When one of my closest friends got a job right after graduation, you could say I was a bit down. Our moms met when they were each pregnant with their respective child (seriously!), so to not have that familiarity and that presence in my life was horrifying. No longer would she be able to come over and watch guilty-pleasure movies with me or grab breakfast on Sunday mornings at our favorite diner. She couldn’t text me to come over with ten minutes’ notice, because we no longer had the proximity that held us together for so long.
But as is life, we adjust to what’s new and allow what we cannot change to define the course of our friendship. Long distance friendships become more manageable when people remember that we make time for those that we want. If you want a long distance friendship to work, that is half the battle. Here are the four greatest lessons I can offer when you are attempting to navigate a relationship under these (or similar) circumstances:
- You don’t need to text everyday. Personally, my friend and I have been able to retain our closeness not by texting all day/every day (who really has time for that when there’s work to be done?) but by aiming to Facetime or talk on the phone semi-regularly. It’s nice to dish to your friend after a long day at work, and actually hearing their voice makes the conversations a lot more personal and memorable. (Of course this doesn’t mean that texting is out of the question. We still send each other memes and song recommendations, because we’re only human).
- Make the time you do spend together count. Because we cannot see each other as frequently as we’d like, we concoct meticulous plans for weekend trips to make the most out of seeing each other when we can. This includes day trips to towns to explore, trying out new restaurants, and going out with all of our other mutual friends.
- Everyone loves mail. I’ve got a fondness for pretty postcards and nice pens. (These are my current favorites!) I love sending mail out to my friends — simple greetings and an “I miss you” look so much nicer on card stock than they do in a blue iMessage bubble. Amongst credit card bills and junk mail, it’s always nice to receive something from someone that knows how to spell your name and isn’t asking for money.
- Jealousy helps no one. I personally am not a jealous person by any means, but I cannot stress this last one enough. Unfortunately, I’ve witnessed jealously as a contributing factor to the demolition of relationships around me, whether they be romantic or platonic, and often, it is something that is easily avoidable when we alter the perspective in which we look at things. It is not a bad thing that your friend loves her new job, her new city, and her new friends. In fact, you should be thrilled that she has acclimated to her new life so well. All the newness in the world does not change the history you have with your friend, so do not let it alter your present or future with them, either.
It’s hard not being able to see the ones you’re closest to all that much, but if you are lucky enough to have people in your life that you value greatly, distance shouldn’t stop you from letting them know. Ultimately, I’ve found that friendships can be kept alive despite distance when you never fail let your loved ones know they are cherished, appreciated, and loved, whether they are with you physically or not.