For our generation, I believe that long distance friendships and relationships are becoming the norm. We’ve come a long way in the past few years, mostly because technology has changed and advanced. From the days of chat rooms and instant messages to text messages and phone calls to Skype and Snapchat. I’m going to share what I’ve learned about keeping up with long distance friendships and how to keep them strong (Laura’s adding comments in italics, because it’s more fun that way).
I’ve had tons of long distance friends over the years and I had a long distance relationship for two and a half years. One of my longest and strong long-distance friendships has been with Laura. We met six years ago on a site called Inkpop and were often a part of a late night chat called the Insomniacs. We’ve been friends on Facebook since August 2010 (I double checked this on Facebook, thank you for the See Friendship feature).
My friendship with Laura is built on our similarities. We both love the TV show Castle, we were born in November (I’m older by a day!), we both have a sibling with a disability, we’re addicted to Apple products, and we both are strong-willed and very sarcastic women.
Laura and I have our differences. She’s a redhead and I’m a brunette. She’s a practicing Catholic and I’m lucky if I make it to church for Easter and Christmas. I’m in college majoring in English and she majored Mass Communications (I think Laney’s minor is Communications, and mine was in Creative Writing, so we flip-flopped).
So how have we managed to keep our relationship strong over these six years and growing stronger every day?
Have a long distance friendship? Are you keeping up with it? Click To Tweet
This seems so obvious, but the key to any friendship is communication. Just because these aren’t people who you see every day in person doesn’t mean that communication has to fall to the wayside. Personally, I find it even more annoying or rude when a long distance friend goes ghost. Just as you would expect from a friend you see in person, a simple “Hey, I’m busy” or “Can’t talk right now. Catch up later” can go a long way.
But don’t be annoyingly negative or overly positive. Like any good friendship, there needs to be a balance between the good stuff and the bad stuff. But don’t try to pass off your life as something it isn’t. People can tell when others are being fake or trying too hard to impress them.
Your life can be enjoyed by people who aren’t physically in it. That’s why social media sites, especially ones like Facebook, are so popular. You are able to share the important moments—and moments you may wish you hadn’t shared—with family, friends, co-workers, and the whole world if you want!
Be respectful to your friendship and give back what they give to you. If they listen about your day at work, your crazy family or whatever funny thing you cat did today, then do the same.
Friendship is about being caring, supportive, and understanding. I’ll be the first to admit that I tell things to Laura that I still have difficulty sharing with my friends I see all the time. This is because we’ve been friends for so long and because it helps to share with others, but sometimes it doesn’t feel as terrifying or threatening to share something with someone who you don’t have to see every day and wonder if they are judging or pitying you.
I hope these tips help you in building better and stronger friendships with your long distance pals!