Long-distance friendships are quite common in our mobile society.
People frequently move or travel from place to place, creating many long-distance friendships and relationships. It is not an uncommon situation for people to many people they care about who live in a geographically different location.
With the help of technology and flexible scheduling, it is possible to keep long-distance friendships alive.
Being able to have instant access through Facetime, texting, and other forms of social media, long-distance friends can communicate daily or as often as they choose.
I- Long Distance Friendship Activities
Friends who live long distances from each other are far more common in many areas than friends who live next door. Because we often move from place to place, it’s quite easy for an individual to have friends across the United States and the world.
Maintaining and keeping those friendships alive through activities is something both individuals can do to stay in touch with each other.
Because of technology, there are many activities that friends can do to maintain valued long-distance friendships. Here is a list of nine activities to begin with a long-distance friend right away.
1- Share photos back and forth on Snapchat
Start sending those goofy selfies to your buddy across the miles. It only takes seconds to take a selfie or a pic of your kids and give your long-distance friend a boost.
When friends do this back and forth, it’s not only fun, but the friendship does not seem as far away.
2- Play Internet games together
Match wits with your best friend by challenging him or her to a game of Words with Friends, Scrabble, or any number of other games on the web. Words with Friends is one game where you can chat as you play.
3- Video Chat or Facetime for no good reason
Sometimes a video chat is just sitting and talking about nothing, and sometimes it helps you to keep up daily gossip you might forget otherwise.
But whatever the case, being able to talk at least face to face via technology is a great way to keep the friendship alive and current.
4- Talk on the phone
Physically use your phones and make calls. You may have to schedule calls via text messages. Time zone differences make this difficult, but you can still find a way to connect when you are both awake and have a few minutes to talk.
Once you have phone calls scheduled, don’t bail on these calls. These calls are important and keeping a commitment with a good friend is of primary importance.
5- Try watching a movie or a ballgame together
Some friends became friends over going to the movies or watching college football games together. Friends can still do that over the phone or by talking via Facebook while they are watching the events. It’s a fun way to keep sharing the activities you have done in person.
6- Plan a small trip together
You can always find a destination to meet even if you live an extremely long distance apart. Half of the fun in a friendship is planning an event to do together.
This doesn’t have to end because of long distance.
7- Write a letter or send a funny card
It takes a very short time to jot a thought or two down and send a card or note off. If a sense of humor is something you connect with, a funny card can brighten a long-distance friend’s entire day.
8- Share important thoughts
Share the same secrets you used to share. And confide just like always when things happen in your daily life. Being able to share important details, keeps a long-distance friendship on an intimate level.
Let’s face it, often friends will bond over trips to the mall. Don’t forget to share with your best friend your latest shopping mall find.
You might even give your friend a ring while trying on outfits to get their opinion of this choice or that choice.
II- Long Distance Friendship Gifts
Sometimes long-distance friends send gifts back and forth. This is a great way to keep the friendship fires burning brightly.
If he or she has children, remembering to send little gifts to the kids also will warm a friend’s heart. A gift is something physical for your long-distance friend to hold onto while you are separated.
Having a physical gift from a friend is not about having a material object. It’s about the time and care that you know the friend took to pick out the gift, possibly wrap it, and the thoughts the friend probably had while getting you this gift.
It’s all a very heartfelt and important gesture that friends need if they are miles away. Some gift ideas to send to long-distance friend might include the following list:
- A book to remind your bestie of the good friendship. Available on Amazon for $10.40.
- Friendship bracelets.
- Personalize best friends mugs, wine glasses, and coffee cups. Drinking coffee from a special cup while you talk to your friend on the phone as he or she drinks from their matching cup is a fun idea. By the same token, sharing a glass of wine with a friend over the phone in matching wine glasses is creative and fun.
- Travel vouchers. Whatever airline flies to where you and your friend are going next, a travel voucher for any dollar amount is a great surprise !
- Passport Wallet with everything your friend needs to travel. Get one from Amazon for $14.99.
- Personalized key chains with both cities and states on each chain. One for you and one for your long-distance friend.
- Home-made gifts if you have time.
- Gift box from home with their favorite local seasonal treats. This could include a shirt or sweater from your favorite college or hometown team.
Again, the point of sending a long-distance gift is not as much about the gift as it truly is the thought.
When a long-distance friend receives a gift or a card in the mail, the thoughts of you taking the time and effort to get things together, and in the mail, will warm their heart.
III- Long Distance Friendship Messages
Individuals who are dealing with long distance friendships may need some help figuring out what to say in messages or letters to a friend who has just moved away. When people are used to seeing each other all the time or talking in person, written or texted messages may be difficult.
Some people don’t know what to say. It’s difficult to write to people when you are used to your main form of communication to be from spoken word.
There are several messages you can send long distance in a card, letter, email, or text. Below are several pre-compiled messages if you need some help to get your written conversation started:
- “We may not be in the same place as before, but we have shared some of the best memories in our lives so far. Our friendship will continue to grow stronger when we think of our memories and when we create new ones.”
