Thanksgiving may be over that doesn’t mean I’m any less grateful for the wonderful friends that I have. This post is long overdue but I’m happy to finally get it up, especially after spending the last couple months back in California amongst some of my nearest and dearest friends. I’m quite proud of the friendships I have built over the course of my lifetime, but they definitely take time, effort, and energy to maintain, especially if you are like me and live away from your closest friends. Seeing as I’ve lived abroad for the past 7 years, I wanted to share how I’ve successfully maintained my long distance friendships.
Communication is Key
Just like in any healthy relationship, communication is key to having successful relationships. Even if you and your friend(s) are in different time zones, like many of mine are, there are so many ways to still keep in constant contact. I know millennials get a bad rap for constantly being on social media, but my argument to that is that it is the easiest way to share my everyday happenings with my friends and family around the world. If you don’t happen to use Instagram or Snapchat, then there’s always FaceTime, Skype, or just plain old text messaging. I know keeping in contact can be difficult as soon as there is distance and time differences involved, but the beauty of texting allows you to respond when the time is right for you. That being said, regardless of the distance, I’m sure you will find time to connect with those who matter most to you on the platform of your choice. It’s easy to push off catch up sessions with your friends to the point where you only speak when you have news to share, but I urge you to try to chat with your friends on a regular basis, even if it’s only a few texts you send to check-in with each other.
Learn to Grow Together
Friendships often fall apart when we head off to different colleges, or start new jobs, move to new locations, etc. This is most likely because we start new lives in our new environments and as our surroundings shape our behaviors and who we are, it is normal to change, grow, and develop in the process. This change is natural and should be expected, therefore try to let your friends grow as well. Your friend across the country might have made friends at their new job and that’s totally ok. Each friendship is unique so don’t get caught up in thinking you will be forgotten or replaced. If you allow your friends to grow, and vice versa, then that will only further strengthen your friendship. If you learn to grow together, you will never have to worry about growing apart.
Create Shared Experiences
Keeping in contact with your best mates is extremely important, but there is no replacement to spending time together or being able to connect and reminisce together. Whenever possible, try to see your friends and spend quality time together. It’s easy to just meet on birthdays, but why not plan a weekend away just with your friends? You get to see your friends and create memories to talk about in the future. If seeing each other that often is not possible, then try connecting over something else. Agree to read the same book or binge the same series and discuss it together as you watch/read. It might seem somewhat trivial, but it gives you something to share with each other and hopefully reminds you to chat more often as well.
All that being said, it is also normal for friends to grow apart. Many times we try to hold on to friendships because we’ve known that person for so long, or because they have played a significant part in our lives, but people change and not every friendship can last forever. Time has taught me that it’s quality over quantity that matters when it comes to friends and so sometimes you have to let some of them go along the way.
I hope this has helped you if you are struggling with keeping up with your long distance friendships. There are so many other tactics that can help in sustaining long distance friendships, but these have definitely helped me over the past couple years. Let me know if any of you also have friends across the world and have any other useful tips for keeping in touch!
If you enjoyed this post, I would love if you saved/heart it on Bloglovin’, or subscribe to receive email alerts for future posts on the right-hand toolbar above! Feel free to follow along my everyday life on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat (@lailaz).