It’s natural for friendships to fade, but sometimes a good friend is worth holding onto even when major life changes try to pull you apart.
Distance can seem like an impossible obstacle for a friendship to survive, but making a long-distance friendship work can be surprisingly easy.
Here are just a few ways to stay close with a friend even when you’re separated by the strain of miles, months and time.
#1. Keep them in the loop.
It can feel intimidating to reach out when your worlds begin to drift apart, but having a friend who keeps you connected to the past while still growing up alongside you can be one of the most meaningful relationships you can have.
Technology makes it easier than ever to make long-distance friendships last, so finding time to call, text or video chat can make staying connected possible.
More than that, it means that you can both get glimpses of each other’s lives. Knowing about the little details of their day such as the dynamics of work, a bad date, or a new favorite coffee shop can make you both feel more connected to each other’s daily norms.
#2. Be a bit old-fashioned.
Sure, all of this technology is nice, but never underestimate the power of a handwritten letter.
Send each other snail mail, anything from postcards, photographs, mementos, or quirky trinkets that represent the different places you live or the place where you spent so much time together.
One of the best things about long-distance friendship is the level of sentimentality you have and feel towards this person.
These little messages can be really meaningful and distance can give you a new-found sense of gratitude for the friendship that you have.
#3. If possible, make plans to meet up in-person.
When I was 16 and my best friend moved across the country, we came up with a laundry list of every possible opportunity to meet up with each other.
Could we meet during a wedding? A vacation? A family reunion?
Our parents rolled their eyes at the lengths we went to spend time together, but when one of our improbable plans actually panned out, it was more rewarding than it would have been otherwise.
It may sound like a friendship that wouldn’t last, but it was one of the few that survived my transition to college purely because we already knew how to make that distance work.
Now, the chance to see each other is something we value a lot and our friendship has lasted because of the effort we’ve made.
#4. Open up to them about life changes.
One of the scariest things about a long-time, long-distance relationship can be announcing big life changes.
Long-distance friendships can start to feel insular and when certain outside forces push into that friendship you’ve created, it can feel a bit turbulent.
Pushing past that wall of anxiety is incredibly important for keeping the relationship alive, no matter how drastic the change may be.
After all, you want them to know who you are, not who you were.
Trust that your friendship is strong enough to weather these changes as it would be if the two of you were in the same city.
If it’s meant enough to keep it alive this far, it’s strong enough to allow the two of you to grow together, not apart, even with the distance.
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