When I moved to London for my internship about a year ago, one of my biggest fears was that my friends would forget about me, or that I would lose friends. Being far away from my friends was something new for me, something scary, something I’ve never dealt with before. During that time I learned that there are ways to maintain a long distance friendship. I also made new friends in London, and unfortunately I now live miles away from them but the things that I’ve learned during my time in London really helps me to maintain those friendships as well. Maintaining a long distance friendship can be hard, and not all friendships are strong enough to survive when you’re miles apart, but there are definitely ways to increase the chance of maintaining a long distance friendship.
Here is what I’ve learned:
Keep in contact
It’s important to keep in contact with your friend(s) if you want to maintain that friendship, even if you’re on the other side of the world. You don’t have to message each other all the time, but let them know how you feel, what you’ve been up to and share your favorite moments and photos. Don’t just post a photo on Facebook but send it to your friend directly to make it more personal. Instead of typing in Whatsapp, why not send a voice message? Sending voice messages to my friend instead of texts made the conversation more fun and personal, because I could hear the way my friend says something, a way only my friend can. Another fun way to keep in contact is by making a playlist for each other, or make a vlog only for your friend so he or she can see what’s been going on and what your daily life looks like. If it’s hard for you to make a vlog, Snapchat will works just fine!
Help each other adjust
Being far away from a friend means that things will change. You won’t see your friend as often, your lives will be different with different people, and it’s even harder to stay in contact if there is time difference involved. My advice is to not get mad when you don’t hear from your friend for a longer period of time and don’t be mean or jealous when your friend is spending more time with other people. Be understanding, give them space, but be honest about how you feel. Help each other to adjust to this new situation and find a way to keep in contact that works for both of you.
Who says you can’t hang out when you’re miles apart? With the technology we have now, a lot is possible! One of my favorite ways to hang out is via video chatting with Facetime or Skype. Since I got unlimited data on my phone when I lived in England, I had the possibility to video chat with my friends wherever I was, or call them for free using Whatsapp. I loved to Facetime with my friend when I was getting ready for a party or when I was cooking or grocery shopping. This made it feel like we weren’t that far away from each other.
Another thing I loved to do was watching a series together. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to watch it at the same time, you can watch the same series at different times, but you can talk about it together or send photos or videos of parts you loved or shocked you. But it’s even more fun when you watch it at the same time while you’re calling or video chatting. This made me feel more connected with my friends. But don’t forget to plan when you’re really going to hang out together! This way you both have something to look forward to, and you can talk about all the fun things you can do when you’re going to see each other again.
Let your friend know you haven’t forgotten about him or her
The longer you are away from your long distance friends, the less frequent your contact will probably be. You will meet new people and there are times when you’re just really busy with other things. And that’s okay! But if you want to maintain a long distance friendship, let your friend know you haven’t forgotten about him or her. Instead of sending a message with a simple question like ‘how’s it going?’, make your friend feel special. This doesn’t have to be something expensive.
You can send a present that reminds you of something fun you did together, or an inside joke. I personally love classic ways to communicate too, like sending a postcard! Another important thing is to remember special days like birthdays, a driving test, a first day at a new job and things like that. Show interest, let your friend know you care about them, and be there when your friends need you. A friendship is something special, so make it special.
What is your advice on maintaining a long distance friendship?