How To Keep A Long-Distance Friendship Alive and Well

10 Thoughtful Things You Can Do In A Long Distance Friendship That Your Friend Will Sure Appreciate

Here's some advice for how to make the college split a little easier on the friendships that mean the most.

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Everyone always talks about long-distance relationships and how challenging they are but no one ever mentions how tough it can be to leave your lifelong best friends for school. Much like long-distance relationships, long-distance friendships take a ton of work. While it may seem like staying close to your bestie is impossible, with the right level of intent, your relationship will grow in more ways than you thought possible. Here are 10 ways you can keep your friendship strong, even hundreds of miles apart.

1. Be intentional about FaceTime.  

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School gets extremely busy. Make the time to FaceTime or HouseParty on a regular schedule. Being able to see your friend (or friends) face-to-face will make everything easier.

2. Make it a point to check in over text, even if it's just one message every few days. 

One "Hey, I love you" text message can make the difference in your friend's day. It takes three seconds to send a sweet text to a far away friend.

3. Keep notes of important life events that need to be shared so that you're prepared when you DO have time to talk. 

When you're only talking once a week it can be really easy to forget the highlights (or lowlights for that matter) since the last time you talked. There is nothing worse than sitting on the phone with nothing to say. Take short notes about your week so you can properly fill in your friend.

4. Send a care package. 

Even if it's something small, sending a meaningful gift is a great way to show a friend that you're thinking about them. Send a stressed out friend some tea or essential oils. Send your friend some snacks during exam week, these small gifts can go a long way.

5. Write an actual real life paper note. 

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When did people stop writing notes? Who doesn't LOVE getting mail? These are all super relevant questions. Sit down and write a friend a letter, it'll mean more to them than you realize.

6. Do something weekly to make them laugh or smile. 

This could literally be as small as sending jokes every once in a while. Making the effort to get a smile out of a best friend is the literal core of good friendship. You know your best friend more than anyone else. You know what they'll love.

7. Start an active group message. 

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If you are hoping to stay in touch with more than just one person, make an active group message. While some group messages can be annoying, they can also be a super fun way to quickly share something great with more than one person.

8. Look for small meaningful gifts. 

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Stockpile some small presents for when you see your friend again. There are few things sweeter than getting small mementoes from the time you missed with your friend. Even something as small as a postcard from a weekend away will speak volumes.

9. Introduce them to new friends and keep them updated by name. 

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The hardest part about keeping track of old friends is the fact that you're actively making new ones. Introducing your old friends to your new friends by name will make your old friends feel included in your life. Also, it will allow for way better phone conversations.

10. Coordinate with a roommate and plan a surprise visit. 

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Making the trip to see a friend is the best surprise ever. Become friends with a roommate or school friend and plan a time for the ultimate surprise.

Good friendships take work. Long-distance friendships may take even more work but the payoff is that much greater. Take the time and do something special for your friends near and far. You need them and they need you. A little distance never hurt anybody. There is no such thing has "goodbye," just a whole lot of "see you later." Be intentional with your long-distance friends and before you know it, you'll be reunited.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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It Is OK To Have Guy Friends That Are Literally Just Guy Friends

Some of my best friends are guys and sometimes they are better friends than girls are.

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Lately, I have come to the realization that some of my guy friends are better then some girls I call my "friends". Ever since middle school, I have always had many guy friends that have always been just guy friends, and nothing more. Some girls had a problem with it back then and they still do now, maybe because they are jealous, or maybe because they feel left out. However, I decided a long time ago to keep those guy friends for reasons like...

1. They Don't Take Things So Seriously

You can always joke around with them, and they will joke around with you right back. You can be as nice as you want or as mean as you want to them, and they will always take it as joke. I think that sometimes girls have a difficult time deciphering between when you are being serious or when you are joking. Most of my guys friends tend to not things too seriously at least 75% of the time.

2. They Are Always Honest

When I need a blatantly honest opinion I always ask my guy friends (and my mom). I do this because guys do not really care about whether or not their response will make you mad. Also, guys do not think about if their answer will benefit them personally or not before they answer.

3. They Genuinely Listen To You

Not all the time. But when I am upset, they are always the ones most concerned. Some of my guy friends take over the "big brother" role when it comes to some situations. My guy friends always listen to my problems or just the same old rants I give all the time because if something is wrong, or something has hurt me, they want to know, in order for them to try and fix it.

I am not trying to say that my girl friends are not my best friends either, and I really do have the best best friend. But sometimes, it just feels good to hangout with my guy friends. Guy friends, that I have never had a romantic relationship or feelings for and they have not had for me. These guys have always been there, and for that I am grateful.

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