- “Since you’ve been gone, I spend a part of each day thinking of you and remembering the moments we have shared! I hope you are thinking of me as well!”
- “Although we are separated by miles, our memories don’t move. They remain in our hearts and on our minds. Those memories will keep us connected forever!”
- “Even though we are separated by several time zones. I will always have time for you!”
- “Don’t measure our distance in miles or meters, but rather the feelings in our heart.”
- “Even though the ocean may separate us, the friendship between us will always be close. Missing you so much!”
- “We are not too close in distance. We are not too far apart in our hearts.”
- “Friends are family. Distance and time do not keep families apart, and the distance between us and the passage of time will not keep us from continuing our friendship. You are always in my heart and on my mind.”
- “I know that even though you are getting adjusted to your new place and new life, I am still having a hard time getting used to my daily routine without you. I know you are once in a lifetime, dear friend. Thinking of you, always.”
- “Even though we are physically apart, we are still close together in our hearts.”
- “We have always lived the good and bad moments of life together. I want you to know you are still my person I go to with the joys and sorrows. Missing you, friend.”
- “Even though we are miles apart, we have many ways to get together and we will find those ways to keep our friendship strong.”
IV- How to Survive the Sadness of a Long-Distance Friendship
Often if people are dealing with a long-distance friendship for the first time, they seriously may wonder how to survive the distance and the loss of the proximity of the friend. People grieve the loss of a good friend, especially if they are separated by hundreds of miles.
Sometimes friends move or relocate for logical reasons. The strong feelings involved in this change can cause a person to feel at a complete standstill.
When a best friend moves, it feels as though your heart is breaking. The more you admit this is hard and recognize there is a loss, the easier the transition to a long-distance friendship.
The moving of a person in a long-distance friendship hurts at first, but in time, with communication and perseverance on the part of each individual, long-distance friendships can not only survive, but will thrive. The distance between each person will serve as a new way to connect and make the friendship even stronger.
Your best friend is still your best friend. Even from half a world away, distance can’t sever that connection. Best friends are the kind of people who can survive anything. And when best friends see each other again, they almost always pick right up where they left off.
V- How a Long-Distance Friendship Can Become a Relationship
Long distance friendships can sometimes have the strongest bonds above all types of friendships. The saying, “Distance makes the heart grow fonder,” often does come true. There is something about the separation that creates a yearning for individuals. Those friendships can grow into lasting relationships.
We see the results of people coming together at airports to greet someone who they have not seen for a while. Watching people get off a plane and catch the eyes of their dear friends and relatives is enough to bring tears to observer’s eyes.
We yearn for those whom we haven’t seen but still care about and love. Often, having these moments are what long-distance friends look forward to the most.
And sometimes a friendship may turn into something more when you least expect it. Friends often have concerns that the friendship will suffer if they go down the path of romance. The first thing to do is be aware of the common signs that a friendship is turning into love and make sure both people are on the same page.
If a long-distance friendship turns into more, both people in the friendship will most often find more ways to connect. These couples may even find ways to get closer in proximity. The key to figuring this out will be communication and trust.
VI- Keeping the Friendship in the Long-Distance Relationship
In our age of travel and a shrinking globe, it is no surprise that sometimes a long-distance friendship does take the relationship path.
Gone are the days when a person whom you meet, become friends with, or even date, has to live in the same town. In the age of Facetime and texting, long-distance relationships happen more often than we think.
According to Psychology Today, 24% of respondents to a survey said they use email or the Internet to maintain a long-distance relationship.
In the findings, people remarked their long-distance relationship quality does not differ greatly from geographically close relationships. But there are some keys to keep the friendship and the relationship alive.
1- Prioritize your schedules well
Different work schedules, sleep schedules, and again, time zones can play havoc on a long-distance friendship that has become a relationship. Making sure you are able to devote private, unrushed time to talk is of utmost priority to the relationship.
Keep in mind that you choose a rhythm that works for both of you, so frustration and resentment doesn’t build into something more negative.
2- Double check each other’s goals
Long-distance relationships can cause confusion. And, some long-distance relationships thrive with the distance. If a relationship is thought to be temporary, the long-distance relationship is often more satisfying and possibly less stressful.
However, in the case of friends turning to romantic relationship status, it is even more important both people understand the endgame.
Where is this relationship going? Usually, in the beginning, both people are sure of what they want. When one person is happier with the long-distance arrangement than the other, then communication is of utmost importance.
If one person is starting to feel more upset with the distance, and the other individual feels the distance or the location spot is very important, the two may need come together to make a moving decision.
One person or the other may want or need to relocate. The way to avoid friction is to have an easy flow of communication back and forth. Both people need to be able to talk openly about wants and desires.
3- Make sure technology is not the only form of communication
Often couples will be so thankful for videos, Facetime, texting, Snapchat, and all the other advantages technology offers. People can be in constant contact even in real time.
