This year, James and I have been living over 200 miles away from each other and although it hasn’t been great, it hasn’t been as difficult as I expected it to be. This month marks the end of our long distance but instead of talking about our relationship, I wanted to talk about long-distance friendships.
Since finishing my undergraduate degree, the hardest thing has been the distance from my friends. People, that I have come to love and adore after spending week after week together, have moved on with their lives and started something new in far away places. Some have moved South, which has been difficult this year, but as I’ll be moving South too, it’s exciting to know we’ll be closer soon. Some have moved abroad, which is the hardest (especially when they feel the need to move so far that it’s difficult to navigate the time difference – Mr Japan I’m talking to you) as it’s increasingly difficult to travel to see them. I have wonderful friends who are still near me in Newcastle, but once I graduate for good, I’ll be leaving them behind too.
Life changes and that’s O.K but although some friendships can sustain months of inactivity, it’s important to check in and make a special effort from time to time. Here are 5 things I do to try and show my friends how much I love them and miss them:
- I make an effort to send birthday cards and Christmas cards.
- I send spontaneous cards or letters to let them know I’m thinking about them.
- We start little traditions, such as meeting up at Christmas time, to make sure we get some time in at least once a year.
- We make the time to Skype weekly, sometimes with our dinner, as if we are replacing coffee and dinner dates (although we accept when life gets busy that this isn’t always possible so we check in with little messages of encouragement instead).
- I’ve not tried this yet but I think it’s a great idea: Agree on a TV series to watch together and agree to only watch it at the same time.
If you’re in a long distance friendship, take the time now to reach out to your friend and let them know you’re thinking about them.
Do you have any tips or tricks to add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!