People always talk about how to keep long distance relationship alive.
As I failed my last relationship partially due to long distance and I’m currently single, I don’t really have anything in that area to contribute.
However, keeping long-distance friendship is, for sure, an essential for an international student like me to live a happy life. Not that I don’t have great friends here, but sometimes you know there are certain people you have to keep in your heart forever, even if they’re on the other side of the earth.
After meeting my best friend Ty this summer serving at a summer camp together, I knew I had to have him in my life, forever. He’s been such a great friend and brother to me, and I truly truly love him so much! We’ve been in different locations since almost half a year ago, but our friendship is still on fire. I guess that qualifies me, somehow, to give a few pieces of advice on how to keep long-distance friendship alive and thriving
With Technology nowadays, you can almost feel like you’re talking face to face even if you’re on different sides of the earth. Make good use of it! When I was in China and Ty was in Hawaii for summer break, we’d literally FaceTime every single day. Sometimes, we don’t even talk to each other, but just watch Supernatural together. Just knowing he was there and seeing his familiar face was enough to keep my memory of him alive.
2. Take screenshots
Because you don't get to see them that often, take tons of screenshots when you're FaceTiming so that you'll have something to look at when you can't FaceTime regularly! That way you at least won't forget how they look like!
3. Make memes with their pictures
Oh, did I also mention that you can make memes out of the screenshots you take?!! Even if it's just a regular picture of them, make a meme and create an inside joke for you guys! You know you are close when you share a "secret language"! I've made so many memes out of Ty's pictures and screenshots that I actually have a separate folder in my phone dedicated to him lol!
4. Save a unique name for them in your contact book
Not just "best friend" or their actual name, but something funny. Something between the two of you! Don't ask me how I came up with this name for him! It's our secret lol!
5. Textbomb to keep them updated
Not just when you feel happy or excited, but when you're sad or even just neutral and want to talk to someone, text bomb them! That's what friends are for: to share your good and ugly with them; to laugh as well as cry together! With the time difference between Hawaii and LA, sometimes it's hard to coordinate FaceTime.
But I'd still text bomb Ty. Sharing what happened to you with your long distance best friend does not only serve to comfort you, it also shows them that you care about your friendship enough to make the effort and keep them updated. At the same time, you acknowledge that they have their lives by not requiring them to be on the other end immediately.
6. Cut them some slack
Even though your best friend loves you very very much, they still have their own life. As their best friend, you must respect that. Especially if you're both still college students, you know how crazy finals and midterms and papers and homework can get!
So don't always expect them to be there the second you contact them. Don't take things too personal and assume they don't care about you anymore. Cut them some slack, love them by allowing them to breath. Sometimes, I won't hear back from Ty for a couple days in a row! He actually almost forgot to text me on my birthday too (he said he didn't forget, but...)! That's when I know he must be very stressed out and will give him some space.
7. Verbalize your love
Sometimes we forget to tell the people we love the most that we love them. Long distance can make nonverbal cues of love tricky to transmit, so try to compensate by generally showering them with words of affirmation and love. Tell them how much you love and appreciate them.
8. Pray for them
When you're in different time zones and you can't talk to them, because they're sleeping/in class/taking a test/at work/etc, whether you believe in God or the Universe or other higher power, prayer is the best way to keep them close to your heart and give them your support. I believe in God, so when I pray, I know that God never fail and will take care of Ty when I physically cannot. And that's the ultimate way I love on my best friend without having him standing right in front of me.
I love you so much, Ty! Don't hate me for posting your ugly pics!