hold someone else back. A solid, good friendship stands the test of time and space, and trusts the foundation that it was built upon. As long as you have a little faith, no one is getting friend-dumped anytime soon.