Keeping the Spark in Long-Distance Friendships

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The twenties are strange and confusing time in our lives. Many of us move to another town, country or even continent to start college, try out a new work and in general – start our ‘adult’ lives. The transition between our frivolous teenage years and ‘real life’ happens with the blink of an eye. We are left with many sudden changes that we need to face and deal with. The biggest support system – our friends, aren’t next door anymore.

That was the biggest challenge for me – handling a new type of friendship. Long-distance friendship.

As good as our new lives are, keeping the spark in our friendships surely is a difficult task. I am going to walk you through some tips and tricks that helped me keep my true friends and make our bond even stronger.

You have to start by accepting your new position.

Your high school bestie is no longer available to talk to you for 4 hours straight, neither to text all day. After all – they are starting new lives too! Maybe 2 years ago calling your bestie at 2am to cry about your current crush sounded like a great idea, but try reconsidering it now. We are all dealing with changes – new jobs, university, internships. Respect your friends’ time because you are not the only one waking up at 8am.

But, hey! Don’t let that discourage you!

Just because we are all a bit more busy now doesn’t mean that you aren’t friends anymore.

Just keep in mind that others have lives that are separate from yours and don’t feel personally offended when they are too tired to talk to you. And that, my dearest, leads me to the next point…

Plan, plan and plan again

Plan and devote time for your friends, and they will do the same! Videochatting and phone calling have always been the preferred communication for me. They are the most personal and it’s almost like you are together again.

I am a firm believer that 1 hour phone call per week is more valuable than that distracted 1-word chatting for the whole day.

By doing that both of you will be able to devote your maximum attention. And it’s even better when the whole group joins the videochat! Almost like those sleepovers that you loved back in times. Yes, I know, I know … you want to share your every moment with your bestie.

But accepting that less is more was also an important point that I needed to admit to myself.

After all, that will only make you both value your time with each other. Isn’t it nice to be excited about your next phone call? Just imagine that only 50 years ago people didn’t have the technology, but still kept their bond. After all, when it’s real a bit of distance won’t break it, right?  

You should also think about spicing it up

Choose something to do together – watch a show, read a book or try a new type of food.

By doing that you are doing something – apart, but together!

It will give you topics to talk about and ideas to discuss. Always send your new favorite songs or memes that made you laugh – in that way you are showing that you think about that person. And our tastes tend to change fast these days, so it’s always good to keep your friend up-to-date with your newest TV series obsession.  

You could also bring that to a physical level

Call me old fashioned but I love to receive post cards!

It’s just something in the feeling when I open the letter and unfold the paper that makes me feel like I am in a 50s’ movie and to be honest … I am living for it!

You could always put a small gift to go with it – a bracelet that you made, stickers or small and fancy stuff that your friend will love. If you want to send something bigger you can always try sending a package. Although it takes a lot of time and nerves, at the end it is always worth it.

Small gestures like these make people feel loved.

But also…

Don’t be scared to have big plans

Try looking into the future together. You have a free week 8 months from now? Great! You could already start planning trips and vacations. I know, sometimes it may sound too unrealistic and dreamy, but hey – it keeps the sparkle glowing and that’s what we are looking for.And think about it like that – the more plans you have, the bigger the chance is something will actually happen.

So don’t be scared to dream big. The people who are worth it will end up in your biggest dreams that you turned into a reality together.

At the end, remember that new beginning always come with a lot of endings. Endings of a certain period of your life, but also endings of some relationships that you’ve had. That’s a natural part of growing up that, despite of how scary it is, will make us better and help us build our identity in the healthiest and strongest way.

The best ones will always stay, but don’t forget to remind them how special they are with some of the tips and tricks you learned in this article.