When I graduated college, and me and my two of my best friends all went separate ways, I didn’t realize how hard it would be to maintain our long distance friendship!
We went from being roommates and spending 75% of our time together in college, to seeing each other just one or two times a year.
Grad school and new jobs took us to different places, and the three of us have been in different cities ever since.
It’s been about 7 years since graduating college and we’ve maintained our friendship till this day.
It hasn’t always been easy, but over the years we’ve learned so much about what it takes to ensure our long distance friendship stays meaningful and lasts.
I am so grateful our friendship has sustained itself over the years – but this hasn’t just ~happened~.
A lot of extra effort (and a good deal of struggle lol) from all three of us has gone into keeping this friendship alive. We’ve learned that you don’t have to stay in constant contact, but you do have to be intentional.
If you’re struggling to maintain your long distance friendship or looking for ways to make yours stronger, then this article is for you.
This post is all about 12 Super Helpful Tips to Ensure Your Long Distance Friendship Lasts.
1. Fire Up the Group Text
Perhaps the quickest, most low-energy way of communicating with your long distance best friend(s) is by sending text messages.
If you and your friends don’t already have a group chat, you should start one asap!
Having and using a group chat is a quick and easy way to shoot each other life updates, wish each other a good week or vent about a tough day at work.
With a group chat, your long distance friends are just a quick text away.
Picking up the phone and having a full-fledged conversation isn’t always the most convenient, so in times where you might not want to hop on the phone, but you still want to talk to your friends, texting can be very effective.
Consistency with a group chat is also key here. If you want to maintain your long distance friendship, you should aim to respond when you can and/or strike up conversation (when it feels authentic to).
If you don’t like to text, try sending voice notes. This is usually a lot quicker, too. All you have to do is record yourself speaking, that way you don’t have to text!
Group chats aren’t as effective in helping to maintain long distance friendships if the texting conversation is always one-sided or if certain people in the group chat never respond.
Keeping the group chat alive and meaningful is a group effort and one of the best ways to stay in touch. Group chats are a two-way street (or three or four+!).
2. Call Each Other
Talking on the phone isn’t always the easiest or most convenient thing to do, but in terms of maintaining a true connection with your friends who are a long way away, phone calls hold a lot of weight.
When you talk on the phone with someone, you can hear each other’s voices, converse back and forth immediately, and pick up on emotion.
Not to mention, calling someone shows that you truly care to see how they’re doing. The fact that you are taking time to connect with them is a thoughtful gesture that doesn’t go unnoticed.
If you don’t usually call your long distance friends, it can help to make your bond stronger.
If you’d like, try calling your long distance friend once a week to start off. If week nights work best for you and your friend(s), start there. If weekends are better, do that instead.
Phone call communication, and not just texting, will help your long distance friendship(s) stay strong.
3. Schedule Video Calls
You may not be able to see each other in person, but with video chat, you can at least see your long distance friends in some way.
Whether it’s through FaceTime or Zoom, video calls are a great way to see your friends – especially for those long distance friendships where you know it may be months or even years until you can see each other in person again.
Video calls will help you further connect with your long distance friends in a way that is authentic and meaningful.
The fact that you’d be willing to schedule a video call in your busy life, and then sit down for a good chunk of time to actually have that video call, shows that you care about maintaining a strong connection with your friends.
You don’t always have to schedule video calls, either. Spontaneous video calls work just as well – they just might not be the most convenient for everyone involved.
Video calls are really helpful in maintaining long distance friendships – try scheduling one with your long distance friends today!
4. Remain Vulnerable with Each Other
This is a tip that might not always be easy, but it will help forge your long distance friendships.
If you were open and vulnerable with your friends when they were your roommates or located right down the road, then you should maintain that same level of openness even when you are miles apart.
Being open and vulnerable when things aren’t going so great in your life – or when they are – is a great way to maintain close friendship(s).
Your great friend(s) want to know how you are doing, genuinely – so if you’re closed off or not telling them the real-life things that you are going through, it’ll be hard if not impossible for you all to continue to connect in a meaningful way.
I’m not saying to tell your long distance friends everything just because you are all long distance now – I’m just saying to not get into a habit of keeping things to yourself, or no longer sharing things with your long distance friends just because they aren’t physically close to you anymore.
Try to maintain a similar level of effort when it comes to opening up and being vulnerable even when you and your friends are long distance.
