How To Make A Long Distance Friendship Work — From Someone Who Knows

long distance friendship long distance relationship
Contributor
Love, Self

If you’re like me, then you’ve encountered far more long-distance friendships than romantic relationships, and you have no clue how to handle them. I mean, who talks about these? Well, obviously, people do, but not nearly as often as romantic ones.

We really need more platonic advice in our lives because friendships are so important. But they’re not easy to maintain.


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Think about this: society is kind of set up for us to make friends, get close and then leave.

We change schools because of districting or moving, we go to college out of state (or the country) and we take jobs whenever and wherever they come. It’s like our friends are meant to separate from us, and we just have to accept it. We don’t always get to choose.

But maybe there’s a way to overcome some of the challenges that long-distance friendships pose. Maybe we can stay friends despite the miles between us. I like to hope.

Pretty much all my friends live far away from me. There’s one in New York, one in Michigan, a few scattered throughout Europe and Asia and, well, you get the picture.

I could cover a lot of the globe by marking where my friends have moved. Even the few who remained in Ohio with me are still fairly far away.

I’ve grown used to saying quick hellos and goodbyes as we travel back and forth or catch each other for a minute on the phone. It’s not that I don’t appreciate those moments we can spend together, it’s just that I want them to last longer. I want them to mean as much as they do when I can hug everyone and see their faces without worrying about a bad internet connection.


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You probably want the same things if your close friends live miles away. More time with them, the chance to see them outside of a screen.

While you can never replace being there in person, some apps and pieces of technology do come close to being there in person.

For example, I religiously use WhatsApp and GroupMe to keep in touch with my friends. Because we all miss each other, setting up a group chat was the best decision we ever made. (Though, it can get frustrating when the messages pile up after work.)

Using the “meme” feature on GroupMe and the voice message function on WhatsApp has been incredibly hilarious and rewarding. I get to hear my friends’ voices telling me about their day as I’m walking through the store and giggle at homemade memes they make to cheer me up. We also like Rabb.it, a website that makes watching movies and videos together easy if you’re apart.

Now, I’m not saying that using these makes the long distance any less depressing, but it can keep you in contact regularly and give you new things to do while you plan your next in-person visit. ‘Cause, let’s face it, traveling is expensive.

Time differences and adult responsibilities suck, but they don’t have to mean the end of your friendship. In fact, some sources claim that long-distance friendships make friends stronger, unlike romantic relationships. Your relationship is tested when you’re not near them constantly, and you learn which friends you want to keep in contact with.

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I miss impromptu visits and lunch dates with my friends, but now it’s even more special when we see each other. After all, friendships aren’t defined by how often you see each other or even how often you communicate; they’re defined by how you love one another. 


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Meaghan Summers is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.