Once a friendship turns into a relationship, it is important to at least have more than internet conversations. In person and talking on the phone the old-fashioned way will help to keep the fires of friendship and the relationship burning.
4- Focus on quality conversation
You may talk or touch base several times a week or even in a day, but that’s not the same thing as talking about things that matter. Don’t be the couple that keeps talk on the surface. Go deeper with some of these quality conversation starters:
- What makes you the happiest?
- What food might best describe your personality?
- What is the strangest date you’ve ever been on?
- If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- What are your three most important values?
- Who is the person living or dead that you would want to meet right now?
- What kind of physical touch says, “I love you” to you?
- How can I help when you are angry?
- What crazy thing would you like to do some day?
- Would you ever live in a tiny home or an RV?
- What is one thing I could do to improve our relationship?
- What is your idea of a perfect day?
5- When you do get together, don’t over plan your time
When people who care about each other live apart, there seems to be a sense of urgency when they physically get together. There is often a tendency to go and do as many things as possible to make the time count.
Over scheduling your time together leads to other problems and frustrations. Let things flow in an easy manner.
Leave time to let the relationship flow smoothly when you are in person. Going and doing tons of activities may keep you from paying attention to important details in your long-distance relationship when you are together.
6- Do not put your life in the here and now on hold
If a long-distance relationship is going to work out, it will without you sacrificing your daily life more than is healthy. More sacrifice then needed will create resentment in the long run. You have to be able to do things and go places with the people who actually live nearby.
Healthy individuals are able to live fully in the meantime even when they are separated from people they love.
Do not isolate yourself from others and “bide your time in between visits to daydream about a loved one who is far away. You will be a better partner if you are making the most of your daily life.
7- Make the long-distance Situation as positive as possible
Try to celebrate the love you have apart, as something that can bring benefits to you both in a long-distance relationship.
Taking a less than perfect situation and reframing it into a more positive focus, will add even more strength to your bond. Long distance relationships can find growth in spite of the miles between the individuals.
Positive reframing is helpful for all kinds of life situations. Taking control and bringing a positive spin to a difficult time can give people a sense of hope. Take the focus away from the distance and put it squarely on the relationship that is shared.
VII- Trust Your Judgement in Long-Distance Relationships
Whether you have a long-distance friendship or a long-distance friendship that has turned into something more, the bottom line is trust. People who have friends or partners across the miles have to have the confidence the other person is loyal to the relationship as an entity.
Even though your best friend has maybe moved, you aren’t going to go get a new best friend and vice-versa.
This doesn’t mean you are going to live in a vacuum, but as friendships and relationships go, people are not able to be replaced. As soon as you and your friend come to terms with this fact, the healthier the long-distance relationship will be.
It is important that both you and your partner trust each other in order for a long-distance relationship to survive.
It’s especially important in a long-distance relationship because the distance can make it easy for you or your partner to give in to doubts, jealousy, and suspicion. These negative emotions rise up when a lack of trust replaces the amazing experiences you have shared.
The separation of friends or partners may cause a person to believe something that just isn’t true. Again, honest communication will help you and your loved one get through the situation.
Sometimes, you are just taking too much time to sit and think. Maybe the text isn’t returned immediately, or the phone call doesn’t match up for some reason. You have to find other things to do to occupy your time.
While it can be sad, frustrating, and depressing at times to miss someone, you’ll find that you are able to handle it. Even though you miss your partner, it’s normal and healthy to accept the distance and direct your energy to things you can control. You can:
- Volunteer for something worthwhile
- Join a club
- Attend social events.
- Be active in your church.
- Learn a new skill.
- Make new friends. Not replacements. A person cannot have too many friends.
These are just a few suggestions to do when you are missing a special person who lives far away.
Long-distance relationships are emotionally challenging, but if you can make it, they are also worth it. A final thought is to make sure you are able to say you are sorry if you’ve been thoughtless or have hurt your friend.
The test of a true friendship is not just the miles in between, but also the weathering of storms along the way. There are no friendships or relationships that are perfect or free of disagreements. The test is how the individuals and the relationships come through the tough times.
VIII- Long Distance Friendships and Relationships are a Balancing Act
Friendships when people are in the same city are often challenging. But having and maintaining a long-distance friendship or relationship is a balancing act of communication, trust, love, perseverance, and care.
Long distance relationships aren’t for everyone, but when you have a person who is your best friend, or a partner in another town, most people do their very best to tend to the relationships as they would a precious treasure.
The people we love are not always people who are near. Friends, children, parents, and partners all sometimes have to relocate for one reason or another.
Keeping the home fires of our long-distance relationships burning is something we do when a loved one is further away.
When we tend and care for the ones who are far, we actually show more about who we are than who they are in many ways. We have wider networks than some of our parents and grandparents.
More often than not, we know other people who have close long distance relationships. We all are in this nuclear society together and the more we can things to keep us close at heart, the less the miles separate those we love.