5. Make Plans to Visit Each Other
Texting and calling is a great way to stay in touch, but there’s nothing that’ll keep your bond as strong as actually seeing each other in person.
By seeing your long distance friends in person and spending quality time, you can have new experiences together and create new memories. If you spend a few days together, it’s likely you’ll learn something about your friend that is new since you saw each other last.
And, with all the extra time together, you may get to dive even deeper into topics that you could only just scratch the surface with via text or phone call.
Making plans to see each other will prompt greater connection in the time leading up to seeing each other, too, because you’ll be busy planning your trip together and getting excited about seeing each other so soon.
Planning to see your long distance friends is a good thing! It’s fun, exciting, and a great way to maintain the strength of your friendship.
6. Send Birthday/Holiday Gifts
If you’d like, you can send your friends gifts on meaningful occasions to show them that you are thinking of them or that you hope they have a great birthday or holiday.
You might not be able to be together for all your birthdays or special occasions, but you can definitely send your friend a gift or a note to let them know that you are thinking of them and to help celebrate the occasion any way.
7. Send Spontaneous Gifts
Better yet, why wait for a holiday or special occasion? Why not just send your friend a thoughtful gift or a care package?
Long-distance friendship gifts are a really nice gesture, especially if you know it’ll bring a smile to your friend’s face or cheer them up.
A while ago, my friend and I were talking about a book she was reading and how it applied to her life.
I told her how much I loved the book’s message and talked about wanting to buy the same book for myself.
But my friend beat me to it – just a few days after we had talked, I had a package in the mail from my friend and it was the very book we were discussing.
The most important thing to remember is that small, sweet gestures such as this can mean a lot to your long distance friend.
8. If You’re Feeling Distance, Speak Up
This one isn’t always an easy one to admit, but it is necessary.
If you are feeling like you haven’t talked to your friends in a while, and that your friendship doesn’t feel as strong as it did in the past, it will help to speak up and let your friend(s) know this.
Oftentimes, your true friend(s) will be feeling the exact same way.
Life changes and things get complicated – it’s not always easy to make time or put in effort to maintain our friendships – but if it’s a friendship that really matters to you, it is worth speaking up and letting your friend know how you are feeling.
When you do this, you can make a plan together for how you can connect more, communicate more, or even see each other in person.
Friendships, especially long distance friendships, will ebb and flow as life goes on. But if the friendship is worth having, it’s important we find new ways to make it work, even as our lives change.
9. Watch Shows Together
Want to ensure that you and your friend(s) have something to bond over and talk about? Try watching the same tv show at the same time, for example.
This way, you’ll have something to discuss and share your thoughts on. It’ll be a fun experience that you can share together, even while miles apart!
10. Send Each Other Memes/TikToks
In the same way that watching shows together can be really fun, another great way to maintain your long distance friendship is to send each other memes or funny videos via social media.
If you see a photo or video that you think your friend would find funny, send it to them for a laugh.
Or, if you see something that reminds you of a memory you had with your friend, send it to them for a little spark of nostalgia. Instagram and TikTok are great apps for this.
Sending each other fun things on social media is a low-effort way to stay connected with your long distance friends.
11. Celebrate Each Other’s Accomplishments
Did your long distance friend get promoted? Get a new job? Graduate? Whatever the accomplishment is or big life changes are, it should absolutely be celebrated!
You wouldn’t hesitate to celebrate your friend if you were in close proximity, so why should it be any different now that you’re miles apart?
Help you friend celebrate in a fun way – send them a letter, a gift, a text, make a phone call – show them love!
Sometimes when we are miles and miles apart, it can be hard to understand the magnitude of your friend’s life change or accomplishment, but if you sense your friend is excited about something, you should absolutely help them celebrate, even in simple ways.
Solid, long-lasting friendships involve some level of reciprocity. This means that if a friend is there for you in a time of need, for example, that you’ll be there if your friend ever needs you, too.
Friendships can’t be one-sided. You should show up for your friends, and they should show up for you. If you can’t rely on your friends, no matter how far away they are, it is going to be very hard to trust each other and want to rely on each other.
If you can’t rely on each other, it’ll be less desirable to want to put in the effort it takes to maintain your long distance friendship.
Reciprocation is key to ensuring you and your friends continue to care for each other in order to maintain strong, long-distance relationships.
This post was all about 12 Super Helpful Tips to Ensure Your Long Distance Friendship Lasts.
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