6 Stages Of Long-Distance Friendship
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Relationships

6 Stages Of Long-Distance Friendship

If we could just live in the same time zone, that'd be great.

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6 Stages Of Long-Distance Friendship

Whether it’s friends from home during the school year or school friends during the summers, most of us face the challenge of keeping friendships alive over long distances once we start college. For me, the distance challenge popped up when my family moved from Florida to St. Louis; I transferred to join them after spending my freshman year rooming with my childhood best friend. Now, she teaches in Florida and I’ll be soon be teaching in St. Louis. This is what the intervening three years have looked like.

1. Texting every minute.

You used to be just a room or a building away, and now there are hundreds (or thousands) of miles between you. You can only deal with this by texting everything you would normally be saying if everyone was still in her proper place. During this stage, your phone never leaves your hand, let alone your pocket.

2. “We can still do things together!”

The texting has died down, because you’ve realized it is a tad rude to the people who are currently around you. Also, you you think may be developing arthritis in your thumbs. You’ve replaced incessant phone contact with long-distance craft, movie and homework dates. You criticize figure skaters during the PBS coverage of a competition, have a craft night over Facetime and make valiant efforts to talk on the phone while also writing papers. The people around you think you’re dorks, but you’re having too much fun to care.

3. Jealousy.

You know that no one will ever take your place in each other’s hearts, but it’s hard not to get jealous and feel left out when you see other people taking your place in your friend’s daily life. You used to be the one who helped study for a test, move furniture or shop for groceries, and now someone else fills those gaps. You kind of resent the people who are around you for not being her. You mope around your house for a while, before you remind yourself that the new friendships you’ve both made won’t ever edge out the old friendship that you share.

4. Becoming best friends with the local postal workers.

“If it fits, it ships” is your new motto. Baking cookies on a whim? Box those delicious things up and ship ‘em a few states over. You’ve mailed food, spa kits, tea parties, school supplies, clothes, cards and everything else you could possibly think of. You regularly search “happy mail” on Pinterest for ideas for your next package. At this point, the people at your post office know you and your friend by name.

5. Regular phone dates.

It’s been a while, and you still have those craft nights and go running together over the phone. You still mail things regularly, but you’ve slowed down to spare your wallet. Now, your relationship mainly consists of Wednesday night phone calls after church or Friday calls on the way home from work. You update each other on your lives, share your struggles and frustrations and joys and get to know all of the supporting characters in each other’s daily happenings.

6. Traveling.

You go longer ever before without seeing each other, and so you plan road trips together just to survive the reality that you aren’t seeing each other in the near future. Any trip that puts the two of you into even the same time zone is scrutinized for an opportunity to meet up. When major events do come up, you make the time and buy the plane ticket or drive for days if necessary.

When your best friend is too far away to spend time with in person, all of these things factor into your continued friendship. It’s fun, it’s hard and it’s worth it. You may go through times when your friendship and communication looks different, and there may even be times when you don’t talk for a week or two because you’re both too busy. It’s ok. As you grow and change, so will your friendship; but at the end of the day, when you need each other, you’re there- and that’s why you make it work.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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