If you are reading this, chances are you have a friend who lives far away and you understand the struggle of maintaining a friendship when they are not a five-minute drive from you. I completely understand your pain and I am on this struggle bus as well.
One of my best friends lives 1,964 miles from me which would take me 29 hours by car or shelling out $600+ for a plane ticket if I wanted to go hang out with them. While we aren't able to hang out a lot, I have never felt like they were any less of my friend because I could not see them as frequently as my local friends.
We met through work and became fast friends over our shared love of memes, sassy comments and music. When we stopped working together, I for sure thought we would eventually phase out of each other's lives because we would not talk on a regular basis. To my surprise, the opposite happened and now they are someone I talk to regularly. I know their life and they know mine. Most people ask, "How is it possible for you to be such good friends from that distance? Doesn't it suck that you can't hang out with them?" Yes, it sucks to be separated, but I'd rather be separated by the distance than not have them in my life at all. There's something unique about the long-distance friends in our lives. While it's not ideal to be so far apart from each other that you have to make plans months in advance, those friendships are still worth it. These are eight reasons why:
1. Different time zones can be strangely convenient.
My friend lives in MST and I live in EST. While most people think this is inconvenient, I have found it to be very convenient actually. When they get up, I have already been up for three hours before them so they can text and I will be awake to answer it. When I'm having a bad day or need advice and it's late in my time zone, I can talk to them because they are still awake due to the three-hour time difference. The only downside is when they are awake at midnight and send you a text or call you and you don't have your phone silenced, you will be woken up at 3 a.m., guaranteed.
2. You'll always have someone who answers your texts.
You can't meet up in person and most times calling can be sketchy depending on their work/class schedule so texting is your best bet. Since you can't really catch up any other way, you long distance friend will ALWAYS reply to your text message unlike your friends or family nearby. Plus, you look forward to their texts! You want to know what is going on in there life and texting makes it feel like you are present even when you are not. It's the best way to tell them new info quick or share a funny meme that made you think of them.
3. Travel perks!
I live on one side of the country and they live on another so, in order to meet up, you've got to do some traveling. My friend lives in a state I have never been to and my friend has never been to my home state either. This means we get to do some traveling, see different parts of the country and cross some things off our bucket list while we are visiting each other!
4. Your friend is always there for you, even if he or she is not physically there.
Even though your long distance friend cannot be physically there for you all the time, you always have someone cheering you on. They are great listeners, cheerleaders, advice givers and partners in crime. They are always proud of your achievements and root for you when you doubt yourself. It's really nice to know that someone on this earth has your best interest at heart.
5. You can always pick up where you left off.
I am not the best texter and I am beginning to really hate social media, so shout out to my long-distance best friend for putting up with my unreliable response time. Even though we sometimes don't take each other's calls or immediately answer each other's texts, we can pick up the conversation right where we left it. I never feel any pressure to respond immediately and I don't freak out if they don't respond immediately. We both have lives that are busy and I know we will answer each other when we have time.
6. You have the best memories "together."
You guys probably have so many inside jokes together that you have lost count. You can remember the common interest that brought you together, a band that you both like and hilarious memories that you have made together. When your life is kind of boring at the moment but you still want to talk to your friend, you usually end up talking about your favorite memories.
7. You both know how important you are to each other.
When you're one-half of a long-distance friendship, you know up front you won't be able to see this person every day (unless you Skype every day which might be a tad excessive). Since you're both committed to your friendship, you know how important your friend is, vice versa. Your friend listens to you, understands you and supports you. At the end of the day, he or she keeps in touch because you're important to him or her. That feeling rocks.
8. The universe thought you should meet.
However your friendship came into existence, you know you were meant to meet each other. You have things in common with this person. Your paths crossed in some way or another. You went from being strangers to being best friends. I thank the universe for placing me in a shitty job that allowed me to meet my friend. They have changed my life with their presence and hold a special place in my heart.
Keep those long-distance friendships close and put in the effort because they are worth every inconvenience, every phone call, every text and every day they are a part of your life. Yes, it is not perfect and it is not the ideal situation, but it is better to have them in your life in some form rather than not at all. To my long-distance friend, thank you for always being there and for all the laughs. You will never know how grateful I am to call you my